Edward M. Kennedy, dead at 77 -- and thank goodness for that.
Thank goodness for the “at 77,” that is. Not to say that “at 78” wouldn’t have been even better. Or “at 79.” “At 80” would have been miraculous. But losing Ted Kennedy at 77? It’s hard to feel cheated.
None of his three brothers -- his three “older” brothers -- made it to 70. Or 60. Or even 50.
Who’d have predicted that the last of the boys would be the only one to receive the gift of years? Or that he’d put those years to such extraordinary use?
Or that he’d find, in the autumn of those years, a peace and a balance that had eluded him -- or that he had eluded, had disdained, with such awful consequence -- in his own life for so long?