George W. Bush recalls his mother as strong, lucid and funny as she approached death

Former President George W. Bush on Wednesday recalled that his mother was strong, lucid and funny when he saw her in the hospital about a week ago, during what he characterized as a “wonderful visit.”

The former president shared the story about Barbara Bush the day after her death at age 92, during an interview on the Fox Business channel.

“She and I were needling each other,” Bush said, “and the doctor came in, and she turned to the doctor and said, ‘You want to know why George W. is the way he is?’ And the doctor looked somewhat surprised, and she said, ‘Because I drank and smoked when I was pregnant with him.’ ”

During the interview with Maria Bartiromo, Bush also offered more serious reflections on the “beautiful life” lived by his mother.

“She truly believes there’s an afterlife, that she’ll be wonderfully received in the arms of a loving God,” Bush said. “And, therefore, did not fear death. And as a result of her soul being comforted on the deathbed, my soul is comforted.”

Laura Bush, who was also there for the interview, credited Barbara Bush for being a role model while George H.W. Bush was president. “She was a great role model for me, for sure. I learned how to be a first lady,” Laura Bush said.