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Random Observations by Pat Ostrye

The Facts of Life - and Death!

    I'm adding my name to the hundreds of others who have had a compulsion to comment on the "too young to die" death of Randy Pausch, a Computer Science Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.   At the ripe age of 47, he maintained that his "Last Lecture", heard 'round the world, "was spoken and written for an audience of three: his children, ages 5, 2 and 1.  'I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children', he explained."   For that very reason, he co-authored with Jeffrey Zaslow, a Wall Street Journal writer,  the best-selling book, "The Last Lecture", which came out last April.  

    I think those of us who watched the TV presentation by Diane Sawyer and/or read the extensive obituary in the LA TImes by Valerie Nelson, could agree that there was never a more poignant, authentic Reality Show, past or present.  (Gleaned from both resources), Randy Pausch stated after being given a time of 3-6 months to live, that magic comes from the heart and that he was dying but still having fun!   By the way, his cause of death was pancreatic cancer, probably one of the most incurable diseases out there.

     Pausch's rare, uplifting sharing of his always-optimistic advice to young people to continue to fulfill their ambitions and make every minute count no matter how few moments are left, was an inspiration to the entire world audience, particularly those in similar circumstances.

     I would say that every household on every block in every city, large or small, could relate in one way or another to the same possible circumstances and give praise to this unusual role model whose little ones will never have the joy of growing up with their Dad's exuberant physical presence.  Having a 49-year-old son with two young ones, ages 2 l/2 and six months,  also a very strong and determined older son fighting cancer for the past two years, plus a daughter who successfully conquered Hodgkins Disease over thirty years ago, the reality of the Last Lecture gives me substantial food for thought.  

     Along with the millions of others, I send heartfelt condolences to that wonderful little family and wish them the very best for the future.

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