While writing True Compass, Sen. Kennedy used 50 years of notes—some written and some dictated—to document his personal and political journey. In Chapter 21, "The Woman Who Changed My Life," he wrote about the moment he fell for Vicki, a longtime family friend, Kennedy supporter and divorced mom of two.

"There came a point in my own life when I had to admit that I'd stopped looking forward to things," he wrote. "All of this began to change when I rang the doorbell of the home in northwest D.C. where I had been invited to dinner on the evening of June 17, 1991, and found myself looking into the beautiful hazel eyes of Victoria Reggie."

During their old-fashioned courtship, Vicki says Sen. Kennedy, a divorced father of three, came over every night for dinner and became a fixture in her home. He also showered her with notes and flowers. "It was really sweet," she says.

Sen. Kennedy proposed to Vicki at the New York's Metropolitan Opera, and they married in 1992. From that day forward, Vicki was by his side…even on his last day.

"It was just really an incredible journey to be on with this man I absolutely adored," she says, "And [it was] an inspiration to watch how Teddy grappled with such a grave diagnosis but always looked forward with hope."


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