GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 42

Joe and his sister Val with Grandpa Finnegan, about 1949. “When I was growing up, the mothers and fathers in our neighborhoods told us that if we worked hard, played by the rules and reached for something better, there wasn’t a single thing we could not do. “ with that one single phone call from thenSenator Obama. Just the night before, she and her husband had strolled the neighborhood streets alone. Now helicopters flew overhead and they were followed everywhere they went. Soon it was off to the convention. Biden was comfortable with his decision to join the Obama ticket, but an incident at the convention involving his grandchildren underscored the rightness of his choice. “My granddaughter Finnegan came up to me and grabbed my coat and said, ‘Pop?’ I said, ‘What’s up, honey?’ She said, ‘Malia and Sasha [Obama] and I want to have a sleepover.’ I was delighted. I said, ‘You do?’ “Later, I learned that at the same time, Michelle’s [Obama] two daughters came up to her and said, ‘Mommy, we want to have a sleepover with Finnegan, Maisey and Natalie.’ “The next thing we know, we’re clearing out a hotel room at the convention and putting down mats and ordering up pizza and movies. I walked in and looked around the room, looked at those kids together, and said, ‘This is America.’ I have no doubt why I’m here.” Biden’s public life was launched against the backdrop of a personal tragedy that has reinforced his understanding of how precious and fleeting life can be. In 1972, when he was 29, he could have considered his life perfect. He had defeated a popular incumbent senator, J. Caleb Boggs, in Delaware, and he was headed for a career in Washington, D.C. And then, while shopping for a Christmas tree with their three children, Biden’s first wife, Neilia, was in a fatal automobile accident that also killed their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi. Biden raced back from Washington, where he had gone to set up his new office to be with his hospitalized sons, Beau, 3, and Hunter, 2. Gripped with despair, he considered resigning from the Senate. “Most of all I was numb, but there were moments when the pain cut through like a shard of broken glass. I began to understand how despair led people to just cash it in; how suicide wasn’t just an option, but a rational option. But I’d look at Beau and Hunter asleep and wonder what new terrors their own dreams held, and wonder who would explain to my sons my being gone, too. And I knew I had no choice but to fight to stay alive.” Beau and Hunter recovered, and their father did not walk away from the Senate. He did, however, tell then-Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield that he would stay in office only if he could commute by train every day back to Wilmington so he could be with his family—a practice he continued until the time he joined the Obama ticket. Three years later, Joe Biden met Jill Jacobs, a Delaware schoolteacher. After dating her a year, the subject of marriage came up—but not from Joe or Jill. Biden was approached by his two sons. who suggested that the three of them should marry Jill. Biden decided that was a great idea, but he had to propose to Jill five times over the next several months before she said yes. By the time they married in 1977, it was a family affair. Beau and Hunter, then 8 and 7, joined Joe and Jill on their “honeymoon” in New York City, the highlight of which was a trip to the Broadway play Annie. Jill made Biden and his family whole again. “That’s when I realized exactly what Jill’s love had done for me; it had given me permission to live again. I was lousy at building protective walls around my heart. My whole life—for good or for ill—I had been driven by my passions, as if I needed to take the risk on all the big things in life to feel alive. Jill made me see that passion was still the controlling feature of my existence.” 42 GRAND NOVEMBER DECEMBER 2008

GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008

Grand Magazine - November/December 2008
Grand View
Contents
Isn't It Grand?
Grand Central
Ask Grand
Grand Gestures
Just So We Know
Full House-Full Heart-Full Time
First, Serve
On the Cover: Vice President-Elect Joe Biden
Incredibly Hip High-Tech Gifts
Foreign Exchange
Home (and Hungry!) for the Holidays
Being the Peace
Reunions
Together Time
Read Aloud
Grand Bazaar
Resources
Grand Finale
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Magazine - November/December 2008
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 1
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand View
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 3
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 5
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 6
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 7
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 8
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 9
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 10
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 11
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Isn't It Grand?
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 13
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 14
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Central
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 16
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 17
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 18
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 19
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 20
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 21
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 22
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 23
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Ask Grand
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 25
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Gestures
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 27
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Just So We Know
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 29
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 30
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 31
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Full House-Full Heart-Full Time
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 33
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 34
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 35
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - First, Serve
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 37
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 38
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 39
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - On the Cover: Vice President-Elect Joe Biden
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 41
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 42
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 43
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Incredibly Hip High-Tech Gifts
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 45
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 46
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 47
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Foreign Exchange
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 49
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 50
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 51
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Home (and Hungry!) for the Holidays
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 53
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 54
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 55
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 56
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 57
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Being the Peace
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 59
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Reunions
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 61
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 62
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 63
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 64
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 65
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Together Time
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 67
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Read Aloud
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 69
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 70
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 71
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Bazaar
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 73
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 74
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 75
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 77
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 78
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 79
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Grand Finale
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 81
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - 82
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - November/December 2008 - Cover4
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