I cite below just a few paragraphs from Mark Leibovich’s After Diagnosis, Determined to Make a ‘Good Ending.’ Other than the reunion in the next life the description could be of my own father who shared much, especially the ice cream and the crooning (maybe not the James Bond) with Senator Kennedy.
And in fact my father and Teddy were friends in this life. Probably because, although at opposite ends of the political spectrum, they were both passionately attached to making a better world for the little guy.
I knew Teddy when I played with him on the Harvard freshman football team in 1950, and again when he returned to Harvard following two years in the Army. At that time he was still pretty much the pretty boy.
Life hadn’t yet knocked him down. But when it had, and on more than one tragic occasion, especially at Chappaquiddick, when he himself was most at fault for what happened, he probably then reached the decision to dedicate his own work, and survival in the Senate, to making life better for those without any of his great life advantages. And he became the so-called liberal lion or icon.
“As recently as a few days ago, Mr. Kennedy was still digging into big bowls of mocha chip and butter crunch ice creams, all smushed together (as he liked it). He and his wife, Vicki, had been watching every James Bond movie and episode of “24” on DVD….
“He took phone calls from President Obama, house calls from his priest and — just a few weeks ago — crooned after-dinner duets of “You Are My Sunshine” (with his son Patrick) and “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” (with Vicki).
“Mr. Kennedy had told friends recently that he was looking forward to a “reunion” with his seven departed siblings, particularly his brothers, whose lives had been cut short.
“When he gets there, he can say ‘I did it, I carried the torch,’ ” Mr. Delahunt said. “ ‘I carried it all the way.’”