TODD: Now, Rush in private. Rush always wanted to share everything about his life, and today Kathryn has shared something incredibly personal and beautiful with us. This is a short conversation between Rush and Kathryn about the plans for Rush’s funeral.
KATHRYN: So I am walking with Rush and explaining to him his event, and I told him all he has to do is show up, which I’ve also arranged. (laughing)
RUSH: (chuckles) Yeah, and it is an event, and it’s awesome! I mean, I hope you get invited to it.
KATHRYN: (chuckles) Yeah.
RUSH: I mean, what she just described to me is incredible. Sorry I’m gonna miss it. But —
KATHRYN: (laughing) You’re gonna have a front-row seat.
RUSH: But I’ve just said to her, “I can’t believe it. It’s so cool!”
RUSH: I can’t believe I’m sitting here talking to her about my funeral.
KATHRYN: But we decided that we would be open and direct on it so that we can plan it very beautifully, and I told Rush that he is just shy of a president, and presidents get this kind of treatment; so he deserves that.
RUSH: So that’s a little heads-up on what’s coming.
KATHRYN: It’s gonna be beautiful. Be there or be square. Rush, don’t be late.
RUSH: That’s up to you.
TODD: (laughing) That’s a husband and wife in an incredible moment. Did you hear our Rush with dignity and humor and even excitement? Kathryn Limbaugh joins us for your phone calls next on the EIB Network.
TODD: It’s an incredible honor now to welcome Rush’s beloved wife, Kathryn, to Rush’s show. Kathryn, that was an extraordinary gift you gave us of that audio clip of you and your husband speaking, and I speak for millions of listeners when I say thank you.
KATHRYN: Oh, you’re absolutely welcome. It’s great to be here with you again.
TODD: I just want to ask off the bat, how are you faring?
KATHRYN: You know, I’m doing okay. Of course, it’s a very difficult time. But I really, truly feel we are all going through this process together, and it’s very much a process. And I think it helps us to all be together and grieve in a sense and keep our Rush with us in that way.
TODD: You know, there are just millions of people listening to this who have grown up as I did with your husband, Kathryn, and I’ve seen the pictures that are gonna be at RushLimbaugh.com of what you called “the event” in this clip of Rush with this optimism even at that point.
TODD: And it looks like an incredible event. So can you talk us through this funeral for your husband.
KATHRYN: Absolutely. So that conversation happened last year in about October. And we were walking around our house and just talking briefly about his upcoming “event.” (chuckling) We use the word “event” because that was a little bit more (chuckling) fun than the other. But, yes, we did plan this through all of last year knowing that at some point the day would come.
Obviously, it came a lot sooner than we would have hoped and liked, but we did have a plan in place. The only problem was we had hoped to invite a lot of Rush’s friends, a lot of colleagues, and a lot of the listening audience. But due to COVID, we couldn’t do that.
So, it could only be an extremely limited number of immediate family, which is why I wanted to share a bit with you now so that you could all feel as though you were a part of it some way. So, yes, in that clip, you heard Rush laughing about his upcoming event (chuckles), and it went exactly as he thought it would and had heard about.
I obviously left out a few key details that he didn’t really need to know, but he knew the majority, and he was very, actually, excited. So that can give you some comfort. But Rush was buried last Wednesday in St. Louis, Missouri, at a wonderful cemetery called Bellefontaine — it could also be pronounced “Bell Fountain” — a cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day, slightly chilly, but nothing like the snow that Missouri had had a few days prior. The sun was shining brightly and the really crisp air, and this cemetery is very historic. It has a lot of historic figures such as William Clark of Lewis and Clark expedition and others.
And just to picture it, it might remind you a bit of Arlington or other historic cemeteries around the world, with winding hills and pathways and big trees that are bare right now but in the upcoming months they will be full and green and very lovely to walk around. But as I said in that clip, I’ve always said Rush is just shy of a president, in my opinion.
And we did a funeral that was very worthy of him. So we concentrated a lot on tradition and ceremony at every turn. From the moment that he left the house here in Palm Beach, there was a procession escorting Rush to the transport plane that would take him to St. Louis, and then when we arrived in St. Louis, there was a procession leading to the cemetery.
