Thursday, August 27, 2009
...bottoms up for you!
I must confess most of my life I admired his brothers John and Bobby, the former with his cool, dapper countenance under pressure, especially during the Cuban missile crisis, and his contrite admission of failure in the Bay of Pigs debacle; the latter with his fiery defense of the weak and defenseless, together with is boyish smile. Senator Edward M. Kennnedy, in his earlier years, could not seem to fill in the big shoes of his older siblings and never got off to a roaring start when he tried his hand in presidential politics. But, like in other things in life, it is a huge mistake to define a person based on one or a few criteria.
Uncle Ted, as I will start addressing him from hereon ( although I had never met him ), came to my focus when Barack Obama announced his Quixotic dream of becoming President ( It wasn't delusion after all...It was vision - the difference was success ). Now back to Uncle Ted, this Lion of Boston...
He transformed his personal ( the death of a staffer through drowning while he was driving with her one night; divorce with his first wife ) and political ( presidential ambition )failures into hard-nosed legislative work few of us really tracked down, except for hard-core reporters on the Hill. His awesome works and humility are just slowly emerging in public, posthumous - civil rights, health care, meals-on-wheels, reaching out across the political divide, his Irish wit... and the fire of brother Bob, and the elegance of sibling John coalescing in his mature years with his inimitable poetic prose... the daily drudgery of pushing laws for the ordinary John, Juan, Ioannes, and Jun. Uncle / Tio / Tiyo Ted will be remembered, not just as a great American statesman, but as everyman. He rose beyond and crossed all kinds of barriers and saw humanity as one. He belongs to the world, a quintessential citizen of the earth.
Sail on, Uncle Ted... We are forever grateful for your humanity.