Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert May 7,1950 - June 13, 2008

I am completely devastated.

Tim Russert of NBC News, moderator of Meet The Press, has died.

I feel like I have lost a treasured family member.Tim Russert, through his books and his show, shared much of his life with us. He was a great storyteller and he loved to tell stories about his family, including his father; Big Russ, as well as his son, Luke. Big Russ worked several jobs when Tim was a student. There was nothing that Big Russ wouldn't do for his son. And Tim was crazy about his father. You could see it in his face when he spoke of him and how proud he was of the sacrifices he made for Tim to go to college and then onto law school. In turn, Tim would do anything for his son, and was he crazy about Luke also.

Tim's intelligence, grace and humor have been unsurpassed in the news industry. He was so enjoying this year's presidential race and was really looking forward to the outcome. I always enjoyed when he would come on the TV screen, knowing that he would bring up points that others hadn't covered. You could tell that he absolutely enjoyed his job, the enthusiasm showing in his face while he was talking.

He treasured his family and wasn't shy about telling people that. He would choke up sometimes, telling us family stories about his dad or son.

One of my favorite stories of Tim's was when his son had read the book "Big Russ" about his grandfather. Tim and Big Russ share the same initials - TJR, as Tim was a junior. Sometime after Luke had read the book he returned home from college. Tim heard his wife Maureen yell to him "he has a TATTOO!" Tim went running to see what was going on, reminding Luke that he had promised that he wouldn't get a tattoo. Luke then responded that after he had read the book, he decided to get a tattoo to honor his dad and grandfather. So he pulled up his shirt and there were the initials TJR tattooed on his side. Luke then said he always wanted to have his dad and grandfather "on his side". Tim choked up at that point and said "What could I say?"

So as I am typing this, my heart has broken a little bit more. The world was a much better place with Tim Russert in it and he will be greatly missed, especially by me.

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