Toys R Us is a store, yes. Sometimes stores go out of business. That’s a fact of life. I have lived long enough to see many large national retailers close. It is always a sad and unfortunate affair, but this time for me, this retail chain meant much more.

Most summers of my childhood included a trip with my sister to Queens, New York, to visit my incredibly generous grandparents. It was during these visits when a special moment would occur: the coveted trip to the Douglaston mall to visit the largest toy store in the world.

These trips were always a highlight for us, and while, as a child, it was the toys that were the cause of my love for the store, in adulthood something changed.

I am now 38 years old. I am father to an angel, and husband to a goddess. My sister moved years ago. While my summer trips to Queens are long past, and my grandparents have long been laid to rest, one remnant had remained largely unchanged: a visual landmark and vestige of the innocent joy I once knew.

Today, when I drive by Toys R Us, I think of my grandparents and the unconditional love and generosity they provided me. I think of my sister: best friend in life, playmate and partner in all things toys. I think of my childhood, and the fond memories created by trips to “Toys.”

I think of my 16-month-old daughter, with whom I had hoped to share the same joys I had experienced.

So, while it is very sad that Toys R Us is closing, and it is very sad that so many people will lose their jobs, my true sorrow is for the enormous physical embodiment of my childhood that will no longer exist.

Rhad Davis

A Toys R Us Kid

Portland