We all lost our pitcher

As everyone knows by now, Tim Russert passed away last week. When I first heard the news I was so shocked and so sad. If you haven’t seen this, you really must. I cannot imagine speaking of someone I adored days after their surprise passing with such humor and poise. Especially not at 22, but really, not ever.

I wonder if it’s the faith that Luke speaks of that allows him to do that. I don’t know. I do know, though, that I can be so very jealous of folks who have a deep faith that can bring them comfort in times of great sorrow. Usually, I am suspicious and critical of religion. But on days like today, when Tim Russert has left us much too soon, or when Ali has had to put her beloved Ellie down, I wish I could be a believer.

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13 Responses to “We all lost our pitcher”


  1. 1 Mary June 17, 2008 at 10:32 am

    My heart too has been broken. I loved his face, his laugh, his intelligence and his stories. It is all too sad.

  2. 2 Heather June 17, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Did you see the shout out from bruce springsteen?

    i do sometimes think that faith would provide comfort in tough times. although, i remember saying that to my mom, once. I think this was about our minister who had had a second trimester miscarriage. I said something like it must be easier for her because of her faith (I think I was around12). My mom didn’t agree, though. Faith obviously is a comfort, and i do think it helps people through tough times, but maybe it can be a burden, too. Like, hey god, what the f&*% are you thinking?

  3. 3 Sara H June 17, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I feel like I totally took Meet the Press for granted – now that it’s gone, I think I should have been watching it more. And, paying more attention to what a great guy Russert was himself.

    As for the faith thing – I have friends who are deeply, deeply faithful, and their son was diagnosed with leukemia at age 5. Throughout that ordeal, they leaned heavily on their faith and especially their faith community. I never saw them angry at God, but mostly confident in his vision and plan, be that as difficult and scary as it would be. How the confidence and scary pieces coexisted, I’m not sure. I’m also not sure how I would react in the same situation – I think it differs person to person.

  4. 4 Kristin June 17, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve seen that particular brand of faith Luke talked about pretty up close my whole life and I can say from watching my parents that it does go both ways, like Heather said, a help and a burden. So I don’t know. Pretty confusing, which I guess is why I’ve distanced myself from it (at least the straight up religion/dogma part) since about the age of seven.

    But Tim. Sweet Tim. The “best” part about watching everyone remember him these past few days (except maybe Friday night which was just straight up heartbreaking – I mean..Chuck Todd, that poor thing, among others) was how much people laughed, and how it made me laugh. That dear thing Mike Barnicle telling funny stories with tears in his eyes? Oh man, that’s what it’s all about.

    And Luke, when he told the tattoo story and then imparted some advice to the youth of America? I laughed out loud when he raised his eyebrows to punctuate his story. That made me feel better.

  5. 5 kateandgracie June 18, 2008 at 9:55 am

    That was a good story. About telling your folks about your tattoo on Christmas morning.

    But the thing about faith…I guess I understand what you folks are saying about the burden, but I have a hard time with that. Because those of us that don’t have faith are still burdened by the lemons thrown at us. And if it’s the, “Why are you doing this to me, God?” Well, I sort of have a problem with that. I mean, because if your faith makes you think that God likes you better and then you’re surpised when you too get shat upon, well, that’s just not a very cool attitude, so I guess I’m not really sympathetic to that burden. The idea that if you’re living your life in harmony with what God “wants” so that you’re surprised by misfortune doesn’t really seem very nice.

    And I just can’t imagine that the Russerts are those people. If they were, if they felt that burden, then I don’t think that Luke could have been smiling during that interview. He just seemed to be so grateful for having such a great dad.

  6. 6 Sara H June 18, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I feel like I’m probably going to offend someone by saying this, but I guess I’ll just say it more directly (rather than pussyfooting around it as I did earlier) and hopefully not offend anyone too much.

    I think if you really, truly have faith, you accept that life (and god) is mysterious and therefore don’t feel the burden or blame god – the lemons are all part of it, even though you don’t necessarily understand it. I also think that true faith (probably coupled with religion – the structure there helps) directs focus to the positive – such as thankfulness for other blessings in the midst of chaos (like what you said about Luke, Kate). Which is not to say that non-faithful or non-religious people aren’t or can’t be truly thankful, I’m just saying that sometimes there’s an affirmative, maybe even required, redirection of energy/thought that comes with fully embracing faith and/or religion.

    And also, although I do belong to a religion, I will say that I definitely don’t think that God likes me any more than someone who is not part of my (or any) religion. šŸ™‚

  7. 7 kateandgracie June 18, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I think you’re right. Or at least that’s how I think of it, too. And why I’m kinda jealous of it.

    I also meant to say thanks to Kristin for pointing me in the right direction to see the clip of Luke and Matt. I’m still trying to get my emotional bearings back after having viewed it.

    Although when have I really ever had my emotional bearings.

    Oh, and I like to think of this blog as a safe zone where we can chat and discuss without worrying about offense. Or safe in the way I insist Heather and Dale treat my questions about fertilized chicken eggs, ie not telling me that I’m a total moron.

  8. 8 G June 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    who doesn’t love tim russert- he was awesome. I’m glad that his family’s faith is helping them through a tough time. I’m also envious of that- although I consider myself religious, and believe that god has a plan for all of us- I know that I would be devastated by such a loss. I was shocked by it even though we’d never met him. Some people are just good, you know? I always liked Russert and always thought he looked like he needed a good haircut. Maybe he’s getting great haircuts in heaven. Maybe God needed a debate moderator (I like the “god needed a driver” bumper stickers for Ernhardt) or a good sunday morning program.

    I too also wonder about fertilized chicken eggs- do they just not have any roosters around? That’d make sense.

  9. 9 kateandgracie June 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    That’s funny because I always thought his hair was awfully cute. I like the idea that God needed a moderator. That’s sweet.

    I just wrote my $430.50 check to allow me to be a lawyer for another year. What a racket.

  10. 10 Sara H June 18, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Is it only $430? Why did I think it was $700? I go the inactive route since I’m not practicing – only $200. Maybe I’ll start saving so I can get the gold membership next year!

  11. 11 kateandgracie June 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    ONLY $430? Is it your faith that says $430 is an amount to be modified with “only?” Again, I’m jealous.

  12. 12 Sara H June 18, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    It just sounded small compared to the $700 in my head. šŸ˜‰ Can you believe it’s $200 just to stay in – not even to practice? sheesh.

  13. 13 kateandgracie June 19, 2008 at 9:50 am

    That’s ridiculous. And then they also make it sound really hard to go from inactive to active, which I would think just means paying a bunch of money. As you also may know, they charge $25 to change your name. A racket of a racket!


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