Talent, power and prestige tend to gild people. When we see these so-called big names, we tend to think that they’re superhuman.
However, we would do well to remember that the most mighty among us are still human in the end. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet said, “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of that fish that hath fed of that worm.”
That’s a fancy way of saying that when death comes calling, we’re all equal. It’s appointed for all of us to die once, and in the end, what will remain is faith, hope and love — hopefully the love of family and friends.
Such love has been on display with the passing of America’s 41st President. On Nov. 30, George H.W. Bush entered into eternity with many of his loved ones and old companions looking on.
According to CBS News, former Secretary of State James Baker said, “He looked up at me, opened both eyes looked at me, and said, ‘Jim, where are we going?’ And I said, ‘Well, Jefe’ — because that’s what I called him, ‘Jefe,’ which is Spanish for ‘chief’ — I said, ‘Well, Jefe, we’re going to heaven.’
“He said, ‘That’s where I want to go.’” Now that he has, admirers from across the country have come forth to show their esteem.
According to UPI, one of those admirers was country superstar Reba McEntire. For years, the singer has forthrightly shared her admiration of the President.
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The day after his death, she shared a picture of herself with him on Instagram. The caption read, “My favorite. #greatpresident #greatfriend.”
To honor Bush, she sang a traditional arrangement of “The Lord’s Prayer” during his funeral at Houston’s St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Clad in a solemn black dress, McEntire turned in a somber rendition of the song.
Only the slight twang in her diction betrayed her pop-country musical roots. Though a consummate professional, McEntire seemed to struggle somewhat during the performance.
She paused to clear her throat during the song’s opening lines. And after singing the words, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,” she turned her head to the side, dropped her eyes and swallowed hard.
McEntire wasn’t the only one struggling emotionally. Cameras cut to the family as she sang, showing George W. Bush wiping his eyes.
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2018
She also wasn’t the only performer. Bush’s perennial favorites the Oak Ridge Boys sang “Amazing Grace” at the funeral.
“He always taught us to do the right thing, and it is a tremendous honor,” member Richard Sterban told the Tennessean. “One final time here on this earth, we’re going to sing it for him and we believe in our hearts we’ll see him again one day and we’ll sing it for him again.”
Indeed, this wasn’t a spur of the moment decision by the Oak Ridge Boys. They’d been preparing to perform at Bush’s funeral for months, always making sure they packed mourning attire whenever they toured.
Why go to such lengths? “It’s what you do for friends,” member Duane Allen said.
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