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Oprah: Were you able to move on—or did it keep you in a dark place?

Laura: I grieved a lot. It was a horrible, horrible tragedy. It's a terrible feeling to be responsible for an accident. And it was horrible for all of us to lose him, especially since he was so young. But at some point I had to accept that death is a part of life, and as tragic as losing Mike was, there was nothing anyone could do to change that.

Oprah: What is the greatest misconception the American public has of you?

Laura: I don't think people know that much about me yet.

Oprah: What do you most want them to know about who you are?

Laura: I hope they see that I really do care about people—and that I really am interested in education.

Oprah: I do believe you. I'm sure we've had some first ladies who only cared about shopping and sunning, haven't we?

Laura: I'm sure that has happened—but shopping might get a little boring. And as the first lady, it's hard to shop when you have an entourage.

Oprah: I've heard that you don't care much about clothes anyway.

Laura: I'm not much of a shopper. I like to shop for antiques. I'm planning to go into Georgetown and shop for our ranch house.

Oprah: Is it true that cleaning closets relaxes you?

Laura: I like to get them really clean and organized once—and then I never have to clean them again.

Oprah: I also heard that you have all of your books organized by the Dewey decimal system. True?

Laura: They're not cataloged, they're just shelved that way. That just means fiction is in order by author and biography is in order by subject. So when we're looking for a book, we can find it.

Oprah: Do you read more fiction or nonfiction?

Laura: I mainly read fiction. I do read a lot of biography—I like to read about people—but I don't read a lot of other nonfiction.

Oprah: What has been your greatest life lesson? What has taught you the most about yourself?

Laura: A combination of things. I was lucky to have very loving parents who made me feel secure, and that has certainly been a huge advantage. I also have faith in God. I truly think life is a gift, and everything in the world is a gift to all of us. Every one of us is lucky to be able to look out at the beautiful blue sky and see the majesty of the world we live in.

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