Today Louisville lost an advocate and cheerleader, way, way, way before her time. Francene Cucinello died today at age 43 of a heart attack complicated by an aneurysm.
I'm posting this without (much) commentary because I was not, by any means, a regular listener of Francene's program. Nor do I know a whole lot about her. She aired weekdays at 9am, which is normally when I am at work.
That being said, last year (well, late 2008), when I was on a leave-of-absence from my meatspace job to finish up my cancer treatments, I had gawdawful insomnia. Late at night, the only thing that could keep my brain from spinning out of control and into scary places was listening to COAST TO COAST with George Noory. (If I haven't made it clear before, let me make it clear now: Mama is a total conspiracy theorist and a huge believer in all things cryptozoological. In fact, Mama is waiting for the Mothership as we speak. And how else could you explain her fascination with @Fairdalebigfoot?)
And George Noory was on the same radio station that Francene was on in the morning. So when my alarm went off-- and I continued to set my alarm, even though I had nowhere to go-- I would wake to Francene.
Methinks she was more conservative than I am (but she couldn't have been THAT conservative, as she was a dear friend of Jake at the Ville Voice and for whom I feel tremendous sympathy). But I liked her. Quite a bit.
And of course, anyone who dies at age 43 of such shocking causes makes someone my age (still in my 30's) consider our mortality. And the general worth of our lives. And if there is any consolation in this-- and there really isn't-- it's that Francene died beloved by so many. She is being remembered for the impact she made on this city. For her faithful listeners and fans, her worth is unquestionable and the impact that she had on their lives and our city is indelible.
So despite the fact that I was not one of her listeners (although I did read her columns in the LEO), I'm still roiled by her death. And I am so so sorry for her friends, family, and fans. And I'm sorry for this city. We've lost a great one. It's hard to get your head around, especially in a week when all of the news has been hard to get your head around.
Ugh. This world, this life, is so hard sometimes.