Friday, June 13, 2008
Rest in Peace Tim
It was a few weeks before our wedding and I was on the search for a meaningful gift to give to my brother. He had the duty of walking me down the aisle. The aisle that I was supposed to share with my dad. I knew it was probably not going to be easy for him to do someone else's job, and I wanted to give him something special to say thanks. I was in the Hallmark store in the mall, it was a week or so after Father's Day and all of the Dad paraphernalia was on sale. I glanced at it quickly and saw the book "Big Russ and Me" sitting on the clearance shelf. I picked it up, started reading and before I knew it I was in tears. Tim was an Irish Catholic raised in Buffalo, the son of a sanitation worker who seemed to live life with pride, honesty, huge love for his family and never forgot his roots. This was my father and my brother, well except that we're Italian Catholics, but I digress. I had to get it for him, this was the gift. Later that evening I was looking through my family photos and came upon one of my brother, father, and nephew on Father's Day a year or two before he died. It was perfect, the framed photo and a son's memoir of his father's legacy. When my brother opened it, he choked up. There were no words to be said, just a mutual understanding. A life cut short. Shared regrets for not thinking this would happen to us, for not appreciating all that he was until he was gone, for not kissing him goodbye the last time we saw him.
Tim Russert died today. He was 58 (my father died at 57). His son Luke graduated from Boston College last month. They just yesterday returned from a trip to Italy to celebrate his accomplishment. I was in tears watching Andrea Mitchell and Tom Brokaw memorialize their beloved friend, and honored boss. I feel for his son, his wife, and his father. Why do the honest and true good ones, the larger than life do-gooders have to leave this earth so early?
I am heartbroken and once again reminded to not take anyone in life for granted because you just never know. Live with honor, integrity, and do good things. Thank you for your books and for sharing your story. What a gift to your family, a lasting legacy. God bless.