December 11, 2012 6:19 PM

42 Days later....

Barbara's gravestone.jpgDavid said it well for me in the Psalms...."Be merciful to me Lord, for I am faint: O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.  My soul is in anguish.  How long, O Lord, how long?  Turn, O Lord, and deliver me because of your unfailing love....I am weary with my sighing: every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with tears. My eye has wasted away with grief..."
Today was another step in closing a wound that may take a lifetime to heal.  Had picked up the stone I'd found by the river and had engraved for Barbara's headstone last week and decided today to go place it on her grave. Was actually planning to do it by myself, but just before leaving,  was talking to Samantha who decided to join me.
The scripture on the stone, "For He is our peace" was a prophetic one in our lives. We had chosen that verse for our wedding announcement, (which took place three months after we had met)  and was way before we were followers of Christ. Those five words of scripture became the foundation of our marriage and the inspiration to embark in a generational transition from what had been both of our family's lack of a godly heritage.  God took two loser misfits and wove a beautiful tapestry for His legacy through the peace He gave them, their children, and their children's children...
I was glad that Samantha came, for it was the first time she had been there since the burial and was pretty overwhelmed. We talked about a number of things, but at the end as I walked her back to her van, she was talking about how she'd heard people on their deathbeds are often calling out for family and how they equate that with God.  We laughed as we remembered Barbara's last name she called out was mine, because even though she had suffered the first stroke, she was vexed with how I was answering the doctor's questions regarding her past drug if it really mattered.  But then it hit me what Sam had just said, and it came to me those last words that Fantine and Eponine sing as saints to Jean Valjean on his deathbed in Les Miz...
                      "To love another person is to see the face of God".........
Thank you Father for the gift you gave me in Barbara....for it was through my love for her that I finally saw Your face....
In His grip,
Papa Tripp


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This was absolutely beautiful! My deepest condolences for your loss and my heartfelt prayers for peace for you and your family.

Posted by: Susan in Saskatchewan | December 11, 2012 8:16 PM

Thank you for sharing.

How did you come about using that verse on your wedding announcements before you were Christians?

Posted by: Sandra | December 11, 2012 9:03 PM

Love the headstone & quote...both simple.

Posted by: Darleen | December 11, 2012 9:09 PM

When we met we were both seekers of truth looking in the wrong age, eastern mysticism, etc....very eclectic. We were reading from all religious scriptures. Of course the Enemy thought He was entrapping us, but Our Father was watching over us as He always had. One night before we eloped, we found this scripture providentially and chose it for our own.

Posted by: Barbara | December 11, 2012 9:34 PM

We are blessed again! Thank you Papa Tripp, for sharing these precious moments with us and for sharing your beautiful love story. It's cool, it's not fiction, it's real, even though, there is great sorrow right now. Prayers again...

Debbie K.

Posted by: Debbie Kierstead | December 12, 2012 12:07 AM

She has the most beautiful burial spot and headstone, I have ever seen. The quote is perfect.

And as for when you both were in your youth, you were hardly losers. Both ISO, because you did not HAVE at that time. You both searched and found the most beautiful threads in weaving the tapestry of your lives together. Few have put together such a rich and beautiful picture.

Posted by: Cath Young | December 12, 2012 7:46 AM

Thank you, Tripp.

Posted by: Lisa | December 12, 2012 10:39 AM

You have a beautiful way with words, Tripp. And you are so brave and open with your grief. I hope others experiencing grief find encouragement through your sharing.

Posted by: Crystal | December 12, 2012 12:20 PM

What a beautiful, beautiful quote - and so true. Thank you for sharing. I love Barbara's stone marker. I feel like you are helping so many people with your testimony.

Posted by: Denise | December 12, 2012 1:36 PM

Beautiful! Such a peaceful resting place. I see the pyracantha are still there...I thought the red would be fitting.

