Saturday, December 4, 2010

Getting It

Yesterday my dreaming was abruptly interrupted by Mannheim Steamroller’s lovely version of The Holly and the Ivy. I can’t remember the last it was necessary for my “alarm” to wake me, but it was pleasant and for the most part, painless.

The next thing I heard wasn’t so pleasant. At least not initially.

After the last notes of the beautiful song ended, I switched on the radio just in time to hear WLIP’s Bill Lawrence doing the sports. The first thing he reported was that Ron Santo, legendary Chicago Cubs player and broadcaster had passed away at age 70.

I was immediately saddened. A great man was gone. Although I am no longer a Cubs fan, I have always admired Mr. Santo. Not because he was an outstanding ballplayer, having appeared in nine All-Star games and receiving six Gold Glove awards. It wasn’t for his twenty years of “enthusiastic” color commentary of Cub games on WGN radio.

The reason that I held number 10 in high esteem was that he was a special human being. Despite battling type 1 diabetes, which resulted in the amputation of his legs and bladder cancer, he continued to work Cubs games and enjoy life. I don’t ever recall having heard him complain about his problems.

Not only did Santo continue celebrating his life, he made a difference in the lives of others.

Starting in 1974, Santo established the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes. To date, this event has raised over $60 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Ron Santo understood what was important. He knew what to do and just did it, without looking for accolades. Sure he was an unabashed homer for the Cubs, but more importantly he was a homer for the right thing.

He got it.

One of the nicest compliments I ever received came from a good friend of mine. After reading my blog, “One Of Them”…Sort Of, he sent me an email and simply said, “Way to go. You get it.”

Please don’t think for a second that I am comparing myself to what Ron Santo has done. I’m not.

But it was nice to hear that for that brief moment, I got it. Those words have stuck with me ever since. When I see how people handle different situations in their lives, I sometimes think to myself, “They get it.”

Doing the right thing without ever thinking about it is one of the most wonderful things that anyone can do. I am fortunate to have several people in my life that get it and I thank God for that. It is a true blessing.

We all have people in our lives that get it. They deserve some sort of recognition. Mind you they aren’t expecting anything, that’s not why they do what they do. They just get it.

Keep in mind that none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. My Dad got it. Ron Santo got it. They are no longer with us. Please do something to show those in your life that get it that you appreciate them. Show them you get it.

Until next time…from the booth.


Sue said...

Very true Paul - we often think I will do that tomorrow - but tomorrow could be too late.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

You've got that right, Sue.

Gregory (Greg) P Turco said...

Nice post, Paul.

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Thanks, Greg.

Alaska Karen said...

Thanks Paul. We all need a reminder about what really matters, especially this time of year. It ain't "stuff" and "things."

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

It isn't always easy, Karen. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes the death of a special person to help us realize what really is important.