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Bush aide: "Please put the harps back in the closet"

The chief of staff to former Pres. George H.W. Bush, who is in intensive care at Houston's Methodist Hospital, told Bush family and friends in an email today that the former president "would ask me to tell you to please put the harps back in the closet," saying, "He has every intention of staying put."

The aide, Jean Becker, added that Bush will be in the hospital for "a while," explaining, "He is 88 years old, he had a terrible case of bronchitis which then triggered a series of complications, partially brought on by the fact that he also has a form of Parkinson's disease."

"Is he sick? Yes. Does he plan on going anywhere soon? No. He has every intention of staying put," Becker wrote. "He would ask me to tell you to please put the harps back in the closet."

Despite early hopes that Bush would be able to spend Christmas at home, a persistent fever kept him in the hospital through the holidays. He was originally admitted to the hospital last month with bronchitis.

"I can assure you that the healthcare he is getting at Methodist Hospital in Texas Medical is unequaled anywhere," Becker wrote.

"Is there anything you can do? Yes, of course," continued Becker. "Keep him and the family in your prayers. I am thinking heaven has not seen such a barrage of prayer intentions since 'It's a Wonderful Life.'"

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