Former President George H.W. Bush, and his wife, former first lady Barbara Bush, are seated during the unveiling of the official portraits of their son, former President George W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, Thursday, May 31, 2012, in the East Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Read The Special Note George H. W. Bush Sent Trump

One thing that has always stood out about former President George H.W. Bush was his respect for others and his decency.

On Wednesday a letter was released that the former President sent to President-elect Donald Trump explaining why 41 would be absent at Friday’s Inauguration.

After a contentious 2016 election cycle, it is a great reminder to see the former statesman’s grace and humor on full display.

Dear Donald

Barbara and I are so sorry we can’t be there for your Inauguration on January 20th. My doctor says if I sit outside in January, it likely will put me six feet under. Same with Barbara. So I guess we’re stuck in Texas.

But we will be with you and the country in spirit. I want you to know that I wish you the very best as you begin this incredible journey of leading our great country. If I can ever be of help, please let me know.

Despite his differences with the President-elect during the campaign, President Bush continues to show the virtuous characteristics many have forgotten.

In fact, for a man that served with such distinction as a World War II hero, U.S. Congressman, Ambassador to the U.N., chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ambassador to China, Director of the CIA, Vice-President, and President he has always seemed to push away celebrity and fame and instead remain behind the scenes.

In the documentary ’41on41′ his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, was quoted that the President learned these traits from his parents. “George’s mother (Dorothy Walker Bush) was a gentle, wonderful soul. Both his mother and father (U.S. Senator Prescott Bush) taught him to lead by example.”

No example reflected the future President qualities more than a Walter Howard poem that Dorothy wrote on a Bible she gave to her son on May 29, 1938.

I would be true, for there are those who trust me,

I would be pure, for there are those who care,

I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare;

I would be friend to all, the foe, the friendless,

I would be giving and forget the gift.

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up, and laugh and love and lift.

With the peaceful transfer of power two days away, may our prayers be that President Trump reflect some of these same attributes once he takes the oath.

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Clayton Felts

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