So he was never left alone in any aspect of this, and then once we got to the cemetery there was a horse-drawn carriage waiting for him, and it was simply stunning. There will be some pictures for you to see, but you could hear the clacking of the horse hooves as we walked through the cemetery following behind Rush. You could hear the singing of the birds.
It was very peaceful, very beautiful. And we followed behind the horse-drawn carriage until we reached the chapel. And when we reached the chapel, we had a small service in the chapel, which is located in the cemetery. Rush was escorted into the chapel to his favorite version of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
And you can picture hearing that song and seeing the American flag draped over Rush at the front of the chapel. It was perfectly fitting and absolutely beautiful. And then once we had a small ceremony there within the chapel, we followed behind Rush again in the carriage leading down towards the burial site.
And it was just stunning, if you can imagine, looking forward through a winding road to see this beautiful carriage with Rush in it and then flags around his gravesite. So as we approached the gravesite you could see these powerful American flags waving in the wind and the sun was shining directly on that spot.
It couldn’t have been more fitting.
So Rush was escorted to his final resting place. We prayed around Rush, and we also played some of his favorite music, such as America the Beautiful by Ray Charles, and also a musical version of the Irish Blessing, which we knew Rush loved. So it was absolutely stunning with a beautiful oak tree overhead, the sun shining directly on Rush. Very patriotic and very worthy of him.
TODD: Oh, it sounds like everything that Rush deserved. There’s gonna be pictures at RushLimbaugh.com. I only have about 30 seconds before we go to a quick break. I just wanted to tell you in that sound clip I heard, I heard a Rush who was probably given to reaching over occasionally and holding your hand. He sounded… I just had this picture of him just with such warmth for you.
KATHRYN: Absolutely, and we laughed a good portion of the time, as well. (laughing)
KATHRYN: You also know Rush’s side. He was very sarcastic, as am I, so a good portion of the time we laughed. We made fun of the upcoming event in a way. (chuckling)
KATHRYN: But it was clearly very serious and an important moment in time.
TODD: Yeah. It is. Kathryn Limbaugh is with us. When we come back, you’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to talk with Kathryn about her Rush and to learn more about our Rush — her Rush and our Rush. One person, but known in different ways.
TODD: I’m gonna take host prerogative quickly. Kathryn, if it’s okay, I’m gonna get to the phones. I heard you talk with Mark Steyn, and it was an extraordinary conversation. I just want to see if I can boil this down to a time. When you met Rush, can you think to the time when you realized that you had begun to really love this man?
KATHRYN: I would say right away, the first time that we went out for dinner. I spoke about that last time, but when we went out to dinner, he just was so incredibly well spoken, as you can imagine. He was a gentleman. He was kind, but also, he was very funny. And our humor connected (chuckles) right away at the beginning. So I would say years and years ago, I first knew that I loved him, and over the years, it’s obviously grown with even more deep admiration.
TODD: It’s just a beautiful story. And with your permission, we’ll talk with Liz in Hubert, North Carolina. Liz, you’re on with Mrs. Kathryn Limbaugh.
CALLER: Kathryn, thank you so much for sharing these moments with us. I’m so thankful for the last seventeen years as a military wife, I have moved a lot. I have four small children. My husband’s deployed four times. And there have been many days where I was trying to make new friends or at least some family, and there’s some loneliness.
And I have always had Rush to turn on. And I’ve always known that he’s gonna be there to speak truth and reason into a world that sometimes doesn’t make sense. And I’ve always (unintelligible) his message of hope and his inspiration. I look back on my life, and I’m so thankful that I found him early. I started listening in ’92 at 12. And I started thinking about conservatism.
And I can look back, and I count those — every time I spoke up in high school and in college against policies. that I know are not right and are not good. And he inspired me to do that. He gave me the courage to actually just say, “Hey, there’s a different way. Hey, let’s try this.” And I have always loved that.
And as our four children have grown, our Rush Babies… Before we bought the books, we bought the CDs with Rush’s voice of all the Rush Revere books and we listened to them, kind of like old serials with the family around and the kids around. And they listened over and over. And I know that that… I just realized that that’s a lot of you that inspired that and written that.
