Today has been very upsetting for me. Ever since I heard the news this afternoon that Teddy Kennedy had died, there have been many thoughts rumbling around in my mind.
For openers, I am of the age and era wherein for many of us, JFK was our hero -cut down tragically in Dallas in 1963. I thought he was absolutely the best politician ever! I suppose one could perhaps say I kind of did worship him.
I also admired his brother, Bobby Kennedy too and mourned when he too was assassinated. And my thoughts then -and still to this day -often went to the Matriarch of this clan -Rose Kennedy -and all the grief she had to bear in her lifetime. Losing a son and a daughter in plane crashed, then having to bury two sons in the prime of their lives from being gunned down -plus the pain and anguish of having a child with special needs -how much should one mother have to bear anyway was the question that often passed in and out of my thoughts then.
I will be honest here and say that I didn't always approve of some of Ted Kennedy's antics -so to speak. Sometimes, I thought of him as being just the spoiled rich kid who got away with just about anything because his father had the money and connections to get him off.
But, still and all, there was something about Teddy Kennedy that made me believe if he had been running for the U.S. Senate from my home state -Pennsylvania -more than likely I would have voted for him because he did always support the same causes I felt deserved more attention and he frequently wielded enough power too that he was able to get many of the bills he supported passed into law. Bills that did much good over the years frequently for the segment of society I find myself a part of -the lower economic echelon that often gets forgotten, pushed aside, regarded as being "low-life" because of economics, pure and simple.
Yes, Ted Kennedy did do things that were wrong in his years on earth. But haven't we all done things that were illegal or immoral at some junctures too? Granted maybe not to the extent he did but were our "sins," our failures out there for the entire world to see and cast judgment then on us forever and a day after the fact too?
Frankly, I believe whatever bad this man did, he did more good in the 47 years he served in the U.S. Senate than many of the other members of that institution all rolled together have done!
He was often referred to of late as a "lion" and I do think he was that -ferocious in his fervor to work for the common good of all in this country!
Tonight, while watching the news broadcasts and also, the special tribute run by CBS on Ted Kennedy and his life -the tragedies he had to deal with, the triumphs of his work, his life, his family too -each time I saw them replay the excerpt from his eulogy for his brother, Bobby, hearing his voice crack as he gave that speech, brought me to tears again, just as it had when I first saw and heard that speech.
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.
And I think those words are most fitting with respect to the life of the late great "Lion" of the U.S. Senate -Edward "Teddy" Moore Kennedy too.
Certainly, my little post here can never reach as far as to his family members for me to offer my condolences to them in this loss but I do wish I could express my thoughts to them and to tell them too how grateful I am for all the hard work this man did on my behalf, for the benefit of my children and grandchildren and that I recognize as well as sympathize and empathize with them at this time, in their grief.
We -all of us in this country -whether some want to recognize this as fact or not -have indeed lost a tremendous fighter and great statesman.
He will certainly be missed!