Over the years I’ve seen him at his very best, in command, doing play-by-play in the NBA for a major television network and holding the tv audience in the palm of his hand.  No one ever loved the game more.

He was at home in the radio booth too.  He brought a baseball game into your living room and made you feel like you had a front row ticket to the game.

He had the voice and he had the knowledge and he liked to kick-up a little controversy now and then just to keep the listeners on their toes.

He had more life and energy and he loved his profession.  He was a throw-back to days when sports announcers cared more about the teams they were reporting on than the sound of their own voices.

That was then: tonight he is putting all his energy into taking one more breath.

Cancer has him in its grip and this time it is not letting go.  He’s stopped it, made it disappear, so many times over the last ten years, but not this time.

This time it’s invaded so many places, there’s nothing medicine can do any more.

Hospice and palliative care have been called.  The nurses taking care of him have no idea what a ball of energy this man used to be.  They see a cancer patient who is in the final stages of life.  Some one who needs to be calmed now and sedated: two feelings that never fit into this man’s portfolio.

The circle of life is closing for my long time friend.  I choose to remember when the circle was wide open.

 

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