|May 28, 1987 - March 24, 2011|
Hello Readers and Fans,
As you know I recently wrote a Raise the Bar column in Oxygen magazine introducing you to Braden Kennedy, Robert's son and my step-son, who was brain injured in a car accident 13 years ago. Last night Braden passed away after a heroic struggle. His days and nights of suffering are over. He leaves a gaping hole in our hearts it is true but he has filled us with so much not the least of which is his bravery. Even during those long last hours he did not give up easily and endured what was handed him with grace. Indeed he taught us bravery.
You may find it hard to believe from someone who has sustained such devastating physical limitations that he could be so inspirational but when our days were dark because of some now seemingly trivial details Braden taught us to laugh. He never lost that talent. If someone used a swear word he would laugh uncontrollably. When I was making soup he could in his earlier days still manage to eat it but not nearly as much as his favorite beverage, beer. On a hot day Braden would easily slurp down a few spoonfuls. When Jim Carey cracked a joke on any of his movies Braden always got it and laughed. He loved a good joke especially when his nurses got in on them. One time he had a nurse who would go into the shower with him stripped right down to her bra and panties! We were horrified! But he is a Kennedy boy after all. Rachel, Kiersten, Chelsea and Kelsey, his sisters, knew how his mind worked and always gave him a Maxim and an American Curves for Christmas. What joy! Braden also loved his dogs. Bailey, his beautiful golden retriever, spent many an hour under Braden's bed where he kept a watchful eye on his master. Bailey passed away last year if you recall. Now Davidson and Maggie are taking over. How do dogs know when tragedy is in the air? They just do and both of these creatures are never far from us as we try to get through this day.
Braden was my inspiration. When I competed in my first triathlon and my first half marathon I carried him in my heart and ran, swam and biked for him and for those who could not do for themselves. What we would have given for Braden to do these things himself. Therefore we put ourselves to so many challenges. Bob and I both never question how hard or how long a task may be. We just DO! Our daughters are the same. A lesson in courage we all learned from Braden.
I have always included you in my life and I want you now to be there as well as we all try to go on. This day is unbearable. It is our turn to suffer now that Braden is gone. Robert, Rachel, Kiersten, Chelsea, Kelsey and I ask for your prayers and thank you for being such an important and uplifting part of our lives.