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Brad Meltzer @bradmeltzer
, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD. I am utterly heartbroken at the loss of my friend Barbara Bush. She gave me one of the most amazing, rewarding, and unimaginable friendships of my entire life. When we first met, I was utterly intimidated by the raw power that came off her. I left thinking two things:
1) She's the reason the Bush family took the White House twice. And 2) I never want to be on her bad side. But I also instantly knew this: She was so damn funny. I mean it. As sharp a wit as I've ever seen. She wrote in one of her biographies that while she was shopping
for one of my books, someone in a bookstore told her she looked like Barbara Bush. I don't remember the punchline anymore. But she had the perfect punchline. Always. Soon after, we started writing to each other. Our letters kept going back and forth over the years,
hers always handwritten. When I started writing children’s biographies, she wrote to me about how she saw Amelia Earhart up close -- and then added in the PS that she didn't meet Lincoln, but that she felt just as old. I wrote her back saying that that was funny,
but that we all knew she met George Washington. The woman got good comedy. She was my favorite pen pal ever.

Of course, one of my favorite moments with her was when I got to take my Mom to meet her. It was when my Mom was sick. I knew the end was coming.
Of course, Mrs. Bush treated my Mom like royalty -- and gave me one of the last great beautiful meals I ever had with my mother. After that, she'd always always ask me about how my Mom was. And she'd always remember the story I told the very first time I met her:
About how many books my Mom sold for me. Indeed, during one of my last visits with Mrs. Bush, right before the past election, she recounted the story perfectly to me. You see, Mrs. Bush knew the power of a strong mother.

And she also knew the power of literacy.
She dedicated her life to books -- and to making sure people could read them: the poor, immigrants new to our country, people who just couldn't learn...the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy taught them all.
Millions and millions of dollars raised to help others unlock the most powerful weapons in the universe: books and ideas. When my kids were born, she told me to read to them. She told me it wasn't the story that mattered -- it was being that close and sharing that time together.
As always, she was right. Her love for literacy lasted so long, she turned her 90th birthday party into a fundraiser for literacy. When she told me she was asking four authors to entertain there, I was like, "Wow! Who're you getting?" She was like, "Dummy, it's you."
It was my true honor to entertain at that event and stand next to her as she her blew out the candles.

And of course, there was our craziest and best moment of all: She and I recreating I Love Lucy’s chocolate conveyor belt scene: .
Why'd she do it? Because it was for literacy, for kids...and of course, because it was damn funny. She did it all in one take. Forever a pro.

My God, the world is already quieter today without her in it.
Mrs. Bush, thank you for what you've done for all those young readers out there. Thank you for empowering all those who needed to find their own power. And thank you for a friendship I will never forget.
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