June 18, 2013 10:34 PM

Time.....the Revelator....

four eggs left.jpg

Interesting how God uses His creation to give us life pictures symbolic of our own lives at times. Woke to find this nest outside my backdoor the other day with the four Robin eggs and no Mama Robin. After a short while Papa Robin came and sat on the nest and then left for awhile, came back, and has been continuing this pattern for the last three days with no sign of Mama Robin. Could of course not avoid seeing the similarity between my own life now with the four Boyz who will probably always be in my nest and these four eggs ready to hatch and their concerned Papa Robin...

In the time since Barbara died so much has been revealed and the reality of our circumstances has become more real and final as the days march by in our journey through loss.  We've realized that each of us needs to extend grace to each other as we all are mourning in our own way and time....We know that this journey will never bring us back to what once was....we will never be the same.....but we have the hope of a new "normal," even knowing that there are going to be continuing challenges ahead.

Long ago, I read a book by Scott Peck called, "The Road Less Traveled." The only thing I remember from the book is the first line, "Life is difficult."  In remembering this today, I was put in mind of another first line from a favorite  Dickens classic, "Tale of Two Cities,"........"It was the best of times and it was the worst of times."  Our God has met us in our sorrows and darkness and we have seen rays of hope and felt them warming our hearts. He has not let any of this go to waste...He has through His sovereign hands allowed each of us in our confusion, fear, sadness, and needs to be met by His Presence when we were open and to grow at our own pace..... As Dr. Joseph Stowell said, "Sometimes we say, "God is good," with tears running down our cheeks."

I know many of you who have been Barbara's readers for years would like for me to get back on track with her blog and all that it entailed. I cannot promise that. I'm in the process of finding my own voice separate from her.  In marriage you accommodate each other and hopefully become one....I am figuring out who I am without her.  I urge you to continue to use her blog as the resource it always has been.  The archives are rich with knowledge and wisdom. For now, my content will be about this journey until He sees fit to let me go.

In His grip,

Papa Tripp


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Thank you for sharing. I miss Barbara so much and my heart goes out to you and your family.

Posted by: Melodee | June 19, 2013 2:08 AM

Papa Tripp,
thank you for continuing your posts. My mom passed away in March 2012 and it has been a journey that I would have asked the Lord not to let me walk through, but He has been with me every step of the way and His comfort brings strength to keep going without the ones we love. Your words have been a source of God's comfort for me. thank you for hearing God's voice, I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Posted by: Joyce | June 19, 2013 8:19 AM

Tripp, while I enjoyed (and miss) Barbara's writing and insight into life and politics greatly, I have to say I have appreciated your writings about your journey of grief just as much.

Thank you for being wonderfully open and honest about your grief and pain after losing Barbara. It is rare to read that, since no one seems to want to talk about that aspect of life, and death. Thank you for sharing that with us, and normalizing it.

When I lost my mother 3 years ago, I had trouble functioning for nearly a year (and this was losing my mother, not my beloved husband!). I had no one to tell me this was normal, and part of the journey of grieving.

Thank you for sharing a little bit of your life. Your whole family is in many people's thoughts and prayers daily as you continue to live life without your precious wife and mother.

Posted by: Patty | June 19, 2013 11:04 AM

There is sadness and beauty in the congruity between the lives inside the house and those out on the porch in the nest. I'm glad that you still have this place, and I never lament the fact that your writing is not the same as Barbara's. Grieving is a long process, and the fact that you share your ups and downs with us here is beautiful. Praying for your family regularly. God bless you all!

Posted by: Valerie | June 19, 2013 11:15 AM

Thank you for sharing, Tripp. I check in often to look for your posts and pray for you all when no new posts are up for a while. So sorry for all the pain you are experiencing, but very glad to see you look to God for comfort and healing. God bless!

Posted by: Karen | June 19, 2013 12:37 PM

Tripp, I hope you know in your heart that nobody expects you to be Barbara or to try to fill in for her. We know your heart is breaking.

We do appreciate you sharing bits and pieces about the family that we have come to know and love through Barbara's writing, but I would hate to think (and I certainly hope) that anybody would be heartless enough to complain or criticize if you didn't maintain Barbara's blog.

You are correct about the wealth of wisdom and encouragement that she has already stored in her archives. Please continue to heal and hold fast to your faith, and don't give her readers a second thought unless you are good and ready.

You, your family, and Barbara's soul are in many, many prayers. Don't forget.

Love, Michele, Mom of 10 in Pennsylvania

Posted by: Michele S | June 19, 2013 3:19 PM

Papa Tripp,
I second what Michele said above. Many prayers.

Posted by: Sara | June 20, 2013 7:53 AM

Tripp, I agree with Michele too. I check in now and again to see how you and the family are doing. The blog, like the life you describe in the post, will never be the same again. It is lovely we can walk down memory lane through the archives here, to remember Barbara's wit and wisdom.

Posted by: Kelly | June 20, 2013 7:53 PM

Thank you for sharing your heart and continuing the blog. The Curtis family continues to be in our prayers as your lives transition.

Posted by: Lisa G. | June 21, 2013 7:10 AM

I only knew Barbara from her writing but I miss her strength of conviction. Her life has shown me that we are each truly unique and have something only we can offer the world. She gave so much. I often wonder why God would not continue using her here. Then I read your words and I see that He is now using your unique gifts in this space. I still read and feel you are sharing exactly what you should. The little nest, eggs and bird...too sweet for words.
Lifting you and the boys up this morning.

Posted by: Jen | June 21, 2013 11:13 AM

This is a wonderful post... and I can identify with what you wrote:
"Our God has met us in our sorrows and darkness and we have seen rays of hope and felt them warming our hearts. He has not let any of this go to waste." Our father never lets our pain go to waste. I have shared this before, but I buried 2 babies last year. Back to back. While it is much different from losing a spouse, I feel/have felt the Lord's comfort in a way that I cannot describe...Even as the Lord knits a new baby for me, and things are looking positive, I still have the past in my heart and the Lord is still healing me. I am so thankful to hear that the Lord is with you and that he is carrying you through this season...I pray for you and your beautiful family all the time.

Oh, how I miss Barbara...You would not believe how many times I have wished I could share something with her, or found her posting on a political issue.

Please don't ever feel pressured to replace her writing...Her memory and this blog are a gift to all of us...

Mercy Me's song is perfect for this season...God will NOT let this go in vain, Tripp, and he does have a new normal for you...

Hang in there

Posted by: L | June 21, 2013 11:55 AM

You are doing the right thing, expressing your own thoughts through this journey of grief and pain. My heart breaks for you and your family and I pray for you frequently, that God will carry you all and give you the balm of grace to heal your wounds. Thank you for sharing with us.

Posted by: beckie | June 22, 2013 10:55 AM

Very well stated, and very sweet. When you lose your so-much-beloved spouse, things are never going to be the same, but God provides, in his ever-perfect time and his ever-perfect way, a new "normal." We miss the old normal in ways that no one else can understand unless they have walked down this same path. But praise God! He is able to still give us hope and joy and strength to be able to look ahead and know without a doubt that he STILL has plans for us - plans to prosper us and give us a hope for tomorrow. He never leaves us and never forsakes us. You CAN give thanks and have joy at the same time tears are running down your cheeks. Always praying for your family...

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2013 8:55 AM

Thank you so much for keeping Barbara's site online and for honestly sharing your thoughts here. Both Barbara's archives and your voice are a gift to all of us.

Posted by: Elissa | June 29, 2013 11:18 AM

I can't say how much I've been blessed through Barbara (and now you) sharing your lives in writing. You and your family are often in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you...

Posted by: Peggy | July 4, 2013 11:01 PM

Not me, I like hearing about your grief process. Not that I "like" it, but it is helpful. And I care about you and your family because I loved Barbara and I know how much she loved you.

God is good. I lam rooting for the baby birds.

Posted by: Sandra | July 11, 2013 10:36 AM

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