Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image – the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace.
From the Eulogy by Barack Obama
There is something to be said about having the last word.
The value of this book is that it is, our beloved Ted Kennedy’s, last words. A book to be treasured in our permanent library. His last page has been turned.
Coming from an Irish family, I know that inner thoughts are not shared with others except our most intimate family and friends. And not much with them. Secrets are held tightly. Words not spoken.
For the first time, in this touching memoir, Ted Kennedy describes his feelings and the profound heartbreak and struggle in the wake of the deaths in his family.
He hides nothing because the last drafts were written as he knew he was dying. There was nothing more to defend. There was no fear when he heard a firecracker or a car backfiring.
And woven through it all, he describes his work in the Senate on the major issues of our time–civil rights, Vietnam, Watergate, the quest for peace in Northern Ireland–and the cause of his life: improved health care for all Americans.
Kennedy addresses the controversies too with unprecedented candor – admitting his mourning of the accident at Chappaquiddick every day he lived.
He tells of the love story with the woman who changed his life in middle age, Victoria Reggie Kennedy. That unlikely meeting turned out to be the blessing of his life to the end.
His funeral was felt by many as a personal family loss. We were there as mourners through our televisions sets. His family, including his sons and nieces and nephews were ours. We longed to hold and comfort the small children. The stories told by his friends of his kindnesses brought tears to our eyes. And to theirs – these sophisticated and hardnosed politicians – some who were his toughest opponents.
An editorial review says it all about his last book –
Hundreds of books have been written about the Kennedys. TRUE COMPASS will endure as the definitive account from a member of America’s most heralded family, an inspiring legacy to readers and to history, and a deeply moving story of a life like no other.
We hold this generous fine man in our hearts and wish him smooth seas and a brisk wind on his journey to forever.
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