Like the rest of the world, I feel that we (the public) have lost a true fighter in Senator Edward Kennedy. Regardless of your political beliefs, he fought hard for the issues that he believed in and truly was a great Senator. Since his passing, I have been exposed to another side of the Senator that has truly made me cry as well as think, what is the measure of one’s life?
While watching Nightline last night, I was introduced to a woman that felt she owed her life to Senator Kennedy because he was instrumental in her family being allowed to leave Russia and emigrate to the United States and thus receive the medical care and attention that she desperately needed to live. There was another story about journalist John Karl and after his family’s car accident that the first call he received was from Senator Kennedy and how it made him smile. My local news shared the story of Priest from Virginia that was close to Senator Kennedy and how the two talked and how Senator Kennedy was always there with words of encouragement.
There are countless people from Vice-President Joe Biden, Senator Orrin Hatch and the Massachusetts family members of those that lost their lives in 9-11 that have shared how Senator Kennedy was there for them during their time of need and went out of his way to make things better, brighter, more manageable.
What a testament to his life that behind the scenes, he was so giving of himself to help others make it through, to bring a ray of sunshine into a cloudy day. Some speculate that all of the tragedies that he and his family have experienced have equipped him in such a way that he can and does empathize with others and their plight. Truth of the matter is, many of us go through tragedies but not all of us see beyond ourselves to help others that may need us, our strength, a word of encouragement or just a hug.
The speculation of what will become of the Kennedy family legacy is a hot topic right now. I think one of the main things we can take from their lives is that we all can do something to make someone’s life better if we would just take the time to look beyond ourselves.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow