Author Topic: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life  (Read 2876 times)

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Offline Bob Marino

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Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« on: June 15, 2008, 11:17 PM »
 With Tim Russert's untimely death, I was reminded  by something my father had said 11 + years ago. His beloved Brittany Spaniel Corey, who was a bit too feisty for his own good, had ran out of my dad's house and into the street and was killed after getting hit by a car. A few days later, myself and my wife, my mom and sisters were having dinner there and my father spoke reflectively and sadly about Corey's death and how fleeting life can be. You can be here today and so quickly gone from this world, so treasure and enjoy what you have; most of all family and friends.   Unfortunately for all of us, his words came back to haunt us. Six months later, he was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, bigtime, needing a quadruple bypass. The operation was a success and dad was recovering quite well...until after showering and getting dressed in the am, he went over to my mom, complaining of a pain around the shoulder. He collapsed and died in her arms seconds later.. 2 days before his 72 birthday. I was at work and I got the call from my mom and asked to speak to the CMT; all they said was to get home ASAP. Being in the medical field for over 17 years, having performed CPR on hundreds of patients, I knew the chances of my dad surviving were allmost nill and the 1/2 hour cab ride seemed like an eternity in heck. And it was heck, he was gone.
 If I can take something positive out of Tim Russert story, other than paying way more attention to one's health, was to admire a man who exuded life in it's fullest way, was on top of his  game, the best of the best, yet remained true to his blue collar, Irish- Catholic roots and most of all loved his family even more than his job...and you could so easily see that  he loved his job.
 He never seemed to been caught up in life's petty games, which as we see, can spill all sort of bad karma, poison friendships and never leaves you in a better place than before.
 At this point in my life - approaching 55, though I do feel stressed out at times, sometimes more often that I admit to, I have a wonderful wife and a (slightly spoiled ;)) yet wonderful 10 year old daughter,a brother, 2 sisters and the most caring Mom in the world, a small but nice house in a good (though waaaaaay overly expensive) neighborhood. We are all in good health. I still maintain my credentials as a Respiratory Therapist, while devoting much (though I hope not too much) time away from my family) to selling Festool tools and that seems to be going well as I take it to another level with me getting an actual Festool store. I admit I love the tools as well as the company, have developed a pretty good repore with many of my customers and at times this hobbyist woodworker feels he has hit the lottery! darn it, I have hit the lottery!
 I will actively look to avoid  negativity and enjoy my job, help my customers and most importantly treasure family and friends - life's too fleeting not too. I hope I wasn't too Preachy, but on this Father's Day, I want to share this with the FOG Community.

Bob
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 06:47 AM by Bob Marino »
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Offline Kevin Brun

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 12:17 AM »
Well said Bob, thanks for that. I lost my father right before Christmas last year. He was a man that would always try to build something with the wrong tool. One reason I like Festool, he taught me what not to do so many times, I really miss him, especially today.

Offline iggy07

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 12:18 AM »
Have to agree with Bob. Similar story with my Dad. He had a heart attack at 55, and was able to retire at that age (Navy time and federal law enforcement). His doc said, "What kind of cigarettes did you say you used to smoke?" In the ICU his door was normally closed, but occasionally his door and the door to the nurses lounge would be open at the same time, and he'd sit up and sniff for the cigarette smoke. (I couldn't detect it at all.) Surprising to all of us, he never smoked another cigarette for his next 15 years, and threw out his pipes to avoid the temptation.

He spent the next years traveling the world - Europe, a 3-mo freighter trip, a 4-mo genealogy trip around the U.S. The way he told it, everyone over the past 40 years who ever said, "If you're ever in our neck of the woods, be sure and look us up." was given the opportunity to make good on their offer -- over 4 months I believe they spent 3 nights in motels! He also got into computers, (~1980 - 1985), which he put to good use for the writing and genealogy. He wrote a small book for the family, complete with pasted-up illustrations, about the log house where he was born in 1915.

He had a cardiac arrest on a Sunday morning ('85), the day after returning to Seattle from a week-long genealogy workshop in Salt Lake City. Probably was working and carousing too much the entire time.

My wife and I spent Fri and Sat evenings watching the coverage of Tim Russert, one of my favorite people. Like many others, I became a real fan when he was on with the white board into the wee hours on election night 2000.

Meet the Press this morning was a great review of his life, hosted by Tom Brokaw. My wife was impressed by how much coverage he received -- as much as the pope? -- more than Ronald Reagan?  And as we learned more about him, we were progressively more impressed than ever. Blue collar origins, worked his butt off, climbed the ladder, became (almost certainly) the most insightful political interviewer in history. No one got a free ride, and yet everyone, and I mean everyone, just loved the guy! It is very rare indeed that we see Keith Olbermann, Wolf Blitzer, Andrea Mitchell, Tom Brokaw, James Carville, Bob Schieffer, Chris Matthews, Charlie Rose, Doris Kearns, Barbara Walters, and others, choked up on the air.

I am amazed at how well-rounded and rich his life was -- sports (HUGE fan), rock-and-roll (he 'discovered' Bruce Springsteen, and booked him for a college concert when BS was unknown), he knew everyone's kids, parents, families, etc., and, of course, his legendary relationships with his mother, father (Big Russ), wife, and son. Tom Brokaw said his (Tom's) mother was broken up when she heard the news, and went on to say that when he and Tim visited Mrs. Brokaw's apartment, Tim's book was on top of Brokaw's on the coffee table -- a fact that Tim never let him forget . . .   

