I was at an interview this afternoon (my job – I interview families to evaluate their children for autism spectrum disorders) when the parent I was interviewing turned on the news. Actually, I forgot an extra tape, so I ran to the drugstore, and when I returned, there was the text on the screen from Bush stating that Tim Russert had passed away. This afternoon. Tim Russert. The guy from Meet the Press.

I stood there, in shock, thinking about how young he was and what a shock for his family and what a shock for ME (ok, I was in shock, grant me a little narcissistic latitude) and how young he was and what a shock for his family and it’s almost Father’s Day and he clearly didn’t plan for this and he dropped dead at WORK?!? and how young he was and oh my gosh he just dropped dead and what will happen to Meet the Press? The parent really wanted to watch the newscast with the short tribute to him, so I stood there awkwardly thinking these circular thoughts until she asked me to sit down in their living room.  (I regretted this decision eventually because the interview took a really. long. time. and had we not watched a 1/2 hour tribute to Tim Russert – a 1/2 hour tribute that is now being repeated on the airwaves – I would have been done much earlier. Oh well. We bonded over it. We built rapport. Hopefully that’s worth something.)

I wondered if he would be happy that he dropped dead at work after being on vacation with his family, or sad.  It made me start thinking…if I knew I was going to drop dead tomorrow, what would I want to be doing today?  Would I want to be getting another degree?  Working towards a dream career?  Working towards being an amazing mom?  An amazing wife?  Obviously the answers to these questions are wholly individual.  But I sad there, pondering them, anyway.

DB and I don’t have a lot of traditions, but one thing we do actually do (when he’s in the area) is make cinnamon rolls on Sunday mornings and watch Meet the Press. It’s almost like a football game – we cheer Tim on when he makes a good point, I jeer at the bad Republicans on the show, and we debate the points when a commercial break comes on. It’s fun. It makes us feel smart and cultured and educated (“Oh, didn’t you SEE that on MTP yesterday? Oh? You don’t WATCH MTP? Well, do you at least listen to NPR?” – OK, I’d rather die than actually say that, but the mother tonight actually did say something in that vein. It was quite the fascinating window into pseudointellectual America). It’s a wonderful way to spend time on Sunday morning before we rush off to the hubbub that is the rest of our weekend. Little curls up on the couch with us. The cat sits on the ottoman. I might sound like a total nerd here, but watching MTP with DB, Little, the cat, and our cinnamon rolls is a wonderful memory that I will have for years (probably I won’t be having such nice memories of Sunday mornings once we have kids).

(We go to a Sunday evening church service. In case you were curious. Or, if we go in the morning, we DVR MTP and watch it at night, minus cinnamon rolls. Again, in case you were wondering.)

It’s so sad that he’s gone. My heart goes out to his family. Such an untimely death, but clearly he was needed elsewhere.

Rest in peace, Mr. Russert.  We will really miss you.

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