The Major Thing

The death of George HW Bush has caused me to reflect on what really matters to my children and others at the end of life.  As I was watching the eulogy given by his son George W Bush, I made a mental note of what actually mattered to George W at the end of his father’s life and what things had made him a better, well-adjusted adult.  

His father played games with them, had fun with them, had family dinners with them, and showed them integrity and love for others.  But the thing that seemed to leave the biggest impression on George W was that he loved their mother fiercely.  

Perhaps it was because George HW lost a child, that his family values were so on point.  

In the eulogy George W didn’t mention once that his parents made sure he had organic food his whole life, or had Pinterest worthy birthday parties, or the perfect monogrammed matching outfits with his siblings. He didn’t mention that his parents made sure their week was planned with playdates and millions of extracurricular activities.  He reflected over and over again about how much his dad loved and was dedicated to his mother. 

I worry that we get so caught up in the minor things that we forget the major thing which is teaching our kids what unconditional love and loyalty looks like.  

As a counselor, I see so many marriages falling apart and so much strife and discontentment in life occurring because so much time and attention is spent on the minor things.  The results of this are broken marriages, discontentment, lack of self-esteem, anger, addiction, depression, anxiety, and in some cases suicide.  All of the resources given to the minor things in turn cause the major things to fall apart.  

Feeling secure in a family will have more of a long term effect on the well-being of a person than any of the minor stuff so much of our time and effort is spent on.  We say our value is family, but our actions show something completely different. 

George HW lived to be 94 and evidently couldn’t stomach a vegetable, yet how much of our time is spent on worrying about what we put into our child’s stomach.  

My intent isn’t to say that being cognizant of health and physical well-being isn’t important.  My intent is to say that it isn’t the most important thing.  

Fight for your family.  Nurture your relationship with your spouse.  Don’t treat your children like your world revolves around them.  You might feel pressure or guilt when other people tell you all the wonderful things they are feeding their kids, or feel like less of a parent when you see another Pinterest perfect party, but don’t buy into it. It’s just a distraction from what really matters.  

Don’t make the minor stuff the major stuff.  Have fun, play games, have family dinner, be kind, do good in your community when you have opportunity, show integrity when no one is watching, and love your spouse fiercely.  Fight for your family.  At the end of your life this is what will matter to your children. 

Full Eulogy

Written by Karen Culbertson

Wife, mom and licensed mental health counselor.

207 comments

  1. Always interesting … how slander and bad mouthing, charges of girlfriends etc continue after a person has departed this world and can’t sefend themselves … always spewed by low life no class jealous “ I gotta say something “ to hear myself be heard, scum… do yourself and the world a favor look at ur self in the mirror and judge ur self first..honestly… if u can

      1. David ..her name was Jennifer Fitzgerald and he had a lifetime affair with her …..perhaps it should have been said the other way around ..”Barbara Bush loved her husband ” you can fact check this …. I for one could care less about his unfaithfulness nor should anyone else except his family .Barbara Bush was a fantastic lady

    1. Get your facts strait! The AIDS epidemic started in 1980’s, Bush reformed healthcare! Iraq invaded Kuwait! Nothing innocent about that…the tens and tens of thousands of Iraq’s that died, died under the rule of Sadat Husain, you moron!

      1. Masha Gessen had a good article in the New Yorker about President George H. W. Bush’s lack of response to the AIDS crisis.

        Unfortunately, it won’t let me paste in the link here.

    2. Show me where the president can solve an AIDS crisis and I’ll show you how to calm a irrational child in a fit. STFD.

    3. Mary Lazar….You must be a miserable, unhappy person that finds something wrong with everything. You even talk bad about the dead. What do you think will be said about you? Life is short..make it sweet.

    4. I lived in Kuwait when Iraq invaded Kuwait and am very thankful to USA for pushing Iraq back into its border. You obviously don’t know the fact because neither Kuwait nor even Iraq blame him for the Iraqi deaths (his son maybe but not him). The many Iraqis who died were killed by Saddam himself for loosing that war.

    5. I wonder what “facts” will be shared about you after your Earthly departure? “For all have sinned..” and do sin and will continue to sin. I pray that my friends are classy, compassionate, and loving enough to extend mercy to me as they remember me upon my death ♥️

    6. Several news organizations, including The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, have investigated the rumored affair but found no evidence to substantiate it. You have no “facts,” but go ahead and cast that first stone, Mary Elaine.

