I read the story of this family – of greatness, human failure, tragedy – as though Euripides got to write his grand, tragic take on American history. Spare me the reflexive disdain – and the reflexive hagiography – for him, his brothers and his parents. But it would be out of his family’s character somehow for him to come to his end quietly and without suffering.
I’m sorry for him – I can only imagine the horror at a diagnosis like this – and for his family, whose love I hope will comfort him.
He may not have been the greatest Senator we’ve had in the nation, but he has been a notable one, and he has dedicated his life to service. So here’s an appreciation of him, and a thank you from me and my family.
Update: For a very human response and a crushing personal story, go see Steve Smith’s blog.