I woke up on Friday morning and wasn't feeling well so I lazily checked my email and facebook from bed. I saw two posts on facebook side by side which read "RIP Santo" and my heart dropped. I literally ran to the living room to my computer and learned that he had passed over night from bladder cancer. I didn't even know he had bladder cancer?! I just sat there taking in the story as tears fell down my cheek. I was at a loss for words and even more confused as to why I was crying for the loss of a man who I had never even met. Later in the day, I saw this post on facebook,
"Its weird that though he was a celebrity and I never met him, I think a lot of cubs fans feel they lost a friend with the passing of Ron Santo. Many of us got to know him well through the years and he was hard not to love."
That was exactly how I felt. Like I just lost a dear friend. I must have said 50 times that day, "WGN Cubs Radio will never be the same." I know I'm not the only one who muted the TV and replaced it with Ron and Pat. I'd only have to listen for five minutes before laughing out loud at something he had said, completely unrelated to whatever was going on with the game. Then he'd chime in as soon as something big happened in the game, always with some form of grunt or yelp. How many times had I heard his own heart break on air with loss after loss of the Cubs? And when the Cubs were doing well, his smile and excitement shined through the airwaves, giving all us Cubs fans reason to believe "this was the year!" or sometimes, just "YAY, we finally got a Win!" After 3 days, I'm still at a loss for words, I just know that there will always be a part of Ron missing from my Cubs heart.
My heart and prayers go out to his family, we loved you so much Ronnie, thanks for showing us what it means to never give up on our Cubs but even more...to never give up on your health and life which did its best to bring you down. Rest in peace dear friend! And remember that we're all still rooting for you to be inducted into the Hall of Fame!