13 June 2008

Tim Russert (1950-2008)

Please keep Tim Russert's family in your thoughts and prayers.

Tim, the moderator of Meet the Press and numerous other shows, Buffalo native and the man who made me believe that I could believe in politics again with his reporting of the coverage of the 2008 Presidential primaries slipped the bonds of Earth and went to be with God this afternoon in his Washington, DC press bureau while working on voiceovers for Meet the Press. He was 58 years young.

He just got back from a celebratory trip to Italy last night to honor his son Luke's graduation from Boston College.

His father known as Big Russ(Tim wrote 2 books about his father) is in his late 80's and Tim just had to move him into a nursing home recently.

Tim was the epitome of organization. He handled his job and kept up with his son's academic and sports pursuits while keeping his pulse on the family(his father and 3 sisters) in Buffalo on a daily basis, calling his father several times a day to check on him.

I have been disillusioned with politics since the Bush/Gore election. Fortunately or unfortunately, my son loves history and politics and keeping up with the world. He was the one to introduce me to MSNBC and when he or his sister, Kelli, is here, you can bet we will be watching MSNBC's Keith Olbermann M-F at 7 p.m. My husband is now a loyal fan. Although I have known of Tim for years, I recently reconnected with him while watching Keith's show and the coverage of the primaries this year. He had a way of capturing me with what he said and giving me hope and slowly he brought me out of the "no way Jose" attitude I had adopted concerning politics. I looked forward to what Tim had to say on every issue, after every primary and enjoyed watching him do one of the things he loved best---interacting with people.

When I heard the breaking news today as I watched Tom Brokaw struggle to tell us about the loss of one of his dearest friends and colleagues, I immediately rolled back to November 22, 1963. It was a Friday, it was cloudy/rainy here in Belleville, Illinois and I felt like I had been struck when I heard our beloved President Kennedy had been assasinated while in my 4th grade class. My mom and I watched the coverage nonstop through to his funeral.

Today it is Friday, it is cloudy/rainy here in Belleville, IL and I am just.stunned.and.saddened with the news of Tim's death.

I have cancelled my plans for the rest of the day and have sat here for the last 2 hours reading articles about Tim and watching his fellow colleagues on MSNBC struggle to make peace with the loss of Tim. I will continue to watch as the weekend progresses.

Tim taught them that the news goes on no matter what the circumstance and I think he would be proud of his colleagues today.

There were reddened eyes and gruff voices as they talked about Tim and what he meant not only to them, but to his family and to his profession.

His colleagues in Washington said later that Tim acted like he wasn't feeling well today, but since he just got back from Italy last night, they attributed it to jet lag. And Tim, being Tim, went on with the now of news and checking on his family and colleagues like every other day in his world.

This is truly our now.

There is no next second or moment.

Do it now. Say it now. Call that person you haven't talked to in a while. Say I love you to your family. Say it again.

Please honor Tim and his life by living yours well with no regrets.

Tim thought he would talk to his dad tonight, have dinner with his wife and do Meet the Press Sunday.

There are no do-overs.

God bless you Tim and thanks for pulling me back to the political world.


melanie, aka Mo said...

NEss, sorry didn't read about Tim Russett, as I am at the beach and don't care!! But I DID come over to say I appreciate that you have trouble talking about Jake in past tense. Me too!! I was also sad to see the beach pic on Staci's site with the three kids without Jake! Sad! Also, hmmmm... I am going with like, maybe 8, bathing suits! I am kinda embarassed to actually answer that! Melanie

melanie, aka Mo said...

OOohhh, just read the title... did he pass away? sorry! SO politically incorrect to say that I didn't care. I care about HIM, just not about reading at the moment! So disrespectul! So sorry!

melanie, aka Mo said...

Hey, Ness.... back on 06/14 to say AGAIN that I am so sorry about sounding so dang disrespectful about your post. I had NO IDEA he had passed away. We are at the beach, as you know, and not doing the TV thing! As for me saying, "I don't care", I was referring to anything "newsy" and thought it was just about news. Should have read, but I was just coming over to comment on your message about Jake to me. Again, no disrespect meant!! Melanie

Steph said...


That was a wonderful post about Tim Russert. Well I'm finally back posting after a crazy week at VBS. I have read all of your post though. I hope that you have recovered your spoon count. If I could I would send you some of mine.


katie said...

Yeah, i was quite saddened by his loss as well. once again, your words here are just incredible. beautiful tribute to a good man, Ness.

Have a great day! :)

Flea said...

Wow. I had no idea this happened. I've been reading his first book about his dad and have been touched by his memories and insight. You're right - he was the absolute best at what he did. I'm so sorry. Thank you for the touching post.

jojo said...

this Irish-Catholic, red-headed, New York girl joins you in your grief at the sudden loss of Tim. I too looked to him to help me make sense of the political drama. You are right--there are no do-overs. Thanks for the reminder Ness and the tribute to Tim Russert.


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