Beginning on 6/13, we learned that Tim Russert had passed away suddenly. No one really knew the impact that gentleman had. He had a quiet presence about him, but from the outpouring of public sympathies to the family came from every walk of life. On one broadcast, the announcer spoke of the Security Guard that had tears in her eyes, and in the same breath, he spoke of Bush making a statement during his tour of Europe. What a man to reach such a broad spectrum of people from the President to the woman that he greeted each day going in to work.
Yesterday, I was watching the memorial being replayed on MSNBC. The speakers each had a wonderful sentiments, and funny stories about Tim. His son, so incredibly composed, would truly have made his father proud finished out the speakers.
Maria Shriver spoke and told of a poem that someone gave her when JFK, Jr. died and she thought it would be fitting to read to the Russert family.
I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted his white sails with a golden light, and as he disappeared from sight a voice at my side whispered, “He is gone”.
But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered, “He is gone” a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, “Here he comes!”
I looked around the internet and found that it was an excerpt from this poem:
A Parable of Immortality, by Henry Van Dyke
“I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There she goes!”
Gone where? Gone from my sight … that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she goes! there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!”
They were so beautiful and so fitting for the occasion.
He will truly be missed, not only the television presence but his presence in all the lives that he touched. Lives most never knew of.