The photo, taken in 1991, includes a handwritten message from the elder Bush

By Virginia Chamlee
December 01, 2020 04:13 PM
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George W. and George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush (left) and George H. W. Bush in 1994
| Credit: Greg Smith/Corbis via Getty

Marking the two-year anniversary of his father's death, former President George W. Bush shared a photo on Monday of him and George H. W. Bush together in happier times.

The post shows an image of the father and son, deep-sea fishing on the back of a boat in the summer of 1991, above a handwritten note from the elder Bush: "George - My idea of heaven! Best, Dad."

"41 went to heaven two years ago today. Save a striper for me, Dad," the younger Bush wrote in the caption.

H. W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, died in 2018 at the age of 94, some eight months after the death of his beloved wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush.

He was an avid fisherman, often taking trips to the Florida Keys (where he once caught an estimated 135-pound tarpon, according to USA Today) and to the family's summer home in Maine to fly-fish.

H. W. Bush was even honored posthumously with an induction into the International Game Fish Association Fishing Hall of Fame.

The younger Bush gave an emotional eulogy at his father's 2018 funeral.

He said then: "When I was told he had minutes to live, I called him. The guy who answered the phone said, 'I think he can hear you, but hasn’t said anything most of the day.' I said, 'Dad, I love you, and you’ve been a wonderful father.' And the last words he would ever say on earth were, 'I love you, too.' ”

In another touching tribute on Instagram at the time, alongside a photo of his parents walking toward Marine One together, he called his father "a man of the highest character and the best dad a son or daughter could ask for."

In an interview with PEOPLE at the time, Former First Daughter Barbara Pierce Bush (the daughter of W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush) also shared her memories of her grandfather — saying then that he was a fixture throughout her life, even with his many professional demands as president.

"He was so present in our lives," she said of his presence in her and twin sister, Jenna Bush Hager's childhood.

“I don’t think we quite realized the gravity of the responsibility that he was holding. I have so many memories [of] him because we were with him so often," Barbara said then. "We spent every summer with him since we were born, regardless of what role he was in politically.”

In her recent book, Everything Beautiful in Its Time, Hager also recounted time spent with H. W. Bush, whom the grandchildren all called "Gampy."

Just a month before his death, she wrote, the family enjoyed a large dinner: "Gampy sat in between Barbara and me. The last words he ever spoke to her were, 'You have never been more beautiful.' "