    7. And if it is so, you, Mary Elaine Lazar, are no better a person to go on an internet platform with such statements. People pray for your type, others shake their heads in disbelief. SMH

    8. Where did you receive any information regarding an affair that he had? It’s very important that we get facts straight and true — documented facts! Also, people who have AIDS have areas of their own responsibility, and I do know that private citizens (e.g., actors, singers, performers) have held special events to raise funding for various causes. Also, we’re told in Scripture (the Bible) to pray for those in authority over us, that they’ll have God-given insights for wisdom and all that is required of them. Do you make it a practice to do that, Ms. Lazar?

  2. I loved hearing that the last thing which George Bush said to his son right before he died, was, “I love you” and then his son said it back to him. It was obvious that the Bush family all loved each other so much.

  3. I got nothin’ to add, or subtract, from this string of bilious comments, but I sure wish I hadn’t read them. Somebody needs to attach a warning label up above. Don’t waste your breath cursing me “and the horse I rode in on” because I’ll never see it.

  4. I am in my 60’s and I honestly never heard a word about an affair that GHW Bush had. I am educated and read a great deal. When was this ‘affair’ exposed? And by whom? Maybe one of the tabloids?

    1. It was common knowledge that President George H W Bush had mistress’s. One mistress for several years.
      Imperfect people can still do amazing things and make greatness happen.

      1. Unfortunately, former President Bush did have an affair. I personally know the best friend of the woman he was having an affair with. That does not take away from his presidency or the father he was to his children and grand children.

  5. The health and wellbeing of a child IS the most important thing when one simple food can literally mean life or death for some children.

      1. Tell that to our little 3 year old Annie granddaughter who is allergic to cows milk. She cannot even eat a McDonalds french fry b/c there is milk in it. It’s real alright and it’s sad. Guess how much food contains milk.

  6. To Sandy on the comment about Obama and no rumors, maybe he’s never betrayed “Michael”, as he called his wife on many occasions, and I could care less about either one of those too, however Obama betrayed our country and the people of this country. In my opinion, holding the highest office in the land, this is the ultimate betrayal. A Fraud throughnand through.

    1. What cheesy, sleazy slander: “Michael.” BS. As for the “betrayal,” why don’t you name the times he “betrayed” the country. Like advancing health care? Turning around a crashed economy? FOX news has poisoned you.

      1. Advanced healthcare? Really? I pay $784 a month for healthcare under that idiot for ONE person. You are probably the one sitting at home getting free healthcare off my hard earned work.

  7. Very nicely written. Great points! I have two issues. #1 I eat organic to reduce the growth of my cancer, keep eating chemical free food. #2 surrender yourself to Jesus Christ. Start and end here. The Bush family did and all the great details you mentioned will fall into place. You have to start and end with faith. Well stated and a great point for all of us to take. Thank you.
    Jerry

  8. I am so sad today after reading all of the above negative comments. What a shame that someone has to take the time to write a negative comment about another who has passed. I will not attempt to change the minds of the nay sayers. I will just say that I greatly admired “41” and “43” and no amount of negative comments by anyone will change my mind.

    1. I agree with you Diane about the negative comments. Whether HW did or didn’t have an affair is actually no one’s business. The fact is he still adored his wife and his kids adored him.

      Now can I express my feelings about the way President Obama is constantly dragged through the mud. He could have done so much more if Mitch McConnell would not have stood in his way from the very day that President Obama was inaugurated. He would not bring anything to the floor to be voted on. Why are the Obamas always looked upon as doing nothing for our country. Was it so wrong that Michelle thought it was time that the children in school had decent good food because for some kids that may have been the only best meal they would have that day.

      I think it’s so wrong to knock the Bushes, but at the same time why do the same people who love the Bushes have to rip apart President Obama and his family. There were no scandals in his administration nor in his life. It works both ways.

  9. FYI, Miss Maisel and the other negative comments on here are “trolls.” They are posting negative comments that are not fact based just to get a rise. Don’t buy into it. Always look at a comment and ask yourself if it is a true opinion adding to a conversation or a negative “one-off.”

  10. It’s a shame everything turns into an argument these days. There are too many entitled, opinionated individuals that feel free to over share when they sit behind the keyboard. We’d never HEAR this negativity from any of you, but you can sure type it. Most of you were told to think before you speak, but maybe we need to update this phrase for the social media era. Think before you TYPE!

  11. I was going to share this article, until I saw the comment thred. Every single time there is a hope in humanity, there is someone below ready to take it away.

  12. George HW Bush was a great man who certainly accomplished much in his life. When I reflect on anyone’s life after they are gone, I just imagine the world as if they had never existed. HW was a big part of the team that ended the Soviet Union and in my mind most everything else is much less relative. As far as love of family, faith and integrity? He is a small speck in the shadow of Carter.

