March 14, 2013 12:48 AM

Distance between loss and hope...

Tripp and Barbara.jpg

The cord of three strands is not easily broken. Even though Barbara and I were spliced together with Our Father as the third strand....I have still struggled to hold it together. The last few weeks have been very difficult with more and more of the reality of life settling in on me. Our Life's vision and trajectory has changed. It is no longer "Our life." Everything that happened in the past... When I met Barbara, she was a single Mom, with two daughters....she's gone and I'm now a single Dad with 12 children and 15 grandchildren....(kind of ironic don't you think for some one who used to identify with Peter Pan and Tom Sawyer?)

In being faithful to Barbara's calling and telling you the truth, I can't minimize the scope of grief and loss that continues in my life. Zig Ziglar says, "If there were no love, there would be no grief."  We have the opportunity to open our hearts to embrace this for our fellow human beings around us. Think what Our Father felt as He allowed us to kill His Son on the Cross.  Each of us when we grieve the death of someone is grieving the loss of someone unique. That means that the way we respond to grief and loss will be unique as well. My prayer as each of us go forward in life....give grace to your fellow pilgrims.... Our God put us here together to learn from each other and to bear each other's burdens.... and Lady Barbara knew that better than anyone... (though I used to chide her about being a "Lone Ranger"sometimes.)

I know that everything that happened together with Barbara and myself is in the past....It's hard to say and hard to write......but the distance between her loss and hope for our future is marked there. I sent her this picture when we were about to adopt our third special needs son,Justin (our 12th child)....with the caption, "Time to take another leap of faith Sweetheart!"  I know she is saying this to me now...

In His grip,

Papa Tripp

leap of faith.jpg        


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That is such a wonderful photo of you two, with baby (not sure who) in the was a good run, Tripp, and your family surely blessed me and mine.

Posted by: Tenney Singer | March 14, 2013 1:20 AM

It is Jonny Tenney...Tonight he pulled me over to the St. Joan of Arc bronze statue(he had set up a shrine) that was always by Barbara's desk where I had put both our wedding rings on her sword hilt, and said to me, "Mommy and Daddy no more ring, (his verbiage for marriage) but she still love us." What a great description of the communion of saints.

Posted by: Barbara | March 14, 2013 1:42 AM

Papa Tripp:

Again, thank you for sharing with us and I want you to know that you are being remembered and prayed for, again, in your time of need and as you walk through these waves of grief.

It is really strange, but when I look at that picture, I see two animal faces staring and smiling at each other on each cliff. The one on the left (with all the rock formation) reminds me of Barney the dinosaur (the eternal optimist!)or just the head looks like some kind of humpback whale or something--with a smile. The cliff on the right shows this odd face halfway down on the picture on the lighter colored rock-- it is this stern, angry looking bald-headed guy, facing the other cliff. Then, since my imagination is obviously working overtime, I see this flat clown-looking person with a bow-tie and hat(with a pleasant look on his face and his arms outstretched) laying on the ground in the foreground of the picture. Now that I appear to be completely off my rocker, and I sincerely hope you find this at least amusing, I just get an overall sense of joy looking at the picture. The clown looks like he has been run over by a steam-roller but he is nevertheless, restful and content looking at the sky, the angry bald guy is yelling something loud with his bizarre looking moustache, but he has absolutely no impact on the jumping of the man of faith above, and the top rocks are smiling, rejoicing and cheering that guy on. So, at the end of this little diatribe, I just pray that you might be filled with joy right at this moment, despite the overwhelming sense of grief and loss you also feel. Joy will come in the morning, it will, it will, even though the night seems so, so long and cannot be avoided.(However, you are not that angry bald guy are that man of truly are!!)

Prayers and Blessings....( and I am reluctant to leave my name on this one!):)....Debbie K

Posted by: Debbie Kierstead | March 14, 2013 1:59 AM

I've been thinking about you and Barbara . . . missing Barbara so much and feeling so sad for you, though we've never met. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Posted by: Melodee | March 14, 2013 2:02 AM

It's almost more than can be borne.... You will stagger through to the end of the race. Just hang on.

Posted by: Jill | March 14, 2013 9:43 AM

Thanks for sharing. Been looking for your posting and figured your days were pretty tough. Keep that faith! Am praying for you.

Posted by: Karen | March 14, 2013 9:44 AM

Same thoughts as Karen. Still praying for you, too.

It IS hard.

Posted by: Sue from Buffalo | March 14, 2013 12:36 PM

Keeping you in prayer. We lost my mom last year, and during the months following, my dad just wanted to be alone (telling his grandsons he was busy and would be for the next six months or so...) Alone is not an option for you, but hoping you can get the peace and recharge that you need, and that the pain will lessen.

Posted by: Kate J | March 14, 2013 1:58 PM


Posted by: wendyann64 | March 14, 2013 8:46 PM

I am praying. I have been missing her much, too. She would tell me to organize a little something when I was facing a panic attack. The other day, I was facing one, thought of Barbara, and cried. I wanted her back so badly, yet know we will be understanding so much more when we go to be with her with the Lord in His timing. Jesus loves you. He cheers you on. Thank you for writing. It makes me feel more connected with Barbara. She is not lost. She is well and waiting for all of us to meet her at home with the Lord. We just have a wee bit more time here doing His work for the Glory of God.

Posted by: Linda | March 14, 2013 11:43 PM

Tripp, it's so good to hear how you're doing (I "come by" every day looking for you....). Thank you for the honesty--it helps us all know how to pray and hold you up. You are not yet half way into a important year of "firsts"; I'll continue to pray for you all.

I think of you and your family very, very often......I miss her, too!

Posted by: von | March 15, 2013 12:28 AM

Papa Tripp,

I wish so much I could help take away some of this deep aching. How deeply you have loved. I wonder what our grief-stricken days will look like on the other side. How did the Lord use them? How was He there with us..comforting and cheering us?

I stumbled across an e-mail from Barbara today and cried. What a unique and large hole she left here in my life... can't begin to imagine what your hole must look/feel like.

Praying for you tonight!!!!!!

Posted by: jenny | March 15, 2013 1:04 AM

Papa Tripp,

My heart aches for your loss and grief. It has been six months since I lost my sweet husband of 30+ years, and I can truly say that losing your spouse after so many years is one of the hardest and deepest heart-losses possible. I don't think anyone can understand this kind of loss until it is personally experienced. Being together for so long, my husband and I "grew up" together, and after so many shared life experiences, it really does feel like half of yourself has left when they leave us. I believe that the heartache will be there for the rest of our lives. That being said, I have come to believe that, in that terrible loss, is the potential for great gain in our personal relationship with our Father in heaven. I intentionally thank God in every thing and every moment, and in doing so, I am able to manage to get up every morning and carry on. We have the promise that we will be together again with our sweet loved ones - we just have to manage day by day until then. You are in my prayers as you walk through each day, until that day when Jesus will take hold of your right hand and Barbara will grab you by your left, and you will enter into a forever life together. That is the hope that keeps me going every day, and I pray that you will keep that hope alive in your heart as well.

Posted by: Your sister in Christ | March 15, 2013 9:37 AM

Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Tripp. I think of and pray for you and your children often. Next week, I will be at Mount Hermon, where I met Barbara so many years ago. I will always treasure the year I roomed with her and really got to know and appreciate her as a friend.

I pray that God will give you a glimpse of His love and grace today.

Posted by: Jeanette | March 17, 2013 4:12 PM

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. You are so right about grief being unique. I hope we can all remember not to put a quick band-aide on someone else's pain... We must listen, and let them know we are praying.

I miss Barbara... I catch myself all the time wondering what Barbara would think about this or that. This is when I remember to pray for you...

Blessings to you and your lovely family, and may the Lord hold you close.

Posted by: Lisa | March 17, 2013 5:22 PM

I love this picture of you two hugging and Jonny looking on! Peeping over the counter. What a gift you gave your kids to see you loving each other.

Posted by: Becky Castle Miller | March 19, 2013 6:09 AM

I'm sorry. Praying for you and your children.

Posted by: Joan | March 20, 2013 3:55 PM

I have always been very grateful for your family's witness as a casual reader of Barbara's blog. Prayers for your whole family.

Posted by: Sherry | March 21, 2013 11:35 AM

I can't even imagine how difficult this must be. Praying for you!

Posted by: Tamie | April 7, 2013 2:16 AM

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