We thank you for Rush’s voice and thank you for your voice and the time and energy that you put into that (choking up), because it has made a difference in my life. I’m thankful for Rush’s influence on who I am, because, you know, he made me a better conservative. He made me… I’m just so thankful for the beautiful life I’ve created and his influence, and I realize now you had a huge part in that, and I want to say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you’ve done to write and to support Rush.
TODD: Thank you, Liz.
KATHRYN: Thank you, Liz. Thank you o much for calling in and taking the time. And I really appreciate what you said about the military in particular. I completely understand what it’s like to move a lot. I did as well. And missing Rush and having that stability, I can completely relate to you on that as well as millions that are listening.
So thank you for your service, first and foremost. I know that’s a very difficult role to be at home while your husband is deployed with your children. So kudos for doing that on our behalf. And secondly, in terms of how Rush helped to shape your life, I think he did do that with so many.
And what I want to encourage people to do as we go forward is to continue that and say to yourself, “What would Rush want me to do?” or, “What would he encourage me to do?” or, “What would Rush think on this?” And I think that’s our best way of continuing Rush forward. And on my side, I will certainly continue the books in some respect.
In fact, since William Clark is in St. Louis (chuckles) along with Rush, maybe Rush Revere will have to go and explore (chuckles) the Gateway to the West. We will see. But I will certainly do my part to keep Rush and Rush Revere alive so that younger generations can hear the great stories of our founding.
TODD: Liz, thank you so much for sharing with us, and I join Kathryn in thanking you for your service. Kathryn, I think we might have just heard a new Rush Revere book born —
TODD: (laughing) — courtesy of where Rush’s been laid to rest.
KATHRYN: Yeah, thank you.
TODD: Yeah, I think that would be terrific. I wanted to ask you, I talked to someone who escorted your husband to Afghanistan and was there when Rush talked to a young girl who was going to school for the first time, and the Taliban had been stricken from the area. Rush was in this dangerous position in the area talking to her. He didn’t speak her language, but he was so intent on listening to her. And it’s just a heartwarming story. I wanted to ask you, what was Rush like around kids?
KATHRYN: You know, it’s funny. He was always nervous because I think he felt that he didn’t know how to connect. But I’ve heard from so many people who have children; they have said he was wonderful with children. In fact, a close friend of mine was 8 at the time, and he was going through brain cancer, and Rush met him and had breakfast with him every morning. And he shared a story with me that Rush was as kind and able to connect as anyone possibly could be. So I think he was his own worst critic but he was actually wonderful with children.
TODD: (chuckles) Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me given Rush’s creativity and zeal and humor.
TODD: Let’s talk to Jerry in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jerry, you’re on with Kathryn Limbaugh. Welcome.
CALLER: Thank you so very much. Kathryn, thank you for coming back on. (choking up) I’m gonna try to keep it together. I wanted to ask you if you would tell us some reminiscences about Rush with your animals. I’ve been listening to him for decades and remember hearing him talk about Punkin. And he was a cat guy.
And then when you came into his life, you brought the dogs, and you didn’t just get any dogs. You got old English sheepdogs. That’s a lot of dog! (laughing) And I would… I have a Spinone Italiano. I’ve had a golden retriever. So I’m a big dog person, medium to big dog person.
So when you got a sheepdog, I said, “Holy heck!” But I would love to hear about Rush with your dogs. I know he loved all your animals. I also just wanted to say (choking up), I’m so very sorry, and I think about you and I think about Rush every day. And it gives me a little bit of peace to think about Rush playing golf with all the greats.
CALLER: And I’d also like to think about his dad meeting him and telling him how proud he was.
KATHRYN: And again, I am so sorry for your loss. I hear it in your voice, and I share that sentiment as well as so many who are listening. But an uplifting story in terms of the dog and Punkin and Allie. So Rush absolutely loved his cat. That definitely was a first love. (laughing) Punkin was primary, and then after Punkin passed, I drove up actually to Jacksonville to find a Punkin number 2, and I did.
