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Remembering Tim Russert

June 15th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Every morning for the past few years, like so many of you, I had a ritual to sleep in a little, and then turn on the TV to watch Meet the Press. So like most of us, I was shocked to hear about Tim Russert’s sudden passing and had a jarring experience waking up this morning.

His colleagues and friends on TV that have been talking about him have said so much about his character, his professionalism, and his all-around goodness. The one thing I haven’t heard said was this, which is all the more poignant on this Father’s Day 2008. Tim Russert brought respectability back to Fatherhood.

In his two books and so many TV interviews, Tim Russert reminded us that being a good father is the most noble, the more important, the most honorable thing a man can do in this world. A good father leads by example. He works hard to make a living for his family, but he’s never too busy that he can’t cheer loudly at his son’s Little League game, take his little girl out to Sunday brunch to make her feel special.

He’s the head of the household. This statement (out of the Bible) has become controversial in recent years because those who complain about it have no idea what it means. All it means is that he’s the first to give up his life for his family, whether it means living for them or dying for them. It means no matter what else goes on around him, he’s a rock that the whole family can look to and know everything is okay. It means he’s a hero to his kids. He’s there to be a moral compass, an example of what strong work ethic, faith, and love mean which his kids will see and learn and copy. Mom is the heart of the family, Dad is the head. A just like a body can’t survive without both, neither can a family.

We live in a world where fatherhood is continually denigrated. Fathers are always the butt of jokes–turn on a TV commercial and you’ll see the clueless dad being mocked by his kids. Too often, this society puts down the role of Dads. Society more and more paints fathers as useless people who take up space, while the Mom does all the work raising the kids. The crime is, men are starting to believe it. In so many broken families these days, you see the guy not holding up his end.

When Tim’s book “Wisdom of Our Fathers” came out, it was more than just a book from a journalist. It was a stake in the ground reminding men around the world about what their duty is. It tells the story of great fathers who gave their lives for their families. It’s required reading for every father and father-to-be out there of how it’s supposed to be done.

On this Father’s Day, just two days after the passing of Tim Russert, let’s remember him fondly, but to every guy out there, don’t let his death go by without at least remembering the lessons he and his Dad “Big Russ” taught.

Unlike the other blog posts, this one doesn’t have a “gift” you can buy, but instead, consider giving a direct donation to two of Tim Russert’s favorite charities in his honor.

Catholic Charities USA

Boys and Girls Clubs of America


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