Sunday, January 9

ROSEMARY KENNEDY DIES

So much tragedy has befallen the Kennedy family that the passing of John F. Kennedy's oldest sister, Rosemary, at age 86, would not seem that compelling juxtaposed against the memories of others from this illustrious Boston clan -- a fallen war hero, an assassinated President, an assassinated former Attorney General ... and on and on.

But Rosemary's story may be the most tragic of all, because her cross was born in life, not in death. Born mentally retarded and institutionalized most of her life, her fate was to be a captive within her own body and soul. Her father, Joseph Kennedy, on the advice of physicians, authorized that a frontal lobotomy be performed on his daughter to ameliorate her condition and the mood swings it caused. It sounds so insidious today with the benefit of medical hindsight.

But, alas, her spirit soars with the angels now and she is at peace.