The Dream Shall Never Die
Posted August 28, 2009on:
“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.” — Senator Ted Kennedy, 1932-2009
As if we needed to endure another momentous loss to get the hint…THE ERA HAS ENDED, THAT SHIP HAS SAILED. TV Land has been all about this man’s life, his tragedies…
but most of all his redemption. What a life he led!
For obvious reasons the affinity I have with US politics is somewhat limited. But the 40 years of dedication and commitment Sen. Ted Kennedy had given to this country, his fight to pass legislation on civil rights, immigration and healthcare got me immersed in his politics and the politics of this place. The media here did a very thorough job in highlighting his stellar and unmatched political career, which blew me away. The Lion that he was in the Senate fighting for his causes just won me over. But I was really more moved by the way he lived his life as the patriarch of the Kennedy Clan and his life after he was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer. He was focused in making a “good ending”. This man was ready.
After the death of his brothers, he stepped up and stood in for his fallen brothers on special occasions like the wedding of Caroline…
Or in any of the milestones in John Kennedy Jr’s brief life.
He was determined to fight the cancer tooth and nail (like Dinky Boy) not because he was desperately clinging on to his very blessed life but because he owed it to his son, Edward Kennedy Jr. and daughter, Kara, who themselves have fought (and won) a valiant battle against the Big C .
I’ve copied below excerpts of an article from the New York Times which documented the final months of his life. I was so amazed by how deliberate he lived his life to make that good ending. Here’s one about how he didn’t abandon his reposnsibilities as a Senator, a Democrat, a public servant.
“He kept in close touch with his staff and colleagues, and he was engaged in a running conversation with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, on the delicate subject of whether Mr. Kennedy would be available to vote. Mr. Reid assured him that he would not ever ask him to come to Washington unless his vote was essential. (His disease and treatments made Mr. Kennedy vulnerable to infections, so wading into crowded areas was risky.) When a crucial Medicare provision came up last summer, Mr. Reid asked Mr. Kennedy if he could make it down. Mr. Kennedy’s family and staff debated the issue until the senator ended it. “I’ll be there,” he said, according to a member of his staff who was involved in the decision. He received a standing ovation when he returned to the Senate floor, and the bill passed easily after he helped break a Republican filibuster.”
And how can you dirscount his unforgettable appearance in the Democratic National Convention in 2008? He was already sick but he just had to be there.
“After his emotional speech at last summer’s Democratic Convention in Denver, it was disclosed that he had been suffering from kidney stones and had barely been able to get out of his hospital bed a few hours earlier. He had to memorize the text of his speech because he struggled to see the teleprompter (his surgery had left him with impaired vision). The seizure Mr. Kennedy had at an Inaugural luncheon at the Capitol led his son Patrick to joke that his father was trying to overshadow Mr. Obama on his big day.”
He also made sure that he prepared himself spiritually. I don’t know why but I thought of Dinky Boy when I read this part. I guess because Dad left so peacefully. We sent him off with a lot of love and tears and armed with a whole bunch of prayers.
“The Rev. Mark Hession, the priest at the Kennedys’ parish on the Cape, made regular visits to the Kennedy home this summer and held a private family Mass in the living room every Sunday. Even in his final days, Mr. Kennedy led the family in prayer after the death of his sister Eunice on Aug. 11. He died comfortably and in no apparent pain, friends and staff members said.”
He spoke about reuniting with his brothers in heaven. When he does, boy does he have some stories to tell. But I think more importantly, he can tell them – I picked up the work you left, I fought for the causes we were passionate about, I defended the dream.
So how about we make this man, along with our favorite lady in yellow, our heroes for the month of August?
Photo Credits: nydailynews.com