I can’t remember the first time I saw Tony Snow on television. But I know it’s been very many memorable years ago.
What struck me most about this fine man, was his optimism about life. Whether I saw him on Fox News Channel, or listened in to his own radio show or Rush Limbaugh’s, I knew it would be a thoroughly captivating and educational time. I knew the time I spent with him would leave me feeling there were options out there I may not have considered. Options that would uplift our America instead of trash it. Options that were feasible.
And when he moved into the White House as Press Secretary, how happy I was to know I’d get to hear from him almost every day.
His husky yet soothing voice was unmistakable. And I would often be thrilled by the manner in which he would deliver his thoughts. As an author, I admire how others string sentences together and he did it so elegantly.
When a man dies, you usually get to know his character by the tributes of his family, friends and colleagues. Everyone was in awe of the manner in which he lived his life before and after he learned of his cancer challenges.
It’s said it’s not how we lived, but moreso how we died. From the accounts of all his colleagues, Tony worked through his illness with class and grace. He was a wonderful example of keeping his hopes high that he would beat his colon cancer.
My thoughts these last few days have been with his family, of course, but also his colleagues. It’s an interesting dynamic which takes place when it’s a dear friend who dies.
In Tony’s case, he’s in the media spotlight. Most of us will honor our friend and then go back to work immediately. But their loss and presence will be felt when we see their office empty, when they aren’t around to reach out to when you have a thought or are working on a project you know their advice would be valuable.
So I want to acknowledge and validate the pain of a friend’s grief. It’s real and sometimes it’s more real than grieving for a distant relative or other relative with whom we barely had a relationship. But a friend, and especially a business colleague…well, we’d see them or speak with them continually in the process of fulfilling our work. The vacuum left by their empty office, voice, writing, strategy, humor, talents will be felt for a very long time.
And when we lose a man like Tony, the level of that pain and loss, felt at FOX and on the radio and in the White House is significant.
When I think about the people I’d like to have the honor of meeting in my lifetime, Mr. Tony Snow was right up there on the list. I feel sad I’ll not get that pleasure now.