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Thu Feb 11, 2021, 09:58 PM

Rep. Jamie Raskin On The Life And Legacy Of His Son, Tommy Raskin

*"Tommy was remarkable from the beginning," Jamie Raskin tells NPR's Scott Simon. "He had a photographic memory and, like some other kids in our family, knew all the presidents and vice presidents in order. But it wasn't his mind that marked him as so extraordinary. It was his heart. The stories of his love and compassion are absolutely astounding." . .

Tributes to Tommy have poured in over the past few days.

A neighbor wrote to the Raskin family about a time when Tommy organized a group dinner in high school so a classmate of his who didn't have a date to the prom wasn't left out. The classmate never forgot it.

"We've been hearing stories like this ever since it happened," Raskin tells Weekend Edition. "I mean, Tommy, he felt all of the pain and the suffering in the world, which is how, of course, he found his way quickly to vegetarianism. Nobody in our family was a vegetarian, and now everybody is." . .

Jamie Raskin says, "You couldn't be in his presence and say a negative thing about people. He didn't mind gossip if it was good gossip. [But] if it was nasty, Tommy would say, 'Excuse me, but it's hard to be a human.' And then that would be the end of that."

In his 20s, Tommy faced serious depression, his parents write in a remembrance. It was "a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him" that became "overwhelming and unyielding and unbearable." . .

The Raskin family has now created the Tommy Raskin Memorial Fund for People and Animals. And hundreds of people are sharing good deeds they've done in his name, as The Washington Post reported.

Jamie Raskin received a standing ovation when he spoke during debate Wednesday over the Republican effort to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's electoral win. He says he was heartened by words of support from fellow lawmakers of both parties on the same day, Jan. 6, he had to evacuate the chamber because of a violent mob takeover.

"That has been a solace and a comfort to me, that at this time of the ugliest possible division, where we've got a violent, seditious mob invading the Capitol, that there is still enough decency and humanity that we can share each other's pain in this situation," Raskin tells Weekend Edition.

Going forward, Raskin says, his family "will keep Tommy very close to our heart. And we will fight for every single thing he asked us to." He says Tommy knew that "the things that we say are our values and principles ... only have meaning if we act as if they're true, if we make them real. And so we can't let them be empty rhetoric."'


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Reply Rep. Jamie Raskin On The Life And Legacy Of His Son, Tommy Raskin (Original post)
elleng Feb 11 OP
Xipe Totec Feb 11 #1

Response to elleng (Original post)

Thu Feb 11, 2021, 10:05 PM

1. In these moments, I take refuge in Njera's Poetry - For Then:

I want to die young at the end of the day On the High Sea, with face to the sky, When agony is but a dream far away And the flight of my soul is a bird soaring by.

Let there be no sad tears as I draw my last breath, at one and alone with the sky and the sea, No sobbing, nor prayer, nor laments of death; I only would hear the deep waves cover me.

To die when the bright glow of twilight is fading, And catches the waves in its last net of light; To be like that sun as its luminous shading Expires and is lost in the arms of the night.

To die, and die young: before time has destroyed The delicate fabric illusion has spun; When life can still say:"I am yours," but the void Of a final echo tells us death has won!

- Gossamer Stories,
Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera,
Translated by John A. Crow

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