June 16, 2008

Tim Russert Was My Brother

Friday the 13th was not a good day for the family and friends of Tim Russert.

When I heard the breaking news that Tim Russert had died suddenly of a heart attack, my first thought was that I should call hubby Jim. While I couldn’t completely place Tim Russert in my mind, I knew he was sometimes on the evening news at NBC that we watch often in the evenings at 6:30 p.m.

Now I’m totally shocked at the outpouring of grief for this veteran newsman. Oh that people would say half the wonderful tributes they are saying about Tim Russert when my final Friday the 13th comes around.

How can a journalist be so beloved by literally thousands of people who all have something profoundly nice to say about him?

“The best journalist of our time.” “He gave us the truth.” “I don’t know anyone who didn’t like him.”

“The best of the best,” I’ve heard over and over again.

“A statesmen of another kind”, many call him.

Flags are flying at half-mast. Tributes are pouring in from all other the world. Candlelight vigils are being held every night with hundreds of people gathering to remember a loving father, faithful husband and generous friend. A humble, godly man who attended his mass faithfully, talked to his grown son several times a day and knew the deepest secrets of all the political figures.

How come I didn’t know more about this exceptional man, I ask myself. How in the world can a political newsman be everyone’s friend? It appears he asked the big questions to all the big people on “Meet the Press” every Sunday morning and he got truthful answers. If the interviewee didn’t know who they were and what they stood for, Tim did! But the interviewees always came back for more!

As I’ve listened to his very talented and also famous co-workers talk of how he became a father figure and mentor, I still ask myself how one becomes like that. It wasn’t because he was a good Seventh-day Adventist. He was a truest of the true CATHOLIC!

In my world, it seems if you are warm, caring god-fearing, loving and kind, you’re labeled a “goody-goody” at best and, “two-faced”, “weird” “a religious nut” or “too serious” at least.

I’ve decided it must not be the god-fearing, or loving others, or kindness that won him over even though many say that’s what he was. No, I think it was the pure intensity and honesty in those things that caused everyone who knew him to believe in him.

Honesty is so difficult to latch on to because first we must be honest with ourselves and too many (including myself) can’t always quite reach that branch of the tree.

Honesty means that nothing can hold us back from believing in ourselves. Some of us never made it out the gate before we were bombarded with intense pressure to question who we were and why we are here – and how we’re going to get out of here!

Just so you all know that even though Tim Russert was only four months older than I was, I plan to see many more Friday the 13th’s than he did. I also wish people who know me to know that in my heart of hearts, I’d like to be remembered for all the reasons he is – and more. I’ll never DO what he did in his exceptional lifetime, but the heart memories are the same.

For we are all brothers and sisters in life!

Take Care on the Journey,


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