I was stunned to learn about the sudden death of NBC newsman Tim Russert. Each week he came into my home with ease. He always moderated and interviewed high-profile politicians and news makers with such a level of integrity and truth, that hearing his voice through the television always felt comfortable to me. Even when he was asking a tough question, it never felt like an intrusion. When I heard the news that he had died, I immediately felt that kick in the gut that reminds me how quickly life can end. The first thing I thought was, "Where has my head been all day?" The stuff I had been worrying or stressing about... was it even all that important? Probably not. The countless tributes to Russert confirmed the magnitude of the loss for Russert's family, NBC, and the audience who felt that they knew him. Even his "rivals" in the news business were on the air in the middle of the night, talking about the positive impact Russert had made on their lives.
The legacy Russert left behind is really something to aspire to. What I kept hearing over and over was how Russert lived his life with such authenticity and passion. He was doing work he was born to do. He embraced his family with equal enthusiasm and devotion. Work-life balance? Russert said, "You just do it." He also spoke of something I have experienced in my own family, noting how each new generation has opportunity and privilege that our parents and grandparents didn't have. "I stand on my father's shoulders. My son stands on my shoulders," Russert had said.
What is important here is not that Tim Russert lived such a fine life and people said a bunch of nice things about him when he died. What's important is that Tim Russert was "alive" every day of his live. He was authentic, passionate, enthusiastic and contagious. He embraced each moment as a gift. When he died, he was exactly where he wanted to be.
I have noticed that this weekend, my husband and I have paid a little more attention to our two-year-old son. I said a prayer of thanks when Dillon ran down the hall and handed Shawn a card covered in scribble and shouted, "Happy Fad-der's Day!"
I have set an intention to be authentic, a little more present, and to continue to embrace my passions. Tim Russert is a reminder that we owe it to ourselves and the world to be who we were created to be.
Until next time,