Saturday, August 29, 2009

Teddy Kennedy Jr.'s Loving Tribute to His Dad - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Video)

You would have to have a heart of stone to be unmoved by the many loving tributes paid to Teddy Kennedy. Never mind that the Democratic senator, for nearly half a century, was a liberal hero and champion of civil and human rights for women, blacks, Hispanics, the sick, the poor, the disabled, immigrants, children, and other vulnerable and marginalized groups.

It was the stories from the children that moved me the most. Ted Kennedy lost two siblings by age of 16 and then he lost his two remaining brothers to assassination. Two of his children had cancer and one lost a leg at age 12. As the sole surviving brother, Ted Kennedy served as dad to the orphaned children of his brothers. All told, Teddy Kennedy was dad to almost twenty children. In the video below, Teddy Kennedy Jr. talks about the kind of dad his beloved father was. A box of tissues is highly recommended.

Boston Globe: But today I'm simply compelled to remember Ted Kennedy as my father and my best friend. When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with bone cancer and a few months after I lost my leg, there was a heavy snowfall over my childhood home outside of Washington D.C. My father went to the garage to get the old Flexible Flyer and asked me if I wanted to go sledding down the steep driveway. And I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg and the hill was covered with ice and snow and it wasn't easy for me to walk. And the hill was very slick and as I struggled to walk, I slipped and I fell on the ice and I started to cry and I said "I can't do this." I said, "I'll never be able to climb that hill." And he lifted me in his strong, gentle arms and said something I'll never forget. He said "I know you'll do it, there is nothing you can't do. We're going to climb that hill together, even if it takes us all day."

Sure enough, he held me around my waist and we slowly made it to the top, and, you know, at age 12 losing a leg pretty much seems like the end of the world, but as I climbed onto his back and we flew down the hill that day I knew he was right. I knew I was going to be OK. You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable and it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father's greatest lessons. He taught me that nothing is impossible.

Part 2 Teddy Kennedy, Jr. video
President Obama’s Eulogy for Ted Kennedy