By Alan Caruba
He was such a familiar face, always with a smile and a laugh, a journalist who had the kind of credibility that comes with a combination of knowing his trade and being well liked by everyone in it.
News of Tim Russert’s death has shaken those who knew him personally and those who knew him only from his coverage of the nation’s political scene.
For men of a certain age, those in their 50’s, his sudden death from a heart attack at age 58 proved to be a greater shock. Old in America has become 80. The average life expectancy is 78.
I told a number of friends in Russert’s age bracket that “Life doesn’t come with a warranty and surely not with a guarantee.”
To those just in their twenties with whom I chatted, I told them to “always eat dessert”, my way of saying you should enjoy each day and that includes ice cream, cake or cookies. A life without chocolate is not worth living.
Russert will be replaced in his anchor chair on “Meet the Press” and his analysis on NBC-TV and MSNBC-TV will be sorely missed. In time a new face will become as familiar as his and, hopefully, as respected and admired. But it will be a new face.
This is a good time to remind ourselves that none of us is irreplaceable. Indeed, all of us are replaceable and the best we should hope and strive for is to be deeply and sincerely missed.
It is a good time to remind ourselves of the value of being nice to everyone who crosses our path—yes, complete strangers—and, more importantly, those who bless our lives with their friendship and love.
Rest in peace, Tim Russert.