Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do You Believe in Redemption?

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. School has started again and I just had LASIK surgery, so I have been busy and then incapacitated (sort of). I will get back to the reguarly scheduled fashion posts as soon as possible (read: whenever I stop being lazy and get around to it).

Since my doctor forbade me from doing anything exciting for the weekend, I've been doing nearly nothing except listening/watching the coverage on Teddy Kennedy. Being of a younger generation, I wasn't exactly privy to the intimate details of lives of the Kennedys the way my mother and grandmother apparently are. But thanks to this weekend, I now know more than I ever needed/wanted to about the Kennedy family. I mean, I knew the family was known for its tragedies (JFK, RFK, Chappaquiddick, JFK Jr.), but I didn't know about Teddy's oldest brother who died in WWII, sister who suffered from a mental disability, his plane crash, role in the lives of Jack and Bobby's children, child stricken with bone cancer, divorce from a woman who battled with alcoholism, and failed presidential bid among other personal and family tragedies. I have a new appreciation for the theory of the "Kennedy curse." I can't imagine the enormous pressure he must have been under to not only live up to the expectations of his family, but, despite being the youngest child of Joe and Rose Kennedy, to act as it's de facto patriarch. It gave me a new perspective on the man. While he certainly wasn't perfect, he was most certainly human. Even though there are those who believe his mistakes rendered him beyond redemption, I think it is a testament to his character that he never stopped trying to find it. He made mistakes, and as tragic and devastating as their consequences were, he seemed to take upon himself the burden of atoning for them when lesser men would just make excuses. And while I certainly don't condone his actions at Chappaquiddick, I do admire his personal and public struggle for redemption.

For me, the most touching moment of the remembrance of Ted Kennedy was the eulogy given by his son Edward M. Kennedy, Jr. Sometimes I wonder if I have a heart of stone, but even I was choked up by this incredibly moving speech. The image of a 12-year-old Teddy Jr., whose leg was amputated due to bone cancer, being aided up a snow-covered hill by his encouraging father is both heartwrenching and heartwarming.

So, we say good-bye to Teddy Kennedy, a dutiful public servant who bore the burden of the Kennedy expectations and tragedies just by virtue of living. Now, he can finally rest in peace.

Now that I've gotten the sentimental stuff out of the way (leave it to me to kill the mood, but I hate to end with such sadness), let's dive head first into the shallow end of the pool. (I know, I know, this entire blog is basically an adventure in being shallow. So sue me!) Who knew young Teddy Kennedy was so attractive?! JFK gets all this attention for being so handsome, but, in my humble opinion, Teddy was the best-looking Kennedy brother. I present the following as visual evidence (as always, click on the images to make them bigger):

Let's all say it together: DAMN!

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