Today, Fred Rogers died. Mr. Rogers was an important part of my life. From him I learned how crayons are made, that "make-believe" is important, and that you should like yourself. Yes, I learned that from many other places, including my parents, but Mr. Rogers made it his goal to teach everyone that. His show is educational, informative, relaxed, and fun. So few childrens' shows are anymore. Most are just ads for toys. Yeah, I watched transformers, but I was upset if I missed Mr. Rogers. This was a man who wrote all of his scripts by hand on yellow legal pads, and went to seminary on his lunch-break. You almost never saw him off the show, because he had no desire for fame or star status. He wanted to teach kids the best he was able. He did.
His death brings sadness to millions of people who grew up with him. Yet I take some comfort in the memory that when my grandfather died, one of the ways my parents helped me was with a booklet that Mr. Rodgers had written about dealing with death as a child. The man understood that life is temporary, and that we have to do the best we can with what we have. I can only hope that when I have children, I can find someone like him to help me know how to teach them like my parents did, and that when I reach the end of my life, I can feel that I made even a small part of the difference that Mr. Rogers did.