I brought back a surprise in Allie, the cat. So Rush absolutely loved this cat. It was so funny to see them together because here he is, this larger-than-life person who just came off the radio speaking to millions and now he’s really being run (laughing) by this little cat, Allie, who wanted to be fed and petted and everything. But he adored her.
She slept right next to him in bed and actually woke him up often to go and be fed. But in terms of the dogs, he loved them. So we started with one, Abbey, who is the queen of the pack, and then we continued on with four. So we have four very large and hairy old English sheepdogs who we consider our kids. (laughing) And Rush was definitely the sweeter of the two of us to them.
I adored them, but I was a strict rule enforcer, but he was not. He would always give them extra treats and extra biscuits. So they loved him. Whenever I was away, he would make sure that he was raiding the biscuit jar and giving them all plenty of treats.
So he loved to call himself Mr. Dog Biscuit, and he said, “They only love me because I’m Mr. Dog Biscuit.” (laughing) I said, “No, they love you for more than that,” but… So he was great with them. He loved to walk in the yard with them and always went in before work or after work and said, “Abbey!” Abbey was certainly his favorite out of the group.
TODD: Kathryn, I hope that Rush’s audience hears this extraordinary moment, that Rush was a worldwide celebrity known by one name —
TODD: — and yet his wife, you, are sharing him with us this way. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard this done. And we’ll continue to take calls. But I just want to thank you for your grace and your vulnerability. Thank you for sharing with us.
KATHRYN: You’re most welcome.
TODD: We’ll continue with Kathryn Limbaugh on the one and only EIB Network.
TODD: It’s Todd Herman filling in for our departed friend who left us way too soon, Rush Limbaugh, with his beloved wife, Kathryn, so gracious to spend time with us today. And, Kathryn, one quick host question. Do you have something you carry with you that reminds you of Rush? Now, obviously, you have the memories — and, frankly, he lives everywhere, given how much of an impact he made on this country. But is there any keepsake you keep to remind you of Rush?
KATHRYN: Absolutely. In fact, I have it on every day. I have his wedding ring that is around my neck with a cross. So I have that every day with me everywhere.
TODD: It’s a beautiful, beautiful picture. Let’s talk to Paul in Parkland, Florida. Paul, you’re on Rush’s show with Rush’s beloved wife, Kathryn.
CALLER: Hello, Todd, and hello, Kathryn. So nice that you are taking calls again. Quickly — I was told I’d keep it short; so I will — I spoke with Rush several, several years ago. And I was always trying to get to talk to him again. But, in any case, moving right along, up towards the end there, I got a gut punch when he said he had been diagnosed.
I had two brothers who were diagnosed and gone within six weeks of the diagnosis. So every day that went by that Rush was still there, I was very grateful to be still hearing him. And then as time got close towards the end here, I saw him on the Dittocam; I listened to him on the radio. He was so enthusiastic. He was right there.
He was 100% the whole time. And I was terribly impressed with that. And then all of a sudden there was a lot of guest hosts and it was treatment week and it dragged out and I think I started to worry about that. And then when I heard you on that radio that day I just fell to pieces. But, in any case, I want to know, when did you know?
When did Rush know that it was time that he couldn’t do it anymore? ‘Cause I know he would do it no matter what; if he could get himself to that microphone, he would. But when did you finally…? You two sat and probably made a decision, it’s time for him to just kick back and let nature take its course.
KATHRYN: Sure. And thank you so much for your call. I think honestly this is something that Rush would not mind me sharing because I think he’d be proud of it. So it is a little more intimate, I guess, but I will share with you that he was always committed to the radio and to all of you. He adored it, and it was the one thing that kept him going throughout.
To be honest, he probably didn’t feel well enough to do the show a good portion of the time, but that wasn’t going to deter him at all. He was 100% committed to the campaign, to President Trump. All of last year, he would not take “no” for an answer in terms of going on the show. So he pushed forward as often as he could.
And then towards this year and what happened recently, the blessing — and I think this will give all of you some comfort — is Rush really didn’t know that it was his last show. He didn’t know that day that he spoke to all of you and had a wonderful show that that was, in fact, the last time that he would be at the studio. So he left that day thinking that he would be coming back the next day.
