The Scotts have watched their family grow, becoming grandparents to Auguste in November 2011. Ann tries to visit him at least once a month in Naples, doting on him with books with holes for finger puppets. She keeps a crib for him at the mansion.
The Scotts also have dealt with personal sorrows from Tallahassee: In 2012, they lost all three of their remaining parents. Ann’s father, James, died in January; her mother, Kathleen, in September; and Esther Scott in November.
“I never thought I would lose both my parents so close together,” she said. “It’s just a strange feeling.”
They grieved their losses in the public eye, receiving words of condolence from people who never knew their parents.
Ann says she does not pine for their old life.
“You know what? I would never stop him from doing what he wants to do. I never have,” she said. “I’m really proud of him that he wants to make a difference and make Florida a better state.”
At that first press conference at the Tallahassee hospital, Ann smiled and started to tell reporters about her baby journal for new moms.
She thanked the hospital’s CEO for a generous introduction and the small crowd for showing up.
“I see a lot of friendly, smiling faces out there,” she said, “which is nice when you’re the one up here.”
She took her time through the four-minute speech. She had practiced her points over and over, about reading to her children at an early age and tricking them into eating their vegetables. She measured her words. Her voice shook only a little.
She finished to polite applause and greeted attendees on her way out, including a reporter who asked a question. An entourage of media, security, hospital staff and governor’s press handlers followed her into the hospital room of a new mother.
As cameras rolled and flashed, Ann showed her the baby journal and turned a few pages. She stroked the newborn’s cheek and turned to the mother.
“I think you’re very brave to have let all of us come in here today,” she said. “I don’t know if I would have been that brave.”
Herald/Times reporters Steve Bousquet and Tia Mitchell and Tampa Bay Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.