  13. I’m astounded at the harsh, unchristian-like behavior of posters here. I hope they aren’t representative of the general mindset of the Refuge Church.

  14. Wow, perfect example of why I prefer my dogs company over humans anyday. Ya’ll are just oozing hate and feeding off off it. Its disgusting and frightening. Whatever happened to “If you dont have anything nice too say, don’t say nothing at all.” Your mama’s should have washed your mouths out with soup and made you sit in corners with dunce cones on for being such awful people.

    1. Yea we tried that, now USA is the modern Sodom and Gomorrah.

      If you have something to say, it should be based in Truth, regardless of whose feelings it hurts or how politically correct someone considers it.

      My mom did wash my mouth out with soap, that’s why I stand for Jesus who is the truth. He said what needed to be said, and most Jews didnt think what he had to say was nice.

      What you are doing is called virtue signaling. Well guess what, I dont care if you dont think I have virtues, Jesus is my judge and i will speak the truth, not praise wicked men who do the bidding of the spirit of antichrist…

  15. I would like to share this beautiful story but do not want to spread the negativity in the comment section. Could you disable the comment section or edit out inappropriate comments?

  16. Although I agree with the idealology of this article, that family time matters not a digital image capturing the moment for all to see, but a moment that we remember for life with family.

    GHWB is a bad example to use as a role model of anything, except a promoter/organizer/patron of the New World Order (UN) and the work of the Spirit of Antichrist.

    GHWB left no legacy worthy of praise.

    This is his legacy: https://youtu.be/KhxjplYCTEo

    A truly wicked man, a wolf in sheeps clothing. Wake up!!!

  17. It was widely known in the media that Poppy Bush had a long term girl friend. A friend of mine who worked for the Washington Post said they once had a story about it set in print and at the last minute it was pulled. My guess is that Bush the son knew this and the emphasis on his father’s love of his mother was to quash that. Also it may have reflected his own pain about that. There have been no rumors of young George being unfaithful to Laura.

  18. I love this so much!! You are on point about the reasons behind a broken marriage. I am in one I feel so unappreciated, unhappy, not loved and so much more. I think if my husband would have learned compassion and love from his parents he would be more loving, appreciative and compassionate.

  19. I have been reading everyone’s reply, and although I usually do not respond, I feel the need to remind everyone, this is not a political debate as some have made it out to be. A man has passed on and a former President or not, his family and loved one’s are grieving. I guess I was raised during a time when you showed respect to those that have died. You don’t start tongue lashing against someone that is no longer with us. NO ONE is perfect, we all make mistakes. I believe that the mistake some are making on this post is the lack of respect. How would you feel if people bad-mouthed your grandparent, mother, father, child or friend? You may not have cared much for the man, but care enough about yourself and how you respond. As I was raised, if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Sometimes…less is best.

  20. I don’t feel the need to drag him through the mud until people start glorifying his memory and rewriting his public service history. Don’t forget he crafted policy long before he became president. No matter how great a job you might have done in one arena it will never be worth the people you ignored or cast aside along your rise to the President. His family and friends may have loved him but the country as whole is under no obligation to shed false tears over someone who many see as a war criminal.

  21. Based on the recent coverage of his life, I choose to remember HW as a great man, not a perfect man. I choose to believe the accounts of great public servants and acclaimed historians who have talked about his life. I love that he wanted Jim Baker on his team, even though he had been a Democrat. I love that he developed a warm relationship with Bill Clinton. I love the feelings his grandchildren conveyed. I loved the clips of him displaying his humility. I thought his letters were a window into his heart. I also love Barak and Michelle Obama. I try to see what’s in people’s hearts more than defining them by where we may disagree. Paraphrasing Zig Ziglar; when mining for diamonds, you must move tons of dirt, but you don’t go looking for the dirt. I believe most people are good…

  22. People sure do love the hearsay, gotcha crap. Couple of the links replyers left here are no facts that I see just accusations against a departed former President. Turning words from decades ago into whatever they perceive. Selling books and lectures. R.I.P 41.

  23. Most of you make the writers point: you concentrate on minor stuff!
    You hate, call people names, you attack, etc.
    Why? Go back and read what the writer wrote. And just leave it at that.

  24. The Bush family is a lying, murdering criminal enterprise that has never been dedicated to anything but destroying your family and mine. Get a freaking clue,

  25. Ecclesiastes 12: 13. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

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