Posted by: Jasmine | December 12, 2012 1:58 PM

Oh yes. If you have more pyracantha at your house please bring it when you come. It brings more birds around which she always loved. Love you Jazz.....Papa

Posted by: Barbara | December 12, 2012 2:06 PM

Keep thinking Jesus MUST BE close in returning. I keep thinking how Barbara is cheering us on with the great cloud of witnesses. Keep thinking that I can not believe He called her home. Everyday, I miss her. Everyday, it hits fresh that you and yours miss her so much more. Praying much for you. Praising Jesus for Barbara and your marriage, your great love, rooted in Him, for one another. Hold fast to the course. Jesus is faithful to hold you together. He is faithful. Thanking Him that He is our peace.

Posted by: Linda | December 12, 2012 2:33 PM

That was so touching; thank you for sharing. What a blessing and a gift to have had such a love story as yours. Your family and faith are a testimony to our awesome God. You and your family are still in my prayers.

Posted by: April C. | December 12, 2012 4:40 PM

So beautiful. Thank you, Tripp.

Posted by: Sue from Buffalo | December 12, 2012 4:46 PM

Thank you for being so open in sharing all you are going through. Blessings and prayers to you and your family. May the Father hold you close.

Posted by: Lisa | December 12, 2012 7:42 PM

Still evoking tears! Thanks be to God for your lives and witness.

Posted by: Kate J | December 12, 2012 9:42 PM

Papa Tripp,

Here I am commenting again, on this one blog entry! I find myself reading all the new comments as they come in and it is so neat to see collectively this message of love that is coming from members of the Body of Christ back to you. You and Barbara sowed into people's lives and it is coming back to you...also, I have been so touched to see the messages from Jasmine (and I assume Jasmine will see this message...) and it just shows that there is a lot of love flowing in your family. Thank you again for letting us in to your world; you really have a gift for articulating wonderful insights and the tenderness you have towards your children is so evident....and I echo Linda's comment above that I think Jesus' returning is not that far off. Maranatha! Blessings and prayers for you all...

Debbie K.

Posted by: Debbie Kierstead | December 12, 2012 11:04 PM

Dear Debbie...Thank you for your tender heart and sweet thoughts. Our Father's history of salvation and reconciliation with us as His people and as individuals has always worked through the process of time and circumstances. Most certainly He does that through families as well.....As for the time of His return, only the Father knows......until then..Keep your lamps trimmed and burning. I for one believe there are some perilous times ahead where the faithful will need to bear witness to those in darkness still. Our Father has shown us through his dealings with us that we only seem to learn through suffering.
Blessings to you and your family,
Papa T

Posted by: Barbara | December 12, 2012 11:54 PM

From my eyes Barbara's burial was so beautiful and perfect. Now a beautiful headstone to top it off.*sigh* I told my family all about it in case I go home sooner than expected. I miss my buddie-so much.
It is so nice to "hear" you Jazz:) I loved to see you in the Thanksgiving picture.

Posted by: Eileen | December 13, 2012 10:54 AM

Dear Papa Tripp:

Thank you!....and I do believe that there are some dark days ahead and I believe that we are not exempt from the tribulation and trials that must come before Jesus returns but as the darkness increases His Light will shine all the more brightly through his Body...."This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..."--yours is shining brightly!

Blessings, again.

Debbie K.

Posted by: Debbie Kierstead | December 13, 2012 11:05 AM

Judy and I are praying for you and your family every day.


Posted by: Pat Craig | December 13, 2012 2:20 PM

Tripp, another beautiful post. Thank you for continuing to share intimate aspects into Barbara's passing, burial, and your life as you carry on the mission that the two of you started together.

Her graveside setting sounds beautiful. A peaceful place to visit, too.

I still come here and visit everyday......looking for her wisdom, missing her, and now looking for you as you continue this work.

Sometimes it takes me a few days to get around to posting (if at all), but as I've said in other posts, our family continues to pray for yours. I hope that you now realize that whether we (collectively--Barbara's audience of friends) post or comment, that we're still here and just as we came to love Barbara, so we have come to love you, too.

Be strong and carry on.....

Posted by: von | December 17, 2012 11:38 PM


Thank you for the post. I love seeing her headstone. I miss her very much. She had such a profound impact on my mothering and politics. I appreciate your taking time to post. Your additions about parenting changed how I viewed my husband's point of view and how we raise our son.

I assume this season is full of vacillating emotions for you all. I pray for you often as I go about my day.

Posted by: imajackson | December 18, 2012 10:37 AM

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