As Big Russ would say, "What a country!"  (Tom Brokaw couldn't get through the sentence this morning.)

Sure makes you think about what's really important, doesn't it?

iggy
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 12:22 AM by iggy07 »
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Offline Woodenfish

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 12:32 AM »
Bob, Thanks for relaying your story and I'll offer you my deepest sympathy for the loss of your father. Last week wednesday a fellow co-worker of mine collapsed upon his desk in his office. His youngest child a 12 year old boy was there that day with him as he often times was when he was out of school. My friends lifeless body was discovered within moments by his son who frantically began screaming for help. Another co-worker quickly arrived, he dialed 911 and began CPR. The EMT's were on the scene fast and began an intensive treatment. As the ambulance rode away to the hospital the EMT's continued providing care. We all prayed to the Lord for our friend in this trying surrealistic moment.

About an hour later we heard the devastating news that he failed to pull through. A doctor stated to his family that he most likely died the minute he hit the desk. Tomorrow evening, the day after Father's Day is his wake. He will be laid to final rest on tuesday. The man was 55 years old and full of life, way to young to go so quickly. He left behind his wife, two son's, a daughter and five grandchildren. His oldest son is a soldier serving our nation in Iraq. We will deeply miss him and there always will be that huge void in his department where he once stood with his big, friendly, helpful smile. RIP Mike.

It seems that too often life is tragically cut down early on some of the nicest folks we meet. I try my best to respect all people and realize how important interactions with one another are whether they are pleasant or not. May God continue to extend his grace upon us all to enjoy a long, healthy, prosperous life so we can share our love with our families, friends and him.



Offline joraft

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 11:01 AM »

I will actively look to avoid  negativity and enjoy my job, help my customers and most importantly treasure family and friends - life's too fleeting not too. I hope I wasn't too Preachy, but on this Father's Day, I want to share this with the FOG Community.



Bob, very nice post.

I've been a big fan of Tim Russert's for many years. As sort of a political junky myself, I never missed his show. He was a tough interviewer while never really revealing his own personal views, both being the characteristics of a great journalist. And I looked forward to his analysis during each and every election, he brought a great deal of interest and enthusiasm to the process.

And even before I read his book about "Big Russ" I knew that he had a very passionate human side, and was a great son as well as a great father.

How shocking and sad to lose this guy so suddenly. His doctor says that even if he had had a complete series of tests on the morning of his death, the problem most likely would not have been revealed. Makes you think, any of us could go at any minute, without warning. The last thing we say or do to another person could be the way they remember us forever.

I'm a few years older than you, and every day that I wake up and notice that I'm still breathing I figure I'm ahead of the game already. So I always try to make the most of it.


John
John

Offline greg mann

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 12:01 PM »
It seems that no matter how one feels about some of the contention we have had here lately we are all in agreement about Tim Russert. He was a man you had to like. I really cannot add to anything that has been said about him, so I won't try.

I lost my own father to a car accident when he was 55. I was 15 and the only member of my family that was not hurt. He died while I was talking to him, and I will never forget what that felt like. But, it was 45 years ago so the grieving process has run its course.

I do have a funny story to share. I was a pretty decent quarter-miler in high school, and just that summer before he died, he and I were at a park and walking a fair distance back to the car. I was pretty much full of myself regarding my athleticism and made some remark about having to wait for him. He asked me if I wanted to race back to the car. Well, it was pretty much a roadrunner cartoon as he cleaned my clock badly. I realize to this day that was the beginning of a change of attitude about how to look at life and how to be aware of the danger concerning preconceived notions about age. I like to think that it helped create open-mindedness about a lot of other things too. Hope so.

The story came full circle many years later as my daughter turned out to be an elite runner also. When I say also, I am referring to her and my Dad, not me. I was 45 when she was 15, a full ten years younger than my Dad had been when I was 15. There was no way I was going to challenge her to a race! Hopefully, fleetness of foot was the only thing that skipped me.  ;D
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 03:25 PM »
Bob and all of you, you are so right on with your own "Tim Russert" stories. His death affected me in the same way. I watched his son with Matt Lauer on Today Show...and what a super son. So able to discuss his father in so many ways..so much love. If there is a message for any and all of us it is to let our sons and daughters, wives et al  know that we love them. Luke said that there wasn't a day that passed when his father and he would talk and Tim always said "I love you." If you think it is unnecessary because they know it ....wrong.
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Offline Robert Robinson

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 04:09 PM »
Thanks Bob, Greg, Woodenfish, iggy, and Kevin for sharing your personal stories of a tragic event. Since loosing my Dad in February, it has been kinda hard, but hearing your personal stories, and that you can reflect now, and remember the funny stories, and good times helps me deal with this.

Thanks Rob
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Offline greg mann

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Re: Tim Russert, Dads and things called life
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 01:33 PM »
Luke said that there wasn't a day that passed when his father and he would talk and Tim always said "I love you." If you think it is unnecessary because they know it ....wrong.

You are right on the mark, John. Right up to the time of his death my father would come into my room and kiss me good night. As I related, I was 15 at the time and sometimes felt those "Aw, Dad!" teenage thoughts, and sometimes faked that I was asleep.  ::) But, most importantly, I always knew that I was loved. It has been a great advantage to me in dealing with whatever life has tossed in my way. 
Greg Mann
Oakland, Michigan