Listening For a Bell to Ring

If I were George Bailey or Zuzu or Mary, I’d be listening for a bell to ring so I’d know another angel got his wings.

Today’s sad news that NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and moderator of Meet the Press (for over seventeen years) suffered a massive heart event today in his office. CPR was immediately initiated, but in spite of heroic efforts, Mr. Russert was pronounced dead after exhausting all means at the hospital.

Yesterday, I added a sidebar called, “Because I Care.” After losing my mother at a young age, as well as, a beloved young stepson to heart disease — today’s death of a person I never met, nor ever even had a chance of meeting, nevertheless brought me to my emotional knees.

We need to take care of each other … and take care of ourselves.

This is our one chance to make life good for ourselves and others around us. Maybe we shouldn’t blow it!

Mr. Russert’s doctor (and friend) bravely informed TV watchers during an interview on MSNBC that only a month ago, Russert passed a treadmill test with flying colors. He was pronounced healthy, although he was being watched for issues relating to a teensy bit of heart stuff. He exercised regularly, had a fabulous attitude, but still Russert had the usual things any high-profile journalist has — stress, bits and snatches of sleep, poor diet — you know, all the things we writers revel in.

So here I am in my little writer’s cave — in the dark with only the glow of my monitor to let me know there’s life out there in the Internets and on the Google.

And I’m sad for the family and friends of a brighter-than-bright man (who I never met except on television). Tim Russert never knew that I was on the other side of the television, sometimes agreeing, sometimes cursing …  but that won’t stop me from listening carefully for the tinkle of a bell. Maybe Sunday or Monday, or so, I’ll hear it. And when I do, I’ll laugh and know that another angel got his wings.

Maybe I should go to church. We Catholics do bells, you know. Maybe I should.

But while I’m thinking that over, fly on, Mr. Russert. Fly on! And, hey … if you see my Mom or my Stepson in the Welcome to the Heart Guy reception line, give ’em a howdy-do from me, will ya? Thanks.

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