Eunice, We Hardly Knew You…

Eunice, We Hardly Knew You…

2017-08-18T13:19:54+00:00August 12th, 2009|Personal|

I would encourage you to read Sisterhood's special bond, a piece eulogizing Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Boston Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham begins, “She has been remembered as the sister of Jack, Bobby, and Teddy.  But if you must think of this remarkable woman as someone's sister, think of her as Rosemary's. Because it was Rosemary Kennedy who made Eunice who she was.”

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Source:  Boston Globe/UPI

Here's the highlight:

“Even at a tribute to her in 2007, the woman who many allowed might have been president if only she'd been born a man said “I am lucky that I experienced the sting of rejection as a woman who was told that the real power was not for me.  I am lucky that I saw… Rosemary treated with the most unbearable rejection. It's really that simple.  Love gave me confidence and adversity gave me purpose.”

In Alyson Jenkins' piece, Be your Own Batman she writes that women are defined in relation to someone else:  someone's mother, sister, aunt, wife, someone's Robin.  Even with Ms. Shriver, we know her best as someone's sister.

Joseph Kennedy was quoted as saying “had she been a man, Eunice would have made a fine politician.”  As she herself states, there was a ‘sting' to this.  We've all felt the ‘sting' of adversity.  It is in the overcoming that we find our best self.

What is your hardest test thus far?  In the overcoming, who did you become?

But adversity alone is not enough.  For it can just as easily lead to defeat as to triumph.  It was her love of Rosemary, and the difficulty surrounding Rosemary's mental retardation, and subsequent lobotomy, that drove Ms. Shriver to eventually found the Special Olympics.

Who and what do you love so deeply, that this love becomes a well-spring of confidence?

Love gave me confidence and adversity gave me purpose.

Words to cherish…

…And a woman I would like to have known.


  1. Stacey P August 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Love gave me confidence and adversity gave me purpose.
    POWERFUL! It is amazing how women find inspiration and support in other women when they are rejected by a male dominated world.
    Eunice was truly an inspiration to us all…

  2. LaNola Kathleen Stone August 13, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Confidence & Purpose are powerful tools to action and are pure when derived from love and adversity. I love how she coupled those two experiences– if one is to overcome adversity, what better way to do it than with love!
    thanks again for sharing – life changing thoughts.

  3. Jenny August 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I came to admire Eunice when I was in college, and chose to become a student mentor at the winter special olympics at Park City. It was a life-changing experience. I was sad to hear of her passing.

  4. Macy Robison August 13, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Wow. I think there is a good spot for that quote in my show.

  5. Rebecca August 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    What a great message, Whitney. Interesting how Eunice’s love for her daughter and courage blossomed and led to the creation of one of the great models of advocacy in history. She was a bright star in her own right.

  6. Whitney Smith Cripe August 14, 2009 at 8:23 am

    LOVE EUNICE. She was truly, and I reserve this term for only the best, a class act.

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