Enjoy the journey: Follow Al's example: Start helping now

2013-07-11T00:00:00Z 2013-07-11T13:25:06Z Enjoy the journey: Follow Al's example: Start helping nowOpinion by Bob Oro Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

On July 3 the community participated in a celebration of life for one of our community's most influential leaders, Albert Trice, who died on June 28.

Al exemplified the essential difference between being a volunteer and being a community servant. He did not want to merely help. Like great athletes, he wanted to get the ball - he wanted to be the one responsible for getting a job done.

Al's son, Peter, spoke eloquently of how his father was the classic workaholic who played golf every weekend. When Al retired, his goal was to play golf five times a week. That was short-lived. As was his no-frills hallmark, Al saw a need, grabbed hold of his time, and dove into a new purpose for his life. He chose community service as his retirement "occupation," paying it forward while enjoying golf as his hobby.

As I walked around the crowd of folks at his memorial, many of whom were there because of his community service, I couldn't help but think, "Why did he wait so long and why, in general, do folks wait so long?"

Maybe it's time to learn from Al and get started in the fun earlier in our life.

As we face longer life- spans, why not connect with the community at an earlier age? Consider contributing here in your own community, letting your passion be your guide. If you're not sure what your purpose may be, the organizations that Al worked with - including Catalina Community Services, the Oro Valley Hospital and Junior Achievement - are good places to start.

But one thing hit me even more as I sat and chatted with Debbie at Al's memorial, held in SaddleBrooke.

Al's wife, Carole, passed away a few years ago. That's when Al shared an unforgettable lesson, as God seems to challenge the surviving spouse in ways one cannot imagine.

As had happened many times before, I saw Al at a public event with purposeful fire in his eyes. He was making a big plan for a new project in a community service organization. As usual, he tested out his hard sell on me, and I played the part of devil's advocate, telling him why I thought it was a terrible plan or, buckling, why I thought it was really good. (Often I did both in the same discussion.)

Al appreciated that I never backed down from my beliefs and, as a result, provided a point of view of a baby boomer and professional.

But this time it was different. It was like I had passed the test and now the lesson would come. I could tell he felt it was the most important lesson he would share with me.

Al barked in his usual gruff tone, "Do you know how lucky you are?"

He was definitely trying to make a point.

He demanded, "Do you tell her that you love her?"

He pointed at Debbie and finally made his point clear: "Do you tell her every day?"

When it comes to your loved ones, what would your answers to Al's questions be?

Enjoy the journey,

Bob

On StarNet: Read Bob Oro's recent columns at azstarnet.com/boboro

Email Bob Oro at northwest@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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