Jenna Bush Hager tearfully recalls advice grandfather George H.W. Bush gave her before he died: ‘I’ll never forget it’


Jenna Bush Hager broke down in tears recalling the advice her late grandfather and former President George H.W. Bush shared with her before his death.

Speaking on “Today with Hoda & Jenna” Wednesday, Bush Hager and her co-host Hoda Kotb discussed fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s life and the upcoming Hulu documentary that explores it.

As the duo talked about getting the most out of life, Bush Hager shared the wisdom her late grandpa imparted before his death in 2018 at age 94.

Jenna and her sister Barbara pictured with Vice President and Mrs. Bush in 1989. HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

“It reminded me of this evening I spent with my grandpa and he could barely speak and I was sitting between him and he leaned over to me and he’s like, ‘Don’t forget to enjoy the game,’” she shared.

“And it was at the end of his life and at sort of the beginning of mine, relatively. And to hear somebody that had done everything, be like, ‘Don’t forget to be in it,’ to enjoy it, to be part of it, I’ll never forget it,” she added, being overcome with emotion. “It’s kind of what I want to tell all of us.”

While she acknowledged that it’s often difficult to stop and smell the roses, she stressed it’s important everyone tries to take a pause to enjoy the moment.

“In the middle of it’s hard, right? And there’s tedious moments, but I think what we got to do is that tediousness is the beauty,” she said.

Jenna and her sister Barbara pictured with their late grandfather and former president in 1989. Bettmann Archive

Kotb, agreeing with the ex-POTUS’s sentiment, chimed in, “You’re right. But what great advice from him because you always wonder at the end, what are you saying? After you lived a whole life, what are you saying at the very end. And that was it,” she said.

Bush Hager also revealed that her grandfather would often put in writing just how special quality time with family was to him.

“He also wrote us the most beautiful letters when he was in his 70s, 80s, about being together, about how all he wanted was us to come home and that that was what brought him the most joy, was to be surrounded by his grandkids and his family,” she said, tearing up.

Bush — a World War II hero, distinguished public servant and patriarch of an American political dynasty — died on Nov. 30, 2018. Pool

After serving as a two-term vice president under President Ronald Reagan, Bush led the nation as America’s 41st president from 1989 to 1993.

Bush — a World War II hero, distinguished public servant and patriarch of an American political dynasty — died on Nov. 30, 2018.

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