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Reverend Jackson Speaks to Son's Pain

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Reverend Jesse Jackson said his Thanksgiving was filled with joy and sorrow. He was able to do some good by touring hospitals and jails, but also suffered because his son is ailing.

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Reverend Jesse Jackson Friday said he likely would not have a role in helping to find a replacement for his ailing son, Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned from Congress Wednesday. 

"No," Jackson said when a reporter camped outside of his home asked if he would have a role in helping find a new representative for the second district. 

The civil rights leader said yes, however, to answering questions about his Thanksgiving holiday and his son's depression. 

"This is a devastating illiness, by the way," Jackson said about his sone. 

He said Thanksgiving day was filled with joy and sorrow. He garnered joy from touring homeless shelters and jails in the Chicago area. Pain from his son's situation. 

"We had our yearly family meal," Jackson said. "There was joy and pain ... the pain of congressman Jackson's sickness and his having to break from service as he seeks to recover. He struggled mightily to do both, but couldn't quite reconcile them. The  doctors at the first hospital said he should stop the service, the politics for his health and not to both. At the Mayo they made the same recommendation, and he finally had to make a choice between more service to the world or restructuring himself and his equilibrium. I hope that will be his solid focus until he regains his strength."

Jackson Jr., his son, resigned from Congress after months away from office. He left for a treatment center in Arizona on June 10. He was later diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with bi-polar depression. 

His absence coincided with a fresh federal investigation into his behavior. The FBI investigation reportedly focused on the use of his campaign funds for personal use. 

Illinois will have to hold a special election to fill his seat. Governor Pat Quinn has until Tuesday to set the dates for the special election. 

Related Topics Jesse Jackson Jr.
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