Has Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend John?

article-2100256-003386A700000190-649_634x395“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the         same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”                          ~ John F. Kennedy

One of my earliest memories is of my mother crying.

I was about 2 1/2 years old and I had no idea what was wrong, just that she was very sad. As I began to get older, I often heard about that day.  November 22, 1963, the day President Kennedy was assassinated.

Today, fifty years later, it still creates controversy and instills sadness and anger over a promising life lost – funny thing is, few people actually knew him – they just felt as if they did.  This quote above is one of my favorites of his because it shows that he didn’t feel he was above those he served.  He loved his country and served it with a sense of duty, but more than that…he was a dad.

At his heart, he worried about the future of his children and he loved them.  Perhaps that’s why he was so loved – because he showed what was important in his life…family.

Whether you are a fan of his, whether you argue about who shot him and why he died, what is at the heart of the matter is that a family lost a loved one that day.  The grief they felt just happened to be shared by a nation.

The image of John Kennedy, Jr. saluting his father’s casket as it passed by is still every bit as heartbreaking today as it was then.  Now I, as a mother of four sons, understand even more why this nation wept, and perhaps a little of what his own mother may have felt.  As a wife, I understand ,perhaps, a little of what Jacqueline Kennedy may have felt.  And as a daughter with parents I love so deeply, I understand just a little bit what his children may have felt on that day and in the days to come.

And lastly, I understand my mother’s tears.  She saved a lot of memorabilia from that fateful day – she loved her president so much and mourned at the loss of him.

I’m not sure those tears have ever completely dried.

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