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.
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.
Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver, Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver.
They were blessed with 19 grandchildren.
her as "hopeful, steady, and delightfully unpredictable.
she was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
and Rose Kennedy (née Fitzgerald).
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.
collecting (religious art, American antiques, and decoys)
making chocolate chip cookies, sailing, tennis,swimming, Frisbee.
And that her childhood heroine was Amelia Earhart".
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.
- 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.
Every wonderful line on her incredible face told a story. She loved with extraordinary abundance.
Washington - 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."
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