8.11.2009

Saint Shriver - The woman named Eunice

Eunice Kennedy Shriver - the Woman

Statement released upon her death by the Shriver family;

"It's hard for us to believe: the amazing Eunice Kennedy Shriver went home to God this morning at 2 a.m.

She was the light of our lives, a mother, wife, grandmother, sister and aunt who taught us by example and with passion what it means to live a faith-driven life of love and service to others.

She was the light of our lives, a mother, wife, grandmother, sister and aunt who taught us by example and with passion what it means to live a faith-driven life of love and service to others. For each of us, she often seemed to stop time itself - to run another Special Olympics games, to visit us in our homes, to attend to her own mother, her sisters and brothers, and to sail, tell stories, and laugh and serve her friends. How did she do it all?

Inspired by her love of God, her devotion to her family, and her relentless belief in the dignity and worth of every human life, she worked without ceasing - searching, pushing, demanding, hoping for change. She was a living prayer, a living advocate, a living center of power. She set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more".

read full statement here.

In the 1960's Eunice Kennedy Schriver help found the
Special Olympics as a national organization


On a steamy July 20th afternoon in 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver strode to the microphone at Soldier Field in Chicago and convened the first Special Olympics Games. It was only seven weeks after her younger brother, Robert, had been gunned down in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, and about five weeks before the Windy City.

With a crowd of fewer than 100 people dotting the 85,000-seat stadium, about 1,000 athletes from 26 states and Canada, all of them routinely classified in those days as mentally retarded, marched in the opening ceremonies and followed Shriver as she recited what is still the Special Olympics oath:
Let me win,
but if I cannot win
let me be brave
in the attempt.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who would become a polarizing figure at the convention that August, attended the four-day event and told Shriver, "You know, Eunice, the world will never be the same after this."

While skeptics shook their heads and most of the press ignored the unprecedented competition, Shriver boldly predicted that one million of the world's intellectually challenged would someday compete athletically.

She was wrong. Today, more than three million Special Olympic athletes are training year-round in all 50 states and 181 countries.






work of David Lenz



Eunice & Sargent had five children: Robert Sargent III, Maria Owings Shriver,
Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver, Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver.
They were blessed with 19 grandchildren.

"Eunice isn't materialism-oriented at all, "said Ethel Kennedy, who described
her as "hopeful, steady, and delightfully unpredictable.



Born Eunice Mary Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts,
she was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
and Rose Kennedy (née Fitzgerald).

(Eunice far right, Rosemary left, Joe Sr. & young Ted)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver was painfully aware of the limitations placed
on people with special needs because of her older sister Rosemary who was
intellectually challenged and who spent most of her life in an institution
.

Her mother, Rose Kennedy, wrote of her matchless "energy, initiative and drive."
graduating in 1943 from Stanford in Palo Alto, CA with a Bachelor of Science
degree in sociology, after which she went to work for the United States
Department of State in the Special War Problems division.

Ethel Kennedy once said, " It's safe to say that Eunice is fond of Sean O'Casey, skiing,
collecting
(religious art, American antiques, and decoys)
making chocolate chip cookies, sailing, tennis,
swimming, Frisbee.
And that her childhood heroine was Amelia Earhart".


In 1950, she became a social worker at the then-named Federal Industrial
Institution for Women in Alderson, West Virginia, and the following
year she moved to Chicago, Illinois, to work with the House of the Good Shepherd
and the Chicago Juvenile Court.



We mourn her passing. God celebrates her arrival. Together we carry on her vision
- a statement today by the Special Olympics Movement

Eunice's son Anthony Kennedy Shriver is the Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International, which he created in 1989 to foster one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual disabilities.

Best Buddies is comprised of six programs that positively impact more than 400,000 participants every year. The organization is active in each of the 50 United States, and operates accredited international programs in 44 countries.

my daughter Emily (r) with her Best Buddie - Samantha (Sam)

I will end with this humorous snippet into what Mrs. Shriver would of been like. What I admire about her most is her devotion to others less fortunate, her lack of love for materialism (true sign of a blue blood), and her love of family. She raised remarkable children to adulthood and loved her husband deeply.

Every wonderful line on her incredible face told a story. She loved with extraordinary abundance.

From the December 15, 1975 issue of The Christian Science Monitor

One sandy day in Hyannisport, Cape Cod, in 1975, during Sargent Shriver's last run for the presidency, he announced he was going to Indianapolis to campaign. His wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, announced she was going to swim.

So she and a friend from Ireland, Dot Tubrity, splashed into the ocean. "They were out swimming around," remembers Ethel Kennedy, Mrs. Shriver's sister-in-law, "when Eunice said, 'Maybe I really ought to go to Indianapolis." The problem was, the plane was leaving in seven minutes.

Mrs. Shriver raced into the house, grabbed a few things, and they made a dash for the plane. But when they got to the airport, says Mrs. Kennedy, "Eunice realized she'd forgotten to put a dress on, so she said to Dot, 'Would you take your dress off, I'll need it. You can change behind the car.' So Eunice wore the dress over her bathing suit on board the plane, then on to the speech and reception in Indianapolis.

"Eunice," said Ethel Kennedy, "likes to do things on the spur of the moment."

