Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Teddy Kennedy: Such Rough News

I am so very saddened to read the increasingly grim news about Senator Edward Kennedy's diagnosis. It sounds as though his cancer is a particularly vicious one (if there is such a thing), a direct attack on intellect and humor and energy.

There aren't many politicians of his ilk remaining. And whether your views and his are in sync (as in my case) or not, his passion and his energy for his work are, to use a tired phrase that in this case is true, awe-inspiring.

Robert Kennedy was the first politician who caught my attention, providing me with a vision of what politics might mean and accomplish. On the day that he was killed, I went to the town pool to do something that terrified me. I climbed to the top of the high board, looked down at the water which seemed to be about five miles beneath me, and decided that the only way that I had to honor his life was to dive in. Over and over again. I've never felt the slightest desire to dive off a high board since then, but that afternoon it was a means by which a small-town fourteen-year-old could demonstrate just the tiniest bit of courage in response to someone who had looked as though he might challenge our country to big things.

I wish I could make a high dive on behalf of Teddy Kennedy today.



6 comments:

Carol said...

Well said, Robin. I, too, have been shaken by this news. Oh, and I also HATE high dives!

LawAndGospel said...

Dealing with this very thing with a close friend. It is utterly heartbreaking on so many levels.

Paul said...

When I was a senior in high school, I got to meet two celebrities at the school door (due to my lofty student gov status, don'tcha know). Carl Yastrzemski was an obnoxious lout. Ted Kennedy was the most genuine, gracious adult I'd ever met.

mompriest said...

It does seem like an era is coming to an end...so sad. I hope he can live the rest of his days in comfort, dignity, peace, and well, the kind of quality he is used too - intellect, humor, etc...I remember the night Bobby was killed too. I was a little younger. My mom came into my room and woke me up to watch the news with her. She was alone and needed company and I am grateful for the memory of that night, sad as it was, it has left an impact on me too.

Lisa :-] said...

It is an awful shame. Ted Kennedy is the last of his kind. Hard to think of the US Senate without a Kennedy...

Kathryn J said...

My first vivid memory is the day JFK died. I had just turned 5 and couldn't figure out why all the adults including my kindergarten teacher and older kids were crying. I am the same age as Caroline Kennedy and was truly shaken by watching her through the next week.

The family has known a lot of tragedy. I was so sad to hear the news about Ted Kennedy but grateful for the relatively long life he has had and the good he has done for our country.