And, unfortunately, he just got a little bit sicker and sicker by the day, and we had to take a bit of an emergency action for him. But the blessing in this is that he knew he was going to heaven, but he didn’t know that that was his final show and didn’t know that he would not be speaking with all of you directly again. So that does provide some comfort that it was peaceful and unknown.
TODD: That is an incredible amount of comfort. And you mention Rush knew he was going to heaven, Kathryn Limbaugh. I have to imagine that gives you a great deal of comfort.
KATHRYN: Absolutely, yes. We talked about it all the time, and you may recall he always said practically every show that he thanked God for being able to wake up that day. And that’s really how he took it, one day at a time, and knew that it was God’s plan and we would go forward as we needed to. But he knew ultimately that he would return to heaven and be greeted by everyone who’d gone before him.
TODD: I wanted to ask a quick question. We’ve got about a minute and a half left with Kathryn Limbaugh. Is there anything we can do for you?
KATHRYN: Aw, thank you. Honestly just knowing the numbers of people that are out there grieving gives me comfort, not because they’re grieving. Because we’re sharing in it together. I’ve read so many wonderful messages, and all of what you’re saying is so kind. And I just encourage you all to carry on what Rush started, and that would give me such comfort to know that Rush will live on through all of us. And we will continue his mission and continue to support our wonderful country as he would want.
TODD: I’ve spoken with people, Kathryn Limbaugh, who became sober because of Rush —
TODD: — started businesses because of Rush. I myself got into the tech business and had a career I couldn’t have ever imagined because of the words your husband shared. Greatest professional honor I ever had was sitting in this seat filling in for your husband, and that’s now just topped by getting this opportunity to speak to you.
And I hope that you will make a habit — and far be it from me to ask, but I hope that you will connect with this audience as the show continues, as we continue to feature Rush’s wisdom and his voice. I just… As one listener of many, to you, it’s an incredible comfort to hear you.
KATHRYN: Absolutely. And he has always considered you all an extended part of our family, and I do as well, and I want to make sure you all listening know how much we care about you and sharing your grief. So I will be here as often as you would like to hear me. Unfortunately, I’m not Rush (laughing), but I will try my best.
TODD: Yeah. (laughing) No one is. No one is. Well, Kathryn, go with God’s good grace and comfort, and we thank you so very much today.
KATHRYN: You’re very welcome. All the best to everyone.
TODD: Indeed. Todd Herman thanking you for Kathryn Limbaugh on the EIB Network.
TODD: I just got the most amazing news. Kathryn Limbaugh is going to stay with us and continue to talk to us, Rush’s audience, about her husband. And if you didn’t hear and you’re just jumping into the program, as Rush would say, “New listeners joining every single second.”
If you didn’t hear an extraordinary piece of audio — which is going to be at RushLimbaugh.com, as I understand it, with some amazing pictures, as Rush Limbaugh was laid to rest in a beautiful setting and a setting with famous Missourians, and certainly what Rush deserves. So as we roll through this, I would just ask you to reflect on something.
‘When was the last time the wife or husband of a celebrity — and I never thought of Rush as a “celebrity.” I always thought of him as a professor and a patriot and an activist and a leader. And, of course, the reason he was so successful, or one of them, is he entertained us while he did all those things. You don’t build a radio show like this without that talent on loan from God, as Rush would say. Extraordinary to be able to visit with Kathryn Limbaugh who’s decided to stay for the next segment to continue to talk with you.
TODD: I’m speaking with Rush’s wife, Kathryn. And Kathryn Limbaugh decided to stay over this segment to speak with more of you. And, Kathryn, thank you for this. This is an incredible gift. Thank you for doing this.
KATHRYN: Absolutely. Happy to.
TODD: I’m gonna ask you one question and then I want to get into phone calls. People are so anxious to talk to you. Rush, to a lot of us, is a professor — he was an activist, he was a political thinker, he was an intelligence — and also this radio show became successful based upon his ability to hold an audience. Did he consider himself an entertainer at all?
KATHRYN: I wouldn’t say he considered himself an entertainer, but he knew he had to be entertaining, if that makes sense.
