John was also the son who was once protected by his mother. He went on to become
her pride -- and then her protector in her final days. He was the Kennedy who
loved us all, but who especially cherished his sister Caroline, celebrated her
brilliance, and took strength and joy from their lifelong mutual admiration
society.And for a thousand days, he was a husband who adored the wife who became
his perfect soul mate. John's father taught us all to reach for the moon and the
stars. John did that in all he did -- and he found his shining star when he
married Carolyn Bessette.
How often our family will think of the two of them, cuddling affectionately on a
boat, surrounded by family -- aunts, uncles, Caroline and Ed and their children,
Rose, Tatiana, and Jack, Kennedy cousins, Radziwill cousins, Shriver cousins,
Smith cousins, Lawford cousins -- as we sailed Nantucket Sound. Then we would
come home, and before dinner, on the lawn where his father had played, John
would lead a spirited game of touch football. And his beautiful young wife, the
new pride of the Kennedys, would cheer for John's team and delight her nieces
and nephews with her somersaults.
We loved Carolyn. She and her sister Lauren were young extraordinary women of
high accomplishment -- and their own limitless possibilities. We mourn their
loss and honor their lives. The Bessette and Freeman families will always be
part of ours.
John was a serious man who brightened our lives with his smile and his grace. He
was a son of privilege who founded a program called Reaching Up to train better
caregivers for the mentally disabled. He joined Wall Street executives on the
Robin Hood Foundation to help the city's impoverished children. And he did it
all so quietly, without ever calling attention to himself. John was one of
Jackie's two miracles. He was still becoming the person he would be, and doing
it by the beat of his own drummer. He had only just begun. There was in him a
great promise of things to come.
The Irish Ambassador recited a poem to John's father and mother soon after John
was born. I can hear it again now, at this different and difficult moment:
"We wish to the new child,
A heart that can be beguiled,
By a flower,
That the wind lifts,
As it passes.
If the storms break for him,
May the trees shake for him,
Their blossoms down.
In the night that he is troubled,
May a friend wake for him,
So that his time be doubled,
And at the end of all loving and love
May the Man above,
Give him a crown."
We thank the millions who have rained blossoms down on John's memory. He and
his bride have gone to be with his mother and father, where there will never be
an end to love. He was lost on that troubled night, but we will always wake for
him, so that his time, which was not doubled, but cut in half, will live forever
in our memory, and in our beguiled and broken hearts. We dared to think, in that
other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with
his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but
length of years. We who have loved him from the day he was born, and watched the
remarkable man he became, now bid him farewell.
God bless you, John and Carolyn. We love you and we always will.
Page 1 - Edward Kennedy's Eulogy to JFK j.r.