Jill Biden reflected on her first year in the White House as a time of healing.
The first lady claimed she did not expect to be so preoccupied with the worldwide pandemic, natural disasters, and political unrest during her first 12 months.
“I did not kind of expect, which was like a healing role, because we have faced so much as a nation,” she said according to the Associated Press.
Biden recalled visiting wildfire-affected families in Louisville, Colo. She comforted victims and expressed condolences for pets that died in the blaze. In addition, Jill Biden met with survivors of the deadly Christmas parade crash in Waukesha, Wis. She also visited tornado-affected parts of Kentucky.
“I think that is an important part of what I do,” she said according to the newswire agency. “I mean, just helping people through the tough times.”
The 70-year-old witnessed her fair share of tragedy in the family. Husband Joe Biden’s previous wife and baby daughter died in a car crash back in 1972. Jill mothered the president’s two surviving sons, one of whom (Beau) died from brain cancer during 2015. She also lost several close friends to breast cancer.
“I know the tough things that we have been through in our life and I know the, how much the acts of kindness have meant to me and to Joe,” she said according to the Washington Post. “So I just know what a difference it makes when you show up—I think showing up is really important.”
The first lady hopes the pandemic will ease enough for the White House to reopen its doors to tourists and artists. She will also focus on education, military families and promoting cancer research.
“It is going to be an exciting year,” she said according to the paper. “Everybody across this country is saying, ‘C’mon, it has got to be a better year.'”