And now a Kennedy has died of old age. Gray hair, legislative legacy, and the crowds pouring forward to call him blessed; it's a beautiful thing. I haven't seen this happen in my lifetime.
I remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was announced assassinated - my eighth grade Spanish class with Senior Saucedo - sitting next to Joy Nedoff and giggling about Loren Gilbertsen's steady stare.
Robert F. Kennedy died before our eyes on national television - and John F. Kennedy Junior was taken from us long before we had the opportunity to test his fitness for public life.
But Ted? He went on and on. Past Chappaquiddick, beyond divorce, alcoholism, the sex-abuse scandal of the nephew in his custody -past the rumored misconduct with a wide variety of young women - all the way to marriage with a young wife.
Teddy missed the bullets - dodged the scandals, and outlived the negatives that assailed his life.
The good he has done will be with us forever. The evil with which he gambled and bartered his immortal soul will haunt forever the families of those he personally injured and neglected.
Reinhold Niebuhr wrote a study on the human condition titled, MORAL MAN AND IMMORAL SOCIETY. His thesis was that the individual righteousness of a person cannot survive, nor can it prevail in community with other moral agents.
Kennedy proved this to be so. A man who prevails will be redeemed. Irrespective of his sin. Irrespective of his crime. His good deeds will follow him as his children rise and call him "blessed."