KATHRYN: In fact, he said that. So he really… He wanted always to make people laugh. He knew the subject matter was incredibly important. But what made him different and what he knew made him different was he put a spin to it that was funny and made people turn off the radio and be inspired but also laugh a bit, despite the very serious topics. So I would say he considered himself entertaining. (chuckles)
TODD: That’s a perfect way to put it. So many people are anxious to talk to you. Let’s roll this off and kick it off with Mike in Cape Coral, Florida. Mike, you’re on the Rush Limbaugh program with Rush’s beloved wife, Kathryn. Welcome.
CALLER: Thanks, Todd. Kathryn, my deepest and most sincere condolences. (chokes up) I’m sorry. Um, I just want to thank you for that very descriptive, audible re-account of Rush’s funeral. I’ve been blind for the past 16 years, and so to hear it with such detail given (choking up), felt like I was there.
KATHRYN: Oh. I’m so glad, Mike. That’s what I was hoping, and I’m so sorry for the loss that I can hear. You know, it’s funny. I took notes at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies just like you (laughing) and just like all of the listeners.
And I remember Rush always said, “You need to paint a picture in people’s minds, and you need to let people feel like they can be a part of it,” and that’s what I hope to do. Not quite as well as he did, but I hope to give you that; so thank you so much. I’m very glad that you could imagine being there. Thank you.
TODD: Mike, thank you for phoning Rush’s show and for sharing your emotion with us and being open about that. We do appreciate it. Kathryn, when Rush was laid to rest, can I ask… It was a small ceremony, COVID, and the lockdown proscriptions created a smaller number of people there. May I just ask roughly who was there?
It was family and friends. Obviously, it’s a funeral and people are sad, but I heard this extraordinary clip of you and Rush talking in October about the event and Rush’s optimism. Was there that mix of happiness and optimism in that small group, and who was there, if I might ask?
KATHRYN: Sure. It was only immediate family. The COVID restrictions were quite tight, so it was our immediate family. We hoped we could have had a lot more people, a lot more friends, but, unfortunately, we couldn’t. So it was just immediate family. I would say that there was optimism in the sense that Rush was on his way to heaven but also that it was very patriotic and very worthy of him. So I think there was a sense of pride in the family that Rush had lived such a wonderful life and now was buried in the respect that he deserved.
TODD: It’s wonderful. And thank you for sharing these photos with us. Folks, those will be at RushLimbaugh.com. Let’s talk to Scott in Jacksonville, Florida. Scott, you’re on the Rush Limbaugh program with Mrs. Kathryn Limbaugh.
CALLER: Kathryn, hi. Longtime listener, 25-plus years. And I’m so sorry Rush is not with us anymore. But my question is, I’ve always been curious about if y’all had any semblance of a so-called normal life? I mean, did you get to go shopping, did you go…? I mean, there are so many wonderful restaurants in Palm Beach. Did you ever just spontaneously go out to dine? And if so, did he have to wear a disguise?
CALLER: Did y’all have any normalcy whatsoever?
KATHRYN: (laughing) It’s funny, because Rush would always say he specialized in hermit. (laughing) So his favorite thing to do was definitely to stay home and read his iPad and study for the show and work. That’s without question. If not that, then he likely would be golfing or something else. But we couldn’t go out to dinner too freely. He was very, very well recognized and, and people would come up.
But the one thing is everyone who came up in all the years of us going out, all were friendly and all were fans, and they felt as though they knew him personally, which made him a different kind of celebrity. They would come over and talk about his cats or anything. So there was a mix of that. There was a little bit of opportunity to go out, but probably not really freely as one would have it in a free sort of sense.
TODD: Thank you for that, Scott. Thank you for the question, and all the years of supporting Rush’s program. Kathryn, what do you wish women in general knew about your husband? I mean, I was both sad and heartbroken hearing you talk with Mark Steyn, but it was such an extraordinary interview, and you talked about Rush being on the C-list for this event. You were putting together a golf tournament —
TODD: (laughing) And then you met him and realized, “Oh, my gosh. We’ve made this tremendous mistake. He’s this beautiful gentleman.” What do you wish women in general knew about your Rush Limbaugh?
