– We should relish those who make life more bearable for all of us.

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I guess I am now of the age where one starts to see their friends slip away, be it old school chums or others. For example, I recently experienced the passing of a good friend, Ro Ambrose, who lost a valiant fight to breast cancer, a disease she had been fighting for approximately fifteen years. This one hurt, not just because she was a dear friend, but for other reasons.

I have known Ro and her family for about twenty years, starting with the softball fields of Palm Harbor where I used to coach in Little League. Ro had never played the game in her youth but fell in love with the sport through her daughters. So much so, when I suggested starting an adult co-ed team she was the first to sign-on. We called ourselves “Chico’s Bail Bonds,” named after the original “Bad News Bears.” Our team gelled from the time we first took the field. We were competitive, but were mostly looking for an outlet to let off some steam after work and get some exercise. We also enjoyed libations and a little Karaoke afterwards. During the game we would distract the opposing team by cooking brats with peppers and onions in our dugout, which turned out to be a rather shrewd maneuver.

Although Ro never played softball before, we watched her improve her batting average, going from .364 to an impressive .462. She took batting practice every chance she could, was always early to the field on game day, but her trademark was to run out every hit and base on balls, much like Pete Rose. She just loved the game.

Ro possessed a great sense of humor and her laugh was infectious. So much so, everyone wanted to make her laugh. She was also an excellent cook, but more importantly she cared deeply about people and was always willing to help anyone in their hour of need. She was gracious, classy, hardworking, thoughtful and very kind. As we both worked in the Information Technology field, we would bounce technical issues against each other from time to time. She was proud of and hopelessly devoted to her husband, daughters, and grandchildren.

When she first contracted her disease she was determined not to let it stop her. Ro possessed an indomitable spirit. When asked, she would candidly tell you what her condition was and where she stood in her treatment, but she was more interested in the welfare of others. It was like, “Okay I’ve got this, I’m dealing with it, now let’s move along.” I never heard her complain about anything or anyone, least of all her condition.

Over the years we drifted apart, but now and then one of us would pick up the phone and call the other, and it seemed like it was just yesterday. If you were ever having a down day, you gave Ro a call and she would pick your spirits up. She was very inspirational in this regard.

I guess the reason Ro’s passing really hurts is that she was one of those rare pearls you seldom find in life. We now live in an age of immoral behavior, cutthroat business tactics, and a general disrespect for the human spirit. What we read in the news can turn the best of us into a pessimist. So, when we meet someone like Ro, who was the personification of goodness, we realize how lucky we were to have known such a person. So when that person is gone, it hurts, a lot.

I am certain there are other Ro Ambroses out there, so maybe it’s time to rekindle our relationship and let them know how much we appreciate them. As for me, I’ll miss her laugh, her thoughtfulness, and her heart of gold. Alas.

Keep the Faith!

P.S., Be sure to see my video, “The PRIDE Renewal Tour,” on YouTube.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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