vendredi, mars 26, 2010

Project52 - 12 Relatives

What a coincidence. Diana made an entry about my brother Bobby and this weeks Project 52 theme is "relatives".
I will take the opportunity to talk about another brother of mine: Joseph Patrick Junior, or simply: JOE.

It is amazing how few people actually are aware of Joe's existence. Apparently, Mario Puzzo wrote a book entitled "the fourth Kennedy" which is about a fictive fourth brother. Ahm, well, we actually  were 4 brothers, (Joe, me, Bobby and Ted) so normally,  a fictive one would be "the fifth Kennedy".
Even a lot other people who claim to have studied my life are not aware of Joe's existence.

This is really odd, because when you study, especially my childhood and youth, Joe can hardly be bypassed.
Joe was my older brother and the first born child of our parents. Joe was strong, healthy, brisk, very intelligent and determined to be first one any time and everywhere. The perfect son of his daddy who didn't hope for anything other than a son like this.
Me, well, I was not so healthy, not so intelligent and not so strong like Joe. Joe loved to fight and was very aggressive toward me during my childhood; He permanently challenged me into fights and matches I never could win. I was spanked by him and beaten so often, that it almost killed me. He was my fathers favorite son and destined to become a hero, make an amazing career and yes, become President of the United States.
During WW2, Joe was a volunteer for a risky mission: Flying a plane full of explosives into that German base at the French Coast, where the terrible V2 missiles were kept. Something went wrong and instead of jumping of in the last minute, the Plane exploded with Joe on board.

My Father got the news, prohibited us from crying and then locked himself in a room where he could cry alone. After this, I had to live Joe's life and achieve all the things, Joe was originally planned to do. It was not easy. Try to live the life of another and in the same time, trying to live MY life and MY dreams. 
I wonder how many people actually connect with Joe Kennedy Junior. Probably a lot less than those who do with me or Bobby or even Ted.

Diana once did have a Dream with him : Joe was very bitter and said to her that in the Kennedy Family, the oldest child was assigned to educate the younger siblings and since he was the oldest, he somehow had the burden of responsibility for the rest of us. He said to her that he was simply overchallenged by this responsibility and since I wasn't an easy child, he reacted with violence when he was at wits end. All while I had halfway the opportunity to find my own ways during my life, he never had this chance and did what others expected from him, until his early death. So he feels quite screwed.

Its not easy for me, too. I somehow made Joe responsible for me having to live in his shadow, for the fact that my parents preferred him over me and for all the violence I suffered from him. In the other hand, I also love and admire him and I feel sorry that his life was pretty much wasted, at the very end.

Relatives: You can't choose them, unlike friends.

This is Joe:

11 commentaires:

Weidenfrau a dit…

Interesting entry. Thanks for that, Diana!

President Snow a dit…

I am starting to welcome Joe into my life. I've felt bad, because he was the oldest and very important in everyone's life. I hope to have some kind of experience with him sometime.

I find it interesting how the brother were all close, but all interacted with each other in different ways and had differences with one another.

Feronia a dit…

Interesting dynamics in the Kennedy family. Thanks Diana.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Weidenfrau. It was for me a good opportunity to talk a bit about Joe.

@President Snow. Oh, you are inviting Joe? I hope you will have good experiences with him. I think that despite of the reservations one can have (One who loves Jack doesn't like the ones who mistreated him) Joe was a nice and interesting person.

@Feronia: Yes, these dynamics are interesting t study for they probably added much to the public careers.

Gina a dit…

Well written, Diana! It does seem strange so many don’t know about Joe or forget about him. But thank the Goddess Jack became President and saved the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis…Joe probably would have started WWIII and none of us would be here to talk about it. No offense meant but Joe was not Jack, as you well know!

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Gina: Absolutley, this is the point. And I often think about it. If agressive and impulsive Joe would have been president - and he would, if he lived - WWW3 would have been started during the Cuban Muissile Crisis.
Gods prevented it by taking Joe back and giving us the more gentle John F.

President Snow a dit…
Ce commentaire a été supprimé par l'auteur.
President Snow a dit…

I do think if Joe would have lived longer, he and Jack could have made up and you know there was still that family love.

Though, like you have sad, the Gods can only imagine what Joe could have done as President, so maybe it's for the best, haha!

Diana Kennedy a dit…

I strongly believe it was for the best. All while I agree that Joe probably would have calmed down with the age and I am also convinced that he was not a bad person, (after all, he was a victim of his particular position, too) He wasn't like Jack and did't have that inner balance between gentleness and authority Jack had.

Gina a dit…

The more I think about this discussion, the more I can be open about Joe changing as he grew older. And I can almost see that if Joe became President, he would have had at least Jack in his cabinet (if not Bobby somewhere, too), and Jack would have done what Bobby did and tried hard for peaceful settlements with Cuba and Berlin and Vietnam, as he did in our time.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

This is very interesting, Gina.
I lost my negative feelings for Joe after said dream, where he explained his point of view.