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September 14th, 2009
08:48 AM ET

Sen. Kennedy's memoir: 'True Compass'

Editor's Note: The sons of late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Patrick and Ted Jr., will be guests on "American Morning" Tuesday. Below is an excerpt of Sen. Kennedy's memoir, True Compass, which is on sale now.

True Compass

PROLOGUE
The Torch
2008

It was on the sunny spring day of Tuesday, May 20, 2008,
that I emerged from a medicated drowsiness in a Boston
hospital bed and looked up into the face of a doctor who
explained to me in a somber way that I was about to die,
and that I had best begin getting my affairs in order and
preparing my friends and family for the end.

As I lay in that hospital bed, my friends and neighbors on
Cape Cod were just then getting their boats ready for the
summer cruises and races. I intended to be among them,
asusual. The Boston Red Sox were a good bet to defend
theirworld championship. There was a presidential primary
campaign in progress. My Senate colleagues were pushing
forward on our legislative agenda. I had work to do.

No. As much as I respect the medical profession, my demise
did not fit into my plans.

I was hardly “in denial” that I faced a grave and shocking
threat to my life. The first symptoms of what would prove to
be a malignant brain tumor had struck me three days earlier.
They’d descended on me as I padded toward the kitchen of the Hyannis Port house that has been the center of my life and happiness for most of my seventy-six years. I was intent on nothing more than taking Sunny and Splash, my much-loved Portuguese water dogs, for their morning walk. My wife, Vicki, and I had just been chatting and having our morning coffee in the sunroom.

Read the full prologue (PDF)


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