Despite today being a weekend, I woke up earlier than usual, meaning on work days. Wify was already downstairs starting her daily routine, another unusual sign for her too for she usually sleeps late on weekends, what with over the midnight bed time last night (or this morning to be exact). There seemed to be some kind of premonition in the air, which I had no inkling about, then.
At breakfast, I picked up the St. Pete Times from just outside the door, sauntered to the table, scanned the first page for a sense of what's happening around Tampa, Florida, and the world at large. St. Pete Times has a news gist column to the left on the first page, summarizing the various news vignettes that point to further expansion inside the paper.
While scrolling down the list of news gist, my eyes caught the title, 'The Last Lecture' professor dies, that sent a jolt through me. Randy Pausch was of course the latest Internet phenom who breezed through the blogosphere like a fresh wisp of air with his presentation of the Last Lecture caught on video, which I have blogged about here. He was best known for his delivery of life lessons, imparted with a mission-like urgency precipitated by the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer just days prior to his fated delivery.
Despite the terminal illness that would have cowed a lot of people into submission, he fought on gallantly, exuding a lustrous passion for life, and conversely, a near disdain for death, that excited those who are similarly afflicted, and more so, shamed those fortunate among us for having taken life for granted.
Life being what it is, his passing should not have been a surprise. All of us will be visited by the same fate, sooner or later. Except that in his case, it might have seen sooner than most of us thought. But his legacy lives on, not only to his loved ones who are the original targets of his 'the Last Lecture', but also the millions around the world who have been fortunate enough to catch a last glimpse of him, literally. And hopefully goad us into living a full life from this moment on. It's better late than sorry.
May Randy Pausch rest in peace, and that his family will remain strong to tide over this difficult time. We all have lost an ordinary and yet a great man, but only in terms of his physical form, and surely not the life lessons that he had had instilled into our collective psyche.