We all may have lost former President George H. W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush within months of each other last year but — at least for granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager — their memory still lives on in the hearts of family, friends and the nation.

“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,” Jenna — who was just named Kathie Lee Gifford‘s fourth-hour Today show cohost alongside Hoda Kotb — told People in a new interview.

The 37-year-old recalled just how special her grandparents made all the kids in the Bush family feel by spreading their adoration evenly, noting that twin sister Barbara Pierce Bush even said each grandkid thought they were the favorite while growing up.

Back in 2018, Barbara passed away in April at the age of 92 and George Sr. passed away in November at the age of 94. The couple had been married for 73 years and gave way to numerous children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.

“It’s also like, ‘Wow, to build a family the way that they did where everybody really loves each other,” Jenna said, adding that “family was a priority” to them.

Bush family on vacation
Getty Images

In the wake of their passings, Jenna also revealed that she has seen her father — former President George W. Bush — step up in a big way. She said he has been “doing well” and has been taking over as the leader of the family. Jenna knows it is a big challenge but knows in her heart that “he can do it.”

Speaking of big challenges, sources told Closer Weekly that Jenna has “huge shoes to fill” on Today but the journalist has gotten nothing but love from Kathie Lee and colleague Savannah Guthrie.

We’re sure Jenna’s grandmother and grandfather are proud of her as she embarks on this new professional adventure.