Suddenly, this Detroit Tigers season has become bittersweet.
Legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell - for so many of us, the voice of the Tigers - has been diagnosed with cancer. The Detroit Free Press reported last night that Harwell has a tumor in his bile duct, an incurable malady. At the age of 91, Harwell and his family, along with doctors, have decided not to pursue surgery or any other such treatment.
Despite such terrible news, Harwell seems to be accepting his fate in stride. No one familiar with him would likely expect any less. The man seems to have an unflappable spirit, and not even something like this can break it.
Nonetheless, quotes such as these are heartbreaking:
"We don't know how long this lasts," Harwell said in a phone interview. "It could be a year, it could be much less than a year, much less than a half a year. Who knows?
"Whatever's in store, I'm ready for a new adventure. That's the way I look at it."
I continue to be in awe of Ernie Harwell. I can let someone cutting in front of me in line at the coffee shop ruin my day. The smallest stuff can rattle me. Yet here's Ernie joking about how he can now eat anything he wants, because this cancer has been causing him to lose weight. I'm sure your perspective on life changes greatly when you reach Harwell's age. But I can't help but admire how he conducts himself, even to the very end.
Thoughts and best wishes go out to Ernie and his wife, Lulu, who celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary last Sunday. If you'd like to send along cards or letters, they can go to the following address:
c/o S. Gary Spicer Sr.
Attorney at Law
16845 Kercheval Ave.,
Grosse Pointe 48230