Laura Bush's mother, Jenna Welch, has died. Daily Mail reported that the 99-year-old died at home in Midland, Texas on Friday.
The Bush family expressed their sadness over the loss on Instagram on Sunday, sharing moving tributes to Jenna Bush Hager's namesake in honor of Mother's Day. Jenna, 37, wrote that she felt "lucky" to be named after Laura's mother. She credited her with showing her to "appreciate" the small things in life, recalling the many times she read her "poetry and taught us about every constellation in the sky."
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Waking up thinking of my precious namesake, Jenna Welch who passed away Friday. How lucky I was to be named after a woman who taught me how to slow down and appreciate every bird, and every plant in West Texas. She read us poetry and taught us about every constellation in the sky. Her kindness and graciousness were as expansive as the West Texas horizon. So happy she’s reunited with her great love, our Pa after almost 25-years apart. Thinking of my mama too who lost her little mama right before Mother’s Day.
Laura also took to Instagram to honor her late mother. She said in her online tribute that she wanted to spend Mother's Day "remembering my mother." Laura called her mom "a true daughter of West Texas," touting her love for family, literature and nature. She concluded the message by saying that she was "grateful" to have had so many good years with her mother.
The former first lady spoke about her mother often, crediting her with instilling a love of reading in her. In a 2003 speech for the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries," she said her mom showed her how "important" reading can be.
"I learned [how important reading is] at home from my mother," she said at the time. "When I was a little girl, my mother would read stories to me. I have loved books and going to the library ever since."
Her death comes just over a year after Barbara Bush's death in April 2018. According to USA Today, she died of congestive heart failure and pulmonary disease at the age of 92. Her family revealed in a statement that she decided to discontinue medical treatment prior to her passing.
"A former first lady of the United States of America and relentless proponent of family literacy, Barbara Pierce Bush passed away Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the age of 92," the Bush family said in a statement online.
She left behind husband George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, who was photographed gazing longingly at her flower-covered casket after her death. He died in November 2018 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease, CNN reported. A source told the outlet that in his final day, the former president was asked if he wanted to go to the hospital, and declined. He reportedly said he was ready to be reunited with Barbara and Robin, who died of leukemia in childhood.