Friday, May 25, 2007


Have you ever felt bereft of something or someone that you didn't know mattered, until it or they were gone? My children have always begged to be allowed in the Treasured Child toy store on Main Street. Though much higher priced than Stuff Mart, it was filled with quality toys and fun things you'd likely not find anywhere else but in catalogs.

The other thing you would find unusual was the owner, Trish, who always seemed to be there in her long flowing dresses and a huge smile on her face. I remember her saying things like "Let me show you this!" or "You've gotta see this!" and her enthusiasm for toys was contagious. In the paper, she is quoted as saying that the store is for kids of all ages, because "How sad if you don't still enjoy playing". That makes me think that Trish and I should have gotten to know each other better, for I feel much the same way. But now, she's gone at 57 after a brief illness. I was quite surprised and sorry I couldn't go into the store just one more time and see her standing there, smiling.

Her obit surprised me - for she was more than what she appeared to me, an eclectic toy store owner. She'd been in the Air Force during the SE Asia Conflict, a graduate of two universities, a councilor for the UN, teacher, artist and cared for refugees in Turkey, Yugoslavia and Rwanda for the United Nations. But all I knew is that she ran a small shop in a small town. How often we make assumptions that what we see is all there is.

I'm sure her store will go on, run by her husband and by Faith, a friend of Trish's that worked there. But somehow, it won't be the same. Another lesson in appreciating the here and now.

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