Robert Novak died today of a brain tumor. May he rest in peace.
Back in September he wrote a moving column about the onset and progress of his disease, bluntly entitled My Brain Tumor. His ordeal began when he unknowingly hit a pedestrian with his Corvette. Several days later, after seizures and tests, he received his diagnosis:
In answer to my question, the oncologist estimated that I had six months to a year to live. Being read your death sentence is like being a character in one of the old Bette Davis movies.The next excerpt comes from a November 08 interview with Novak by Barbara Matusow: Pray for Me
I believe I was able to withstand this shock because of my Catholic faith, to which I converted in 1998. [. . .]
There are mad bloggers who profess to take delight in my distress, but there's no need to pay them attention in the face of such an outpouring of good will for me. I had thought 51 years of rough-and-tumble journalism in Washington made me more enemies than friends, but my recent experience suggests the opposite may be the case.
But Joe and Valerie Wilson, attempting to breathe life into the Valerie Plame "scandal," issued this statement: "We have long argued that responsible adults should take Novak's typewriter away. The time has arrived for them to also take away the keys to his Corvette."
Thanks to my tumor, the Wilsons have achieved half of their desires. I probably never will be able to drive again, and I have sold the Corvette, which I dearly loved. Taking away my typewriter, however, may require modification of the First Amendment.
Support for me and promises of prayers sent for me poured in from all sides, including political figures who had not been happy with my columns. I'm told that President George W. Bush has not liked my criticism, particularly of his Iraq war policy. But the president is a compassionate man, and he telephoned me at 7:24 a.m. on August 15, six minutes before I went into surgery. The conversation lasted only a minute, but his prayerful concern was touching and much appreciated.
Catholics believe that prayer can benefit the souls of the dead, so if you are so inclined, please send something up for Mr. Novak.
Q: What's the most helpful thing someone can say to a person who's gravely ill?A: There's not much you can say. A lot of people say: "You're a tough guy and a fighter. You're gonna beat this." Well, I don't know if I will beat it. Being tough and a fighter have nothing to do with it. I guess the most helpful thing they can say, if they're a man or woman of faith, is to tell me they're praying for me.
More on Novak's passing:
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