{go forth & live responsibly}
make life count by impacting others

credit's to: bestbuddies.org; eunicekennedyshriver.org. wikipedia.com; jfklibrary.org; usatoday.net; everystockphoto.com; siblingsupport.org; david lenz; face2face.si.edu.org; realsportsheros.com; health.howstuffworks.com; peacecorpsonline.or; perspective.usherbrook.ca; cacheboston.com; communityofcaring.org; msnbcmedia.msn.com; somena.org; brockport.edu; californiawomen.org; csmonitor.com

27 comments:

Janet said...

What a wonderful tribute. She was an amazing lady.

Kitty said...

A beautiful post about a marvelous woman. Recently, I read a quote of Jacqueline Kennedy: "If you bungle raising your children, nothing else much matters in life." Mrs. Shriver showed by example how we can also work to help improve the lives of children other than our own. Her work ethic is to me, an inspiration for the quintessential American woman. God, I love the Kennedys!

Dustjacket Attic said...

Bought tears to my eyes. What a totally amazing woman.

I loved the last snippet, says a lot about her! I really feel for her family now, such huge part of their lives gone, but gone to a beautiful place.

xxx

Thank you for your lovely comment the other day.xoxo

Susan said...

She was a very cool lady--she'll be missed!

Toad said...

Thank you for a wonderful tribute. The anniversary of the death of her older brother, Joe Jr. is tomorrow.

What a family.

Pigtown-Design said...

beautiful tribute. she did so much for so many.

Simply Mel said...

Such an incredibly strong woman who has left a huge hole in the heart of many, and this world!

Averill said...

For me, Eunice was the very definition of style and elegance. A lovely tribute, Deb!

On a random note, I'm always struck by how much Maria looks like her mother.

Tracey said...

Fist, thank you for stopping by my blog and visiting and your lovely comment. Second, what a beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman! She really encompassed good and gave back in a world that took a lot from her and her family. She left behind a wonderful family who, I'm sure, learned quite a lot from this giving, unselfish woman!

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Truly amazing lady!
So inspiring...makes me want to be a better person & achieve more goodness in life...
RIP*

JennyMac said...

Love this post. She was a true inspiration. And the pics are amazing.

Couture Carrie said...

Lovely post and tribute, darling! This pics are wonderful!

xoxox,
CC

Christy said...

What a wonderful tribute Deb. Very moving. She was such a remarkable woman and I just love that snippet at the end. I can't help but notice how strikingly similar Maria looks to her too!

Simone said...

What a fantastic piece you have written with such wonderful photographs......I hadn't heard of her passing nor was I aware that she had accomplished so much.

She does indeed look like her daughter.

Thank you much for writing this, food for thought indeed.

Best wishes to you.

Kristin said...

I wish there were more people that did such good with what they have!

Bunny, THE PARIS HOUSE said...

What a lovely tribute to a woman so deserving of being honored and adored for all the good she did. So many with so much do far too little. She did everything she could to make change and a difference and she will forever be remembered for that!!!
Thanks for sharing, I learned more about this incredible lady.
Have a lovely day
B

Kellie Collis said...

Lovely tribute. xx

Julie@beingRUBY said...

HI Deb
I heard about this on the news over here. Very sad, although she lived a full and worthy life! It is amazing to think how many have benefited from the Special Olympics. I really love that oath: Let me win,but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

We should all live by this motto.

Loving your posts everyday!!!
xx Julie

The Haute-Shopper said...

Thanks so much for posting this. What a great feature and I definitely learned a lot more about the remarkable E. Shriver reading this. It's not too easy to find people who will go that far to make a difference these days. I always thought the Special Olympics to be a terrific event and I think it paved the way for both the mentally and physically disabled to take part in other sporting events such as regular marathons, triathlons and any other type of race. She will definitely be missed, but her legacy and accomplishments will live on, which is the most important thing of all.

pve design said...

Wonderful tribute to a strong woman who certainly left an indelible mark in the hearts of many.
Inspirational Woman to many!
pve

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVELY post! She did so much GOOD! We need more people like her!
BTW... I add you to my blogs I love to visit list!!!

Topsy Turvy said...

What a great tribute - to a remarkable woman and person.

–Lana

Bellamere Cottage said...

What a lovely tribute....It's amazing how much charity work they did, isn't it? They truly cared about PEOPLE....I've heard Maria speak of her parents and how much they wanted their children to "give back"..What a fabulous legacy.

Thank you so much for the sweet words about my Mum....I miss her so much......

Hugs,
Spencer

Francine Gardner said...

I recently attended the memorial service of a young extraordinary woman whose faith helped her through terrible tragedies, loss of husband, illness, the thought of leaving behind 3 boys. her last words were...I had a perfect life.
These last words could so be the life of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, an Extraordinary woman. Thanks to you, I just found out that we shared the same Heroine,Amelia Earhart. Becoming a pilot at a young age, I was fascinated by the life of such a fascinating woman.
Thanks for your kind comment yesterday..

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hello, dear Dumbwhit...

Inspiration for all.
cheers, www.thestylesaloniste.com

Keith said...

Great tribute. She's an incredible woman that touched so many lives. She will be sorely missed.

Michelle said...

Wow, I didn't realize how Maria and her looked so alike...to hear Maria talk about her mother on Oprah a year-ish ago, was really moving...just seemed like regular folk.

Great post!

Best,
Michelle