Ben phoned me today to say that Tricia had died.  I was thinking just hours before his call that I needed to go by and see her again – visiting sort of got lost in the busy Thanksgiving break.  Her son is dealing with the cremation; there won’t be a service.  I met Tricia over 3 years ago (before our job and house loss) – you can read about that first meeting in my blog post, In Sickness, – when I stopped to give a few dollars to a panhandler.  That panhandler turned out to be Ben and that chance meeting brought a couple of weathered and weary but gentle and good souls into our lives.  Tricia (although introduced to me as Patricia, she preferred the nickname) drank and smoked and sometimes used language I wished she wouldn’t around the kids.  But she loved Jesus, liked to read mysteries, and called me sister.  She liked the children and when I picked her up to take her on errands or to doctor appointments she asked after them.  She picked up little things for them – small stuffed animals, a talking piggy bank (this to replace a ceramic piggy that she and Ben had filled with change and given to the kids for Christmas one year).  She liked curly fries from Jack in the Box and we would swing by there after errands.  She didn’t like living on the street (or out in the bush); her dream was to find a little apartment where she and Ben could have their dog Goldie.  She didn’t make it to that apartment but at least was able to spend the last several months in a motel after the authorities cleaned out the river bed campground.  She was a good, kindhearted person, made rough around the edges by some wrong turns and bad luck.  I’m so glad I had the chance to look beyond the outward appearances and see, just a little I’m sure, the good person she was.

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6 Responses to RIP

  1. Lynda says:

    You have lost a good friend…and I am sorry for that loss. You were a good friend…she was blessed.

  2. Lisa M. says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Tricia sounds like a nice lady. I remember the past things you have written about her. I hope that Ben is “ok”, however ok he can be at this trying time.

  3. bogart says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. It sounds like you and Tricia each brought love and warmth into each others’ lives and it’s lovely to see this tribute to her. I’m at best hazy in my views on the afterlife, but I hope hers includes a peaceful and comfortably appointed place to call home.

  4. Pam McCormick says:

    Your post brought tears to my eyes! I would have been the person to ignore Ben and Tricia.I would have assumed that because of their choices they ended up where they were in life.I am learning that is not always true.Because of what you wrote I got to see how more alike we all are(just want a place to lay our heads,warm place-safe place).It was nice to be shown the goodness of these people.I wonder what will happen to Ben now.I was happy to hear Thanksgiving was nice for your family.

  5. Donna says:

    I am sorry for your loss. I have been so touched by your willingness to reach out to this homeless couple and be more than a few coins in a can to them. I am sure that these years of friendship meant a lot to Tricia, and your caring has been a support to Ben in these last weeks.

  6. Laura says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend. You wrote some nice words about her.

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