KATHRYN: Absolutely. That’s the one thing that is talked about sometimes in the media and he’s demeaned and not characterized in the right way. So I’m happy to talk about that. He was an incredible gentleman in every sense of the word. He was so polite. Not only to me, not only to women, but really to everyone. He was true and utter old school in that way.
He would open the door for me. He would make sure that I was seated. He would pull out the chair behind me. He was everything that you would hope a gentleman would be. He was very much that, and I sometimes hear things out there in the media and say, “That’s nothing like our Rush.” So we will continue to counter that image of him, ’cause it’s not remotely true. He was a true gentleman in every sense.
TODD: I love hearing you say it that way. I just love the way you expressed this love for your husband. Bonnie in Lexington, Texas, welcome to the program Rush Limbaugh built and the love of his life, Kathryn Limbaugh. Welcome, Bonnie.
CALLER: Thank you, Todd. Hello, Kathryn. Thank you for doing this for all of us. I want to say that every single one of us over the years that we’ve listened to Rush, we’ve learned so much from him. (choking up) But I must say that in this past year, he taught every single one of us how to live until we die, because he never minced words about it.
He was very forthcoming with us, and, as hard as it was to believe it, to know that it would happen, he did teach us how to live until we die. (choking up) And now you are showing us how to live, how to go on without him. And I just want to thank you for that. It’s tremendously encouraging that we can endure all of this together. And we do miss him tremendously. And it’s still difficult to wrap our heads around that he isn’t here now.
KATHRYN: Thank you so much, and I’m truly glad to be here and be able to talk with all of you and feel you’re part of our extended family and be able to grieve together. It is such an incredible loss. The void is tremendous. We all feel it. But I think we’re trying our best to say, “What would Rush want of us?” And I know he said this to me many times personally.
He wants me to go on. He wants us all to carry on. And he wants our country to remain a wonderful, miraculous country. So that’s my hope and mission is to inspire all of us to carry on in Rush’s honor and do what he would want us to do, which is continue his mission and continue to fight for our incredible country and conservative values.
TODD: Thank you very much, Bonnie, for the phone call. Kathryn Limbaugh, you’ve been so kind to stay over a segment. I can tell you that Rush’s audience would talk to you for weeks at a time.
TODD: We’ve taken so much of your time. May I ask this closing question. I watched the president bestow upon your husband the Medal of Freedom.
TODD: And I truly believe in all the years I observed your husband as a personality and thinker and celebrity, I do not believe I ever saw him shocked. What did you feel when you saw Rush’s response to receiving that medal?
KATHRYN: He was truly and utterly touched by that. We have deep respect and appreciation for Donald Trump doing that in such a manner that it could be seen literally all over the world. That was a huge moment in Rush’s life. It was a moment that he will never forget, and I will never forget.
He was overcome by emotion and felt so proud of being able to be there, to be honored in such a way by President Trump. It was remarkable. And what you saw on TV was exactly how he was feeling. He was stunned, thinking, “I’m just a young man from Cape Girardeau starting out, and here I am now.” It was tremendous. And we are deeply, deeply appreciative to President Trump for that honor.
TODD: No one deserved it more, given how he stood up for freedom and freedom of speech. I want to thank you again for your extraordinary commitment to this audience and this time. I’ll just close with one question for you: Is there any specific prayer you or the family would like at this time of grieving?
KATHRYN: You know, I listen and read prayers every single day. It’s helping to get through. But I spoke to Vice President Pence the other day. He phoned, very kindly, along with Karen Pence. And he left me with a bit of a prayer that says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,” and I have that written on a piece of paper that I carry around with me. And it’s just very inspirational. I thought that was something nice to keep with us. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”
TODD: Well, let the Lord be close to you and the Limbaugh family and the extended family and the extended family beyond that. You’re so gracious again to spend this extra segment with us. It’s your husband’s program. Clearly anytime you want on, you simply call, and that happens.
TODD: And I can tell you right now, just by the way the phones are going, it would be an extraordinary thing to do again. So thank you so much for your time, Kathryn.
KATHRYN: Absolutely. God bless you all. Thank you.