Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Last night, before I went to bed I looked for one last time at my computer (a compulsion) and saw the tiny headline at the top that Ted Kennedy had died. Not sure why, but I started to cry, quietly, at my computer. I'm not the sort of person who cries like this but today, as I flipped through the paper and read his obituary I felt the tears prickling at my eyes, again. There's something about his florid face, his last in the family status, that whole convoluted, tragic history that gets to me. There's the fact of his brain cancer and the terrible seizures that he suffered that I can, of course, relate to. I also feel, in a depressing way, that his death is somehow symbolic of the healthcare reform issue in general. Maybe this is just the goofy way my brain works -- I'm looking for ways to defend myself, to ward off disappointment, to project my own despair over personal financial distress and what I think is right on this huge government undertaking. Or maybe it's because it's sad that someone so huge and so human, who spent his entire life working on issues that are important to little old me, has died. That's it, really.

***Robert Rummel-Hudson has a wonderful tribute to Ted Kennedy and a rebuke to all those who might slam him for his frailties, including a list of the many, many acts and bills that he championed over the forty-plus years of service to our country. Go read it HERE.


  1. He touched our lives more than you can imagine. Without him, kids like ours would be much worse off ... an amazing senator and will be greatly missed. Your tears (and ours) are well shed.

  2. Thank you. Someone posted something mean on facebook this morning and it seems so pointless. I don't know why we expect politicians or leaders to be super-human. He was certainly human, and he did such great things as well. He will surely be missed.

  3. Yep. He touched the lives of everyone in the USA. He made lives better.

  4. I too cried last night. I called my DH from the bedroom where I was typing away, my laptop hazardously sitting at the edge of my laptable and an uncontrollable sob just broke before I could stopped it. Catching the laptop from hitting the floor startled me into what was happening. Like you I don't cry easily at bad news and he was truly worried about what was going on. Then I told him that Teddy Kennedy was gone.

    He sat with me and we both thought
    about the health bill and what he said once about it in 1994: "What we have in the United States is not so much a health-care system as a disease-care system" Amen to that.

    He was a fallible man, he was a man with faults and virtues. He was simply a man who failed and who helped multitudes. He was a man who earned the respect of many after a terrible mistake. He was just a man who found his redemption by caring for others. May he rest in the peace of his beliefs.

  5. Thanks for this link Elizabeth. I was sad to hear of his death too. The list of laws (even if incomplete) is so impressive. I thought I knew, and yet I didn't come close.

  6. Last night I had the TV on (which I almost never do at that hour) and I saw the breaking news there and I cried too. I think he was the last of his kind on many fronts. Today I kept the TV on while I worked and watched the many tributes and I began to feel hope about healthcare reform again. As loudly as the opposition is screaming, I believe there are more of us who want this and I believe the many tributes to Senator Kennedy's dedication to healthcare reform might just re-energize the many, many people who have just grown weary. What a wonderful tribute to his life it will be if he inspires enough unity to make this happen.



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