Most of the time I talk about happy, beady things here on the blog, but I hope you'll indulge me for a moment as I tell you about Terry Olson.
I found out just today that Terry passed away in March. Remember how I've mentioned that at the bead shows we have this traveling family? Well, Maureen and Terry Olson were some of the first members of my beady family. I met Maureen and Terry of The Bead Corner at the Austin Bead Society Show in 2005, I think. They ran a seed bead booth so it was natural for us to start talking and bonding. Over the years, we shared stories and experiences at various shows all across the southwest. Terry was in a wheelchair, but it never damped his spirit. You could see his mischievous nature written all over his face, and he was quick with a laugh and a smile and a hug.
It may seem odd to some that I think of Terry as family even though I'm just now finding out about his passing, but that's the nature of the bead business. Intensely personal bonding during our times together, but then long times apart. It doesn't change the way I feel about any one of the friends I know from the show circuit.
Terry had a progressive disease, so we all knew we'd lose him at some point. It doesn't make his loss much easier to bear. Maureen is still doing shows, and I'll get to see her in person this weekend at the Stafford Bead Market. Her booth will seem emptier this time, but I'll bet there will be a special glow about it, as Terry looks over us all.