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Volume 1 #4 July 26, 1999
This is one of the most painful columns I hope I will ever write. I don't even know if column is the correct description. It is about Lauren Bessette, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and dearest, to me, of all: John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forever John-John to billions of us throughout the world who have wept for over a week and will, no doubt, continue to do so. Time, some scientists say, is fluid. Tears are burning fluid. They fall and they fall. I do not attempt to stop them. I could not if I wished to. We have all witnessed the endless news coverage. Plane down. Some wreckage and personal items wash ashore. Coast Guard called in. NTSB on scene. Naval vessels of all configurations and capacities arrive. Divers search. News conferences that just add more questions. WHY! WHY! Why, can't they find something of hope? Waiting. It's horrible. I have never been so mesmerized by MSNBC, CNN. Anything for the slightest flicker of "this is not true" or, if in fact it is sad reality, confirm it! Give us , to employ a '90's coin-operated word: "closure". I was thirteen years old when John F. Kennedy, Sr. won the Presidency. I was privileged to be present at one of his campaign stops. We all listened and felt the depth of his charisma. Then sang: "We Shall Overcome". I am a second generation Yankee. My grandparents came here embracing the myth that the "streets were paved with gold". They were Roman Catholics as are the Kennedys. They worked long hours to survive. They suffered the steel mills and coal mines of western Pennsylvania. My grandfather died in a cave-in. We, needless to say, were strong Union supporters and Democrats. Then, JFK, Sr., the first Roman Catholic president was elected! We felt, somehow, THIS was the "golden pavement!". Much too short the dream. President Kennedy was slain by an assassin's bullet on November 22, 1963. (I really don't care about the speculations that followed. The result still stands.) I was dressed and prepared to go to High School. My mother was doing exercises to Jack LaLane's program. The bulletin came. I heard the final verdict in First Period. My regular teacher could not even bear to instruct us that day. We got some Yo-Yo who made jokes throughout the class. I wondered "why is he not grieving?". Maybe he was. I don't know. I walked through my classes mechanically for the remainder of that day. Then to home. It was an atmosphere filled with shock and tears of not understanding. Watching the replay of the haunting tragedy. Then Oswald/Ruby. That threw salt in our bleeding wounds. I also was a painful witness (a mixed thanks to live television) to Bobby Kennedy's assassination. Stop it! Sometimes, one just does not want to see excruciating reality...not another...not another. Yet, there was to be another. I am not saying that John, Jr. would have been a glowing political presence. I am saying that (save his sister Caroline) he was all we had of that dream to hold fast to. He was movie star gorgeous. Decent and loving husband. A good person. The words do not come easily. The tears do. Rough. Perhaps a purging of the grief. We must not turn the page on our hearts' sorrows. Our prayers and thoughts always reflect to the Kennedy family. Their faith is strong as ours must be. As the ideals so firmly planted in our minds, hearts and souls struggle to grow, we will always have "CAMELOT".

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©1999 Carol Ann Carson
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