Then I'm sure you've heard about Ernie Harwell's cancer.
And maybe even about his decision to not proceed with any medical intervention.
When I first read about it, I felt a pang of sadness that he was sick...and then I thought to myself (and maybe even out lout to Pat) "For Pete's sake - he's NINETY-ONE!! He's going to go one way or another. I wouldn't go through with chemo or anything either!". After reading an additional article from MLive - he really does exude the peace that he has for this part of his life's journey. I hope I'm that open and wise when I reach his age.
It still doesn't take that pang of sadness away.
I realize many people look to him as a grandfather figure - someone who has been part of their lives for as long as they can remember. I don't necessarily have that kind of attachment to the man personally, but the memories his voice brings holds a special place in my heart. His voice was the the sound of summer.....interlaced in the soundtrack of my childhood. We would play outside, and Dad would have a radio on the workbench in the garage, which was inevitably tuned to Tiger Baseball.
Tiger Baseball. Memories of going to Tiger Stadium with my Dad, Grandpa** & family. Eating peanuts in the shell. Learning how to keep a scorecard. Relishing the sunshine. Hearing the crack of a wooden bat making contact with the ball. Trying to follow a homerun ball before it was lost in the sun or the stands. Watching a great double play unfold or seeing someone lay down a nice bunt. Strategy. Power. The Game.
Somewhere in those warm, fuzzy, happy memories, Ernie's voice will always be.
I wish him well.
**I'm sure there were always other family members with us at those games, but for some reason I associate the memory predominately with the Patriarchs of the family. Which is OK - its my memory, I can remember it how I'd like :)