Then, Tim Russert died.
He was only 58. That’s not all that far from 49. Granted, I think I’m in better physical shape than he was — I’m not overweight (just a little mushy around the middle), I’m not on any meds and I certainly don’t have the level of stress in my life that Russert probably had.
But given the fact that his age is so close to mine, it’s really given me pause. Especially since we used to see him all the time.
Not, not personally, but in the neighborhood. He was a regular at the pizza place we frequent and we saw him just a couple of weeks before his death when we were out with PunditGirl at one of the spots we like to eat outside before the D.C. summer humidity makes that either impossible or masochistic.
One day here. The next day gone.
It’s so easy to put distance between ourselves and our ultimate fate when we’re talking about celebrities — people we don’t usually get to see up close and personal.
But there’s something too close for comfort about someone dying who we consider to be a contemporary. Maybe I’m fooling myself at 49 that 58 is young, but I need to believe that to get past my own looming milestone. And having someone who seemed healthy and vibrant who is part of the same generation — someone I would see every now and then in person — drop dead at his desk, has thrown me.
Fortunately, having an eight-year-old helps me stay in that comfy state of denial most of the time — I don’t have the energy to think about time marching forward while I’m driving to day camp or to the pool, putting together the latest craft project or helping PunditGirl with three digit addition and subtraction.
It’s just going to take me a little while to find my way back to that zone.