Uncle Teddy

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

As the world reflects on the remarkable life of the unflappable public official for the people, Senator Edward Kennedy makes his way to his final resting place in Arlington, Va.  There, after much pomp, ceremony and well-deserved offerings of respect and appreciation, he will join his older brothers John and Robert. 

You will recall that it was Ted who, by chance and choice, became the patriarch apparent to the siblings of his two siblings.

It’s no secret that the country’s third longest tenured Senator had a very dubious initiation into the worlds of politics and socializing.  His drinking and fondness for the ladies often made headlines when he and his family would have preferred that they be obscured on a page as far from the cover as possible.  When I think of the Senator, I am often reminded of Friedrich Nitcheze quip, “Whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger”.   The younger Kennedy brother was the ultimate personification of that statement.

Having eulogized two of his three fallen brothers and a nephew, continued his courageous battle with cancer, divorced from the mother of his children …  he still managed to genuinely care for the less fortunate.  Whether it was about a universal health care plan which he called the cause of his life, a fair immigration bill, an increased minimum wage, the civil rights of American citizens, regardless of their age, sex, ethnicity or religion and active support for the riddance of the HIV AIDS disease, this man stayed on a course bound for justice for all.

From Chappaquiddick to the Congress … Ted Kennedy was a true millennium renaissance man.   His problems were approached more like challenges; his defeats were over shadowed by his victories.   Over the years, I watched Senator Kennedy grow in ways seemingly impossible two decades ago.  Born into a family of wealth and prestige, he embraced the causes and demonstrably helped those less fortunate; with the best education available, he sought ways to teach those who understood less than he did; to those who disagreed with him, he made them feel comfortable in doing so. 

“Uncle Teddy” loved life and the people that comprised it.  He fought hard for more to be able to enjoy theirs.  Although this lion won’t be roaring in the Senate chambers any longer, the aftermath of his forty-seven years there will resound as a symphony of respect and fairness for all the days of our lives … and our children’s and theirs.  Edward Moore Kennedy, the guy that the people should feel comfortable calling “Uncle”… may he rest in peace.

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