I am a Kennedy child. My parents were adamant supporters of the family and the Civil Rights movement. My early life was steeped in the words and sentiments that the various members of the Kennedy clan espoused. The mold was made and my soul was poured into it. The rest of my life would be lived in accordance to their teachings.
I remember the day JFK was killed. We were sent home from school without any word of what had happened. I found my mother crying next to the radio and she grabbed me in a desperate hold. She said that I must never forget what could be for our country. A few years later she and I repeated the same moment when Sirhan Sirhan killed Bobby. Three years later she would be dead at the age of thirty-four, but her words and inspiration never left me. I was a fucking Progressive pup, and I had to follow through to see the day that the Dream would become Reality.
And then there was Teddy. The scandal over Mary Jo bothered me, but during those years I learned that when one is drunk they don’t always notice details. People do make mistakes. Through the remaining years I came to respect the man who held the name Kennedy in our Congress. The Americans With Disabilities Act, the efforts to help people with HIV. The caring for Seniors and the little ones always grabbed me. These last few months when it finally seemed that he would achieve his desire for healthcare for all Americans felt to me like the crowning act of a person, who despite their position and wealth, lineage, always worked for little folks like me. Teddy was the real deal.
Three-something this morning, as I scanned my news feeds, I saw the notice of his death. I went through the same kind of feelings I had for Jack and Bobby, but this time I felt this event to be both a challenge and a promise, a further example of what this Nation was meant to be… a Nation of Equals.
Thank you Senator Edward Kennedy, Teddy in my mind. You continued the concepts of your brothers and broadened them into a philosophy for all people in this country. You are a great Spirit, and you will not be forgotten by those of us steeped in the ideas you promulgated. We are your kids, the Kennedy kids.
Teddy, here is my promise to your life and works; I will continue to fight the good fight for all people, even to my last breath. And as my Spirit leaves my corporal form, I will pass knowing that the Dream shall never die.