Saturday, July 18, 2009

Farewell Mr. Cronkite

Walter Cronkite, newsman who was unmatched, died yesterday, at the age of 92. He worked right up to last year, working on documentaries and voice overs after retiring from the CBS anchor desk in the 1980s.

As a Canadian, I didn't watch much of him, but we did know who he was. And, if we turned to the CBS network to watch a program that came after his newscast, we got to watch some of him as we waited for the news to be over.

Even as a child, I remember being impressed with Mr. Cronkite. To me, even now, he is the quintessential newsman. His is the way news should be read. I don't enjoy watching TV news now. I don't want my newscasters raising their eyebrows, creasing their foreheads or frowning as they read the news with their interpretive expressive tones. I want to be told the news - plain and simple. But plain and simple is gone now. I doubt it will come back.

I was watching a special on him this morning and he wanted so badly to go into space. He was like a kid when it came to all things space-related apparently. Maybe now, he's there.

Mr. Cronkite's cause of death is said to be cerebrovascular disease, not unusual for a man in his 90s. RIP Mr. Cronkite.

At that age when friends' parents are leaving us

It happened again last night. More good friends lost their father/father-in-law to cancer. It was expected, but it doesn't make it that much easier. Just a few years ago, she lost her dad to the same disease.

I'm at the age, 48, where my friends are losing their parents - those who haven't lost them already. It's hard for a friend to watch the pain. We know it hurts but only they can work it through. Unspoken thoughts, sometimes unsaid apologies, can haunt those left behind. But what's done is done and we can't go back and change what we wish we'd done and what we wish we'd said. We can only hope that our loved one knew and understood.

Our niece had a baby girl just two weeks ago - a life just beginning, and Mr. Z left the world - a life ending. The circle of life, as cliched as it is, is truly how the world functions.

To all those who have lost someone important to them or are in the process of having someone going down that path, my sympathy. It's hard. But I do know that it also gets better as we realize that life continues but now with memories.