As the surviving Kennedy brother I’m sure there was pressure on Teddy to lead, to do it all, and at times I’m sure he felt he failed, but in reality he gave and did so very much. He was always fighting for the little guy, the guy who had no voice, perhaps because of his low income or low education or his race. He was a friend to Union, a big plus in my family where the UAW gave us the lifestyle that we may have never had. Teddy championed fighting for health care long before the discussions and fights that have ensued lately.
Teddy was a son, a brother, a husband and father and a father figure to many of his nieces and nephews as their own fathers were not there. He was an eloquent speaker and statesman. Many of his quotes will live on for years to come. I still choke up when I hear the words he spoke at his brother Bobby’s funeral
“My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered 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.
Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.”
— Eulogy for Robert F. Kennedy, June 1968.
Teddy ran for the Democratic nomination in 1980 and he failed, I’m sure this was a sad time for a man who wanted that position very much, this is one of the quotes as he accepted his defeat.
“For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
— Addressing Democratic National Convention, August 1980.
I believe that Ted Kennedy lived his life as a proud man who knew he made mistakes, he was human. He was a devout Catholic but he had misgivings about many church doctrines, and in my mind that is acceptable, as he was a man who contemplated his own ideals of right and wrong. In the American dynasty known as the Kennedy family, perhaps he really took to heart the words his brother John spoke:
“To those whom much is given, much is expected.”
— John F. Kennedy (The Uncommon Wisdom of JFK: A Portrait in His Own Words)
Today I remember and mourn the passing of Ted Kennedy. A friend wrote on her facebook today that she is imagining him playing a great game of football with his brothers in heaven…….what a beautiful image that is. Rest in peace Teddy.
photos courtesy of google images