(CNN) -- Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died at Tuesday night in his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."
My hands are trembling as I type. I have weeped over three political stories in my short life - 9/11, Obama's election, and tonight. And I should add, my health insurance is through COBRA - I wouldn't have paid for my annual physical and semi-annual dental checkup this summer, and I would be subject to preconditions, if not for Ted Kennedy.
Health care reform must pass, and let that be his legacy more than any family relation.