"Miss this wonderful woman," Hager's cousin Sam Bush LeBlond wrote in his own social media tribute

By Adam Carlson
April 17, 2020 10:02 AM
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It’s been two years — 731 days — since former First Lady Barbara Bush died after declining further medical care for her failing health, choosing instead to focus on her family and her “abiding faith.”

“Two years without her,” granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager posted on her Instagram Story on Friday morning. “I can’t believe it.”

A family spokesman tells PEOPLE they won’t be holding any public remembrances, but the matriarch’s memory is clearly felt.

“Miss this wonderful woman,” Hager’s cousin Sam Bush LeBlond wrote in his own social media tribute. “Love you Ganny.”

In recent weeks, the former first lady’s same-named literacy group sent about 100,000 books to area schools in Houston. (Literacy was a key cause during her time in the White House.)

Former President George H. W. Bush died months after his wife in 2018, after 73 years of marriage. Their passing inspired immense public mourning.

“It’s very interesting when you lose these people that you love so much and also you’re filled with awe that they’re beloved by everybody,” Hager, a Today show co-host, told PEOPLE last year.

The couple, as matriarch and patriarch of a political dynasty that included two presidents, were no less dedicated at home.

From left: former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush in 2004
David Hume Kennerly/Getty
Barbara Bush (left) and Jenna Bush Hager
LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty

Grandson Pierce Bush told C-SPAN last year, of Mrs. Bush, “She was passionate about us not living idle lives and not taking it for granted and doing something that mattered.”

And though she never met her youngest great-grandson, Hager’s son Hal, Mrs. Bush she was thinking of him — of all the great-grandchildren she would likely never meet — as she embroidered stockings to be “reserves” for the kids who grew up after she died in April 2018.

Hal was “the first baby that won’t get to meet these people that were such an important part of my life,” Hager told PEOPLE in November, referring to her grandparents who had recently died.

“But, I will say, and this is such a beautiful thing — my grandmother, my dad’s mom, needlepointed a lot of stockings, reserves, for great-grandchildren that would be after she died,” Hager continued.

Hager said then she knew her grandmother had been making some stockings, but “I didn’t know if there was enough for Hal.”

“She tirelessly worked,” Hager said. “And so my aunt just emailed me on Friday and said, ‘What address should I send Hal’s stocking to?’ ”

“What a beautiful blessing and what a beautiful thing that she did so that all three of my kids will have made,” Hager told PEOPLE, “[Hal] will never met her, but they’re so ingrained, I mean, literally in this case, in the fabric of our family — that he’ll have a stocking that his great-grandmother sewed.”