'Treasured friend' Barbara Bush remembered

- The former president and first lady were faithful churchgoers and made friends at St Martin’s Episcopal Church, where they attended.

Among the friends they made were Karen and David Fast.

“She and I just absolutely hit it off from the very beginning," recalled Karen.

The Fasts started attending services at St. Martin’s around four years ago when they moved to Houston from San Diego.

"She called me over to where they always sat in the same pew and she called me over and she said, 'why don’t you and David sit with us every week,'” remembers Karen.

The two women bonded over Saintly Stitchers, a needlepoint group that meets every Monday morning at their church.

“One day recently, I was talking about my blonde hair and she looked at me and she raised her eyebrows above her glasses like this and she said, ‘Karen, it’s white,'” recalled Karen.

Mrs. Bush's wit and care for others never leaving, even as her health began to fail.

“When she was in the hospital she would call me and she said, 'George is just so lonely,' she says, 'I want to go home.' So I talked to her several times while she was in the hospital and she would keep saying, 'well I got all dressed and they wouldn’t let me go.' That was two Sundays ago," said Karen.

Then the news came this past Sunday that Mrs. Bush was no longer seeking medical care and that’s when Karen sent a text message to her dear friend.

Karen's text read, "Love and prayers are coming your way. David and I are holding you in our thoughts and in our hearts. We love you.”

"And at 8:48 she wrote back," said Karen. The former first lady's response was, "Don’t count on my dying. Letting everyone down. Love, Bar.”

The response led to a phone call by Karen.

“So I called her on her cell phone and she answered on the second ring...she said, ‘Oh you’re such a special girl Karen.' So she told me she loved me and then I handed the phone to David.”

“[Mrs. Bush] let us know that she was okay with everything and it was a very short conversation," said David.

“Just so spirited and loving and what a character. I mean she’s just a character," said Karen.

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