Remembering Teddy

August 26, 2009 Uncategorized 10

Ted Kennedy
1932-2009

I grew up in a home that was alive with political discussion and involvement. A family that was passionate about our rights and our freedoms and admittedly a family in love with the Kennedy’s . My parents were in charge of a local Kennedy campaign headquarters when John ran for President, and while I was a baby as this was happening, it was exciting to look back on their role and how they loved this new leader. John Kennedy set the bar after his brother Joe died in World War II , and Bobby and Teddy followed with dignity and commitment.

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

10 Responses to “Remembering Teddy”

  1. Terra

    Oh that last sentance was a wonderful sentiment! This post was wonderful tribute! Glad I popped over to read it. It has been a hard year for “famous” deaths – maybe it always is maybe it is just that I “get” more of those that have passed this year.

  2. Pam

    Teddy’s passing seems to be a sad closing to the Kennedy Dynasty. Of course, the next generation is still there to carry the torch forward, but there was something magical and mythical about Ted’s generation. I love the image of him playing football with his brothers.

  3. My name is PJ.

    And, for that post, so eloquent and poignant, I shall be sending you an award – for your writing this time.

    My family’s roots are Bostonian, where Kennedys are honest-to-goodness royalty.

    I echo every word you said. Not until Obama have we had an orator with Kennedy skills – not even Clinton and he was great. That ‘boom’ you hear during thunderstorms? That’s the Kennedy clan at heaven’s dinner table. 🙂

    Great job, Anita!

  4. Lisa

    What a beautiful post. Well done. My mother was politically active in a small town way. She loved the Kennedy’s.

  5. Bonnie

    I love this post Anita. A few years ago I was obsessesed with reading all about the Kennedy’s. It was very interesting. I love the quotes especially the one he made at his brothers funeral.

  6. Sandy

    Anita, very nice, well done. I haven’t always been a fan of Ted Kennedy but I admit to a fascination with the Kennedys throughout my life. And I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard JFK was dead and sitting with my mother watching his funeral with my mother and seeing the tears running down her face.

  7. Denise K.

    What a wonderful post Anita…Teddy also had the same kind of brain tumor my mom did, and he also lived about a year after the diagnosis. Thanks for sharing all this great background! Nicely done!

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