It was as if he knew.
The more I learn about JFK, the more I feel like he’d known that he was going to die at a young age. I suppose I wouldn’t blame him. He’d escaped death more than once, having scarlet fever as a young child, a strange case of leukemia in his young adult years, his PT-109 incident, not to mention his Addison’s disease and his other multiple health issues. He’d taken very dangerous medications during his presidency to ensure that he always looked fit and strong for work.
So it’s no surprise that JFK would be completely fascinated with death. He would often ask his companions how they’d want to die, and had considered the idea of assassination many times. He knew it might happen, he knew that it was highly possible. Maybe that was why he liked the press so much. He liked photographers, he liked videos. Through this obsession of mine I noticed that there are hundreds, thousands of pictures of JFK and his family. I see a new one everyday on my tumblr newsfeed, which continues to fuel my interest in him. The Kennedys even have a whole two hour home movie special on the History Channel. What other presidential family has that?
There’s so much media surrounding him, so many secrets that keep the public eye attached to him even after 50 years have passed by. I am waiting for the day that I will get over this JFK obsession of mine, the day that I would’ve learned all there is to learn about him and grow bored of him. But that time has yet to come. I learn new things about him every time I read about him, every time I watch documentary videos on him. It just doesn’t stop. And I feel like he’d intended for this to happen. He wanted keepsakes that would be around even after he died. What better way to keep a legacy alive than pictures and videos? I still see him on newsstands everywhere, right next to magazines with Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt on the cover.
JFK’s assassination is tragic, yes. But I like to think that things happen for a reason. His image had always been about “youth”, all about his young age, his young wife, his young children. Perhaps his assassination had been made for him to preserve that youth. Think about it. We’ll never see what he looks like when he’s old, when all of that youth and vigor is gone. It is even predicted by historians that JFK wouldn’t be as famous as he would be today if his presidency had gone on longer. I would even go as far to say that he was secretly scared of being forgotten. But that’s just me.
All and all, I truly believe that JFK had predicted his death. He knew he would die young, he knew his days were numbered. Therefore, he set to build a legacy for himself with the media, with countless videos and pictures of him and his family, perhaps to even avoid being forgotten. Maybe the keepsakes had even been for his children and family members to remember him by.
The theories can go on and on. After all, even Jackie had been unable to figure him out. But as a conclusion, I would like to share an excerpt from “These Few Precious Days” that states a quote so haunting, so terrifying that it sends shivers down my spine whenever I read it:
JFK believed that assassination was “not unlikely” and that if it were to happen he would be shot “while riding in an open car through a downtown street, with all the people and the noise.”