Be your sail always full of the breath of the Lord
To take you to places both here and abroad,
With your hand at the helm and sea mist on your lips
And a chorus of Angels as mates of your ship.
When a lusty wind turns life into rough seas
Cursing, creaks in the mast, and you drop to your knees
With a glance to the heavens, jibe-ho head low.
Though your vessel drinks water and heels to and fro
Bear away my friend, raise up from your kneel
For the Lord holds on tightly while guiding your keel.
It was Irish weather, not a day to be sailing. But the skipper was leaving Boston for the last time, and 1,400 or so of Ted Kennedy's friends gathered to wish him bon voyage.
Excerpted from: President Obama's eulogy for Ted Kennedy
Through his own suffering, Ted Kennedy became more alive to the plight and suffering of others – the sick child who could not see a doctor; the young soldier sent to battle without armor; the citizen denied her rights because of what she looks like or who she loves or where she comes from. The landmark laws that he championed -- the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children’s health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act –- all have a running thread. Ted Kennedy’s life’s work was not to champion those with wealth or power or special connections. It was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add a rung to the ladder of opportunity; to make real the dream of our founding. He was given the gift of time that his brothers were not, and he used that gift to touch as many lives and right as many wrongs as the years would allow.
We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God’s plan for us.
What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.
This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy.
Video Of President Obama's eulogy: Part 1 Part 2
Labels: Ted Kennedy