The death of Tim Russert has been on my mind all week - I cannot seem to get his family out of my mind and my heart. He was a part of my every morning on the Today Show, part of my Sundays on Meet the Press, and part of my evenings, when the politics would be summarized on the evening news. He was wise, yet unpretentious.
He had a respect for family that flowed through his words and his actions. His humor was reachable, his smile friendly. He was one of those very smart people that was still one of the people. An amazing man. Larger than life. His authentic, true heart and soul, worn on his ordinary shirt sleeve.
I've watched tribute after tribute on televisions, computers, newspapers - everywhere. No one has spoken ill of him - I've heard speech after speech, story after story about fond memories of this man. His death is one of those deaths where you feel as though you've met the man, as if he's one of your family members. As though you've always known him. How real he seemed to me.
I've cried at each and every memorial service - I watched the wake in Washington, D.C. at my desk while at work. I'd listen to excerpts on the radio. Amidst all the horrible things happening in the world right now, to me, this was a true tragedy.
I grieve for his family, for his wife, for his son, for his father. His friends, both personal and professional. The generation who won't get to hear his voice of reason. The grandchildren who he would have adored, and who would have adored him in return. The wife who won't be able to grow old with this man who clearly loved her. The son who can't call him every day to talk about Buffalo teams. The people whom he inspired everyday. The humor he brought to this world.
Faith. Faith was another reason I admired Tim Russert. Not being a Catholic myself, I could still admire and respect his outward and honest practice of faith. How he was true to his religion and his profession. How his integrity was displayed in his interviews with famous individuals in our society.
His son. What an amazing, young man this is. He seems much wiser than his 22 years. He clearly has learned many wonderful lessons from and through his father. The maturity, the good-natured joy. The ability to see past the pain of today, and toward the hope of tomorrow. The ability to hold his head high, and comfort others in his own time of pain.
His character. His love of family. His love of his country. His warmth. His sense of humor. His love. How I will miss this great man.
"...a day greeted without real enthusiasm is a sadly lost opportunity." Tim Russert