“Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.” ---Tennessee Williams
I watched the funeral of Ted Kennedy yesterday. I learned. I laughed. I cried. But mainly, I learned.
Think whatever you want about Kennedy’s personal flaws and/or politics, he was the embodiment of the fact that none of us are incapable of exorcising our personal demons and resurrecting ourselves.
And…his legislative acumen, his financial fortuitousness, his silver spoon hanging from his mouth when he was born, aside, Ted Kennedy taught us all something…well, at least after watching his funeral, he taught me something.
After the tragic and unfortunate Mary Jo Kopechne incident and his failed Presidential campaign in 1980...Ted Kennedy changed himself.
It was a slow change, and only after meeting and marrying his wife, Vicki, was his transformation complete.
One person after another over the last few days, has praised Teddy. Republican and Democrat. Conservative and Liberal. The Haves and Have Nots. They have all told their stories about Ted.
More often than not, they have spoken as to his greatness and more importantly, his graciousness.
I am not using my blog today to give a Liberal blow job to Ted, although trust me, I could do that with no qualms. However…
What I am speaking about today, is this…whether you agree with Ted Kennedy or not, he has indeed taught us all.
For a long time, Ted Kennedy, in spite of being a wizard of legislation as a young Senator, put himself and his good times before others. But, he grew up…he redeemed himself.
He not only put his familial burden, his work, and his duty before others…Ted, after time, put his life before others. He no longer cared about his poll numbers, his image, or his legacy.
He said to every talking head, “Fuck ‘Em, I‘m a U.S. Senator and I am going to make a difference.”
Ted Kennedy in all of his wealthy glory, went to work everyday, never shied away from what he believed in, and never forgot his mistakes and human frailties.
We have all made mistakes. We have all hurt others. We have all sinned.
Ted Kennedy did it on a more public scale than us, but he continued to do his job and live life with zeal. He did so because he forgave himself and he made things right with his Lord.
Most of my readers are self-proclaimed Christians…and yet, many of them are not Christian. That’s fine, it is what it is.
I think Ted Kennedy can teach us all a huge lesson. Ted Kennedy could have shucked it all in.
He lost several siblings, including two by the bullets of assassins….
An entire segment of America continually wanted him to run for President, an entire extended family counted on him to be their surrogate father.
In that position, I may have curled up into a fetal position and sobbed. Ted stepped up and answered the call.
Say what you want about him…I think he acted in a super-human fashion. And more importantly…
In a human fashion.