Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

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!


Anonymous said...

"Don't let it be forgot that once there was a spot for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot."
The Kennedy's have always been regarded as "America's Royalty" and I too put them up on that fairy tale pedestal.. to a degree. Unfortunately I did not include Ted Kennedy in this immediate "American Royalty." I don't begrudge him all of the positive work he has done in the Senate as well as other areas of life, work that was indeed for the benefit of others. As was the Kennedy motto: "Where much is given, much is expected." I have always liked that quote and was glad that such a prominent family was aware of their blessings and good fortunes. However, all of the good deeds in the world will never make up for the girl Ted Kennedy left behind to drown all those years ago. And had there been any sort of punishment meted out at all perhaps I and many, many others would not hold onto that one great "sin" but there was no punishment, afterall, he is a Kennedy..
A heart felt post but I agree to disagree.

Smalltown RN said...

Hello my friend....sorry I haven't been's been a crazy busy summer....lots and lots of visitors.....

As for Ted....well I never had much respect for him.....but I was at the same time saddend at his death....kinda like the end to an era.....

Hope life is treating you well....

cheers....Mary Anne

Paula said...

This is really a good post, Jeni. I love how you titled it. I wasn't born yet when the Kennedy tradgedies began, but I know that my parents were deeply affected, as was all of America.

Suldog said...

Coming from Massachusetts, I'll tell you that I voted against him every chance I had - that's the truth - but I always admired how he wouldn't back down from his principled stand for some piece of legislation or another. He was a pitbull when he wanted something, and I think that's an admirable trait in a politician.


Sandee said...

I loved JFK and Bobby and couldn't stand Ted. He got away with vehicular manslaughter many years ago and I've not forgotten that. It just showed me that you can get away with breaking the law if you are rich enough. We watch that all the time. I thought he was a fruitcake.

Have a terrific day honey. Big hug. :)

Maggie May said...

It is always very upsetting when a famous person dies. The last brother...... the end of an era. I remember the shock of the older brothers dying. This death seems a horrible one too.

Dr.John said...

He will be missed indeed.

dr sardonicus said...

Fine post. He consistently fought the good fight on behalf of ordinary Americans for many years, and that is how he should be remembered. His eloquence and influence will be hard for the Democrats to replace.

fermicat said...

He was my senator for a dozen years when I lived in MA. I have a great deal of respect for him. He overcame his own failings and became a great man.

Travis said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.