Commemorating our 41st President

Early this month, we each found our own ways of memorializing the loss of our 41st President, George H.W. Bush. Governor Greg Abbot had proclaimed Dec. 5 as a statewide day of mourning. And following funeral services that day in Washington DC, the Presidents’ body was returned to his home church in Houston, for a final Texas memorial the next morning.

As a recent Colorado transplant, I watched as the sun rose over lovely Lake Whitney that Dec. 6 morning contemplating what President Bush had meant to Texans, to the nation as a whole, and how he had impacted the international trajectory of history.

In Colorado, I once housed a young German exchange student, and I pondered how her life and that of her family was so dramatically changed by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, an event in which President Bush participated as a primary catalyst. Today my former student is married to an American high school sweetheart, and lives in Colorado. She brought me a piece of that fallen wall. And her mother serves as a Chief of Police in Berlin - in a reunited Germany.

As I contemplated these larger and ongoing impacts of President Bush’s life, an unexpected and glorious apparition landed atop a towering dead oak tree between my home and the lake - a beautiful bald eagle, the symbol of America.

Still and erect, he remained there as a sentry post there for some 45 minutes, scanning the lake. Then from the far opposite shore, as a tiny spec skimming across the waters, flew his mate. Our visitor soared off to join her. They reunited, circled and danced together on the wind eddies over the lake, before flying off together.

I was awed by the grace and timing of those amazing bald eagles appearing over Lake Whitney that very morning! Having been a dawn lake watcher for over six months, I had seen no prior trace of those magnificent birds.

And as my own small tribute to President Bush on Dec. 6, I was blessed to be a new participant in Clifton’s Bosque Chorale. That night we all sang our hearts out in glorious and soaring seasonal chorales. What a joy it was to participate! I like to think that perhaps President Bush caught some of it, wafting heavenward to herald and support his upward spiritual path.

Karen Colby

P. O. Box 288

Clifton, TX 76634

970-581-5542

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