Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Lion of the Senate Finally Rests

As I watched the services for Ted Kennedy Friday and yesterday, a lot of emotions ran through me. The stories provided a look into the life of the public man that had so many private moments. Each person had a funny "Teddy" story and always the Kennedy's displayed such strength. His widow was so strong and took the opportunity to thank and hug as many people as she could.

There were many things we already knew about Teddy but then there were the things that we probably did not know:

He took time from the Senate each week to read stories in a school in Washington. There was one of the children along the procession route that stated she did not know that her "friend" Ted was someone important. He read to her when she was in elementary school and gave her a book. It was inscripted to her and signed "Your Friend, Ted." She had it along with her and released a patriotic balloon and said a prayer for his family.

He wrote letters and kept in touch with many of the victims of 9/11, plus wrote letters to them on the anniversary each year.

He was the first to call or visit if anyone close to him had sickness or tragedy in their family.

Saturday evening, there was the replay of the HBO Documentary - Teddy in His Own Words. In it, some of the Nixon recordings showed that Nixon really wanted to find anything on incriminating on Teddy which wasn’t really surprising since Nixon could be quite paranoid.

He talked about many of the things that shaped his life from his brothers’ assassinations, Chappaquidick, Teddy Jr’s bone cancer and his bid for the White House.

In 1979, a very young Bill Clinton introduced him at a conference where he was adamant about his desire for health care for all Americans. Until his death, that was a fight he continued.

I believe that we are all put here for different reasons. I do not think Teddy was meant to ever become President of the United States. He was exactly where he was supposed to be on the Senate and the champion for so many acts and laws in affect now.

He was the only Kennedy brother I knew, JFK was killed before I was born and RFK was killed when I was a few months old. The family has lost a big part of their family; he held them together. Judging from the crowds at the Capitol and along the routes, the world feels the same.

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