"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
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* * * Rosemary Kennedy suffered irreversible brain damage from a botched lobotomy at the age of 23, and was placed by her family in the care of the nuns for the rest of her life.
When she died this past January at the age of 86, she was remembered by her brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy, this way:
Because of Rosemary, millions of people all over this earth have greater hope today.
At that beautiful Mass on Saturday, the priest said that Rosemary was one solitary life that had changed the world. I was reminded that another minister at another time had used those exact words — one solitary life — to describe the life of our Lord Jesus. How fitting, because Rosemary was so beautifully made in the image and likeness of the Lord. Like Jesus, Rosie never wrote a book, never held office, never raised an army, never had a family of her own, and never went to college, but her influence will leave a trail across centuries.
She was the inspiration for the Special Olympics and the Very Special Arts and has changed forever the way the world views people with disabilities. And in a personal, direct and positive way, she has changed the lives of all of us who knew her and loved her.
She taught us unconditional love.
She taught us patience.
She taught us to be unselfish, and kind and generous to others.
She taught us the importance of caring and compassion.
She taught us the meaning of dedication and commitment, because she worked so hard to do the very best she could.
She taught us appreciation for our own blessings and abilities.
Most important, she taught us the worth of every human being.
Would it have been as valid a "choice" by Rosemary Kennedy's family to have her food and water cut off in 1942? After she was left paralyzed and incoherent by a lobotomy performed on her father's orders, what if she simply had been put out of her misery via starvation? Wouldn't that have been a blow for her personal autonomy?
After all, was Rosemary Kennedy's life worth living?