Final Letter to Libby

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Dear Libby,

Its been two and half years since you left this earth and during that time I have fought through many emotions: disappointment, loneliness and depression, each interspersed with excitement, happiness and elation at the births of our two beautiful grandchildren.  Relating those emotions in this blog has been cathartic and the resulting stories will remind our grandchildren of your legacy of love and caring.

We often talked about how our love for one another changed over the course of our marriage and about how our understanding of love evolved even more over the course of our lives.  If you remember, we even discussed the many times we each thought that we were in love before we were married.

Just for the record, my first love was during Mr. Rice’s 6th grade homeroom class when I sat across from a certain blonde who I was sure would be my wife some day; then there was the girl in Jr. High that I believed was definitely “the one” until I found out that I was “the one” of three that she “loved”. Of course there were several girls in high school that I was definitely in love with, some knew it, some didn’t.

I still remember all of my “girlfriends” with fondness (even the red head in Mrs Walker’s first grade that I failed to list in the previous paragraph) but as I matured I realized that there is a huge difference between the love that you and I shared for 35 years and what I felt during those prepubescent and adolescent crushes.

I have given a lot of thought to the different degrees of love we experienced on earth compared to what you must be experiencing now. That perfected love that you have inherited as a citizen of heaven has to be light-years removed from the love that we shared here on this earth.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cornithains 2:9  (KJV)

I’m hoping that in heaven you are able to remember our marriage with fondness and affection but it must surely pale in comparison to the love you are now experiencing in the very presence of God. Although the analogy falls woefully short, I equate it to the mature love we experienced after more than 50 years of living versus the puppy love of a 6th grade boy. This theory about love helps me make sense of things down here, although the multiplied difference between depth of love on earth and the depth of love in heaven is probably a factor of seventy times seven.

When I began writing these stories, the goal was to put down into words the story of our courtship and marriage so that our grandchildren could read about you and better understand your personality and character. The process of writing our story has been healing for me and I hope our grandchildren will understand their grandmother’s legacy through these stories.

Having chronicled our history together and accomplished even more than I intended by reminiscing about our life together, this will be my last letter. Even though the resulting love story will certainly never be considered a literary work of art, I hope it is an honest account our courtship, marriage, struggles and tragic ending.

Until I see you in heaven, just remember, I always loved you…

 

Barry

22 thoughts on “Final Letter to Libby

  1. Stephanie Sherman

    Hi Barry,
    You probably don’t remember me but I attended High School with you and Libby…LONG, LONG AGO! 🙂 You know my sister who still lives in the area…Phyllis (Mills) Thompson…and she kept me informed about Libby as she was going through treatments, etc. I was so sad to hear that Libby was sick! She was one of those rare humans who could, even with the slightest contact, have a tremendous, positive impact. I didn’t know Libby all that well but the little bit of communication we had was memorable just because she was such a genuine, lovely, caring person! Her spirit seemed so clear and purposeful, even as a young teenager. It didn’t surprise me at all to hear that she accomplished what she did in her all too brief existence here with us…it was just who we all knew she was! I’ve really enjoyed reading these stories and have been praying for you and your family. Oddly, not long after I started reading your entries my sweet Dad was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and passed away on June 24th this year. I’m finding it’s just tough to go through, no matter how much hope and peace is in the eternal aspect of it! I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and will miss your stories.
    Love and Peace,
    Stephanie (Mills) Sherman

    Like

  2. Anonymous

    Have so enjoyed your letters to Libby! I’ll miss them! Please continue to post your feelings & pics of your grandchildren! It would be a terrible loss to not hear from you after reading your blogs for so long! Thanks! Sandy Martin

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Connie

    Wow, Barry. I thought I knew you pretty well in high school, and I would have sworn you were smitten with Libby from day 1. Beautiful stories. I still think you should try to publish them, as they could provide laughter and comfort to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heather Davis

    I last saw Libby at Gene’s dad’s funeral, Fred Davis at your church. She was not well but had the biggest smile on her face. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. And it doesnt seem possible that she is gone.
    I wish I could have been at the reunion to see everyone. Perhaps we can do another one in 5 years, or think of another reason to plan another get together.
    Take care Barry, and congrats on those beautiful grand babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Barry for sharing your letters to Libby and the love story of your lives.
    Since, I lost touch after high school, it has been a way for me to catch up.
    I’m sorry I didn’t get to be a part of Libby’s life as adults.
    I realize through reading your blog and the comments of your close friends, that I missed out.
    I continue to pray for you and your family and I really enjoy the pictures of your beautiful granddaughters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Faye Gervais

    Barry, You Libby and the boys have always been special to me. I’ve watched two beautiful little boys grow into exceptional young men. Libby was one of a kind. I don’t know anyone on this earth who could quite measure up to her. Great wife, mom and friend to all. You both showed what love, a good marriage and good parenting can accomplish. I know God has good things in store for you. May He bless you abundantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam Case

    Your letters have been so touching and inspiring. I’m sure my reply isn’t nearly as touching as the thought of Libby knowing what you are feeling when you write these. And it will pale in comparision to hearing your grandchildren read them and learn of the love of someone who had such a profound influence in their lives by her love for their dads.

    Your journey thru this process shows such wonderful love that only God could have dreamed for mankind to experience. As I said before, it could easily become an inspirational book or a movie on the top seller’s list. The world needs more Barry and Libby stories of lives well lived.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marlene Miller-Morris

    Barry,
    I’ve not seen any of the other letters to Libby. I do want to look for them. I was so glad that our class chose to donated to the charity for Libby. Libby’s Living Legacy, how perfect.
    When I was telling my mom about the charity, I told her, I had never met anyone as precious as Libby. She was always smiling, happy, helpful and so giving. I told her she had to be the closest human to an angel I’d ever met.
    Like all of us I’m sure she had her day’s. But, to me she will forever stand out as the dear Angel we graduated with. You were very Blessed to share special moment’s with her as your wife and I know she was a great mom. Thank you for keeping her in your letters so the grand children will see what a special gift you were given.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful letter.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. matt and jamie

    What a privilege to read these letters. Thank you.

    “The protection of His child and treasure –
    is a charge that on Himself, He laid . . .
    as thy days, thy strength shall be in measure –
    this, the vow – to me, He made.”

    we love you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ramona Durham

    Barry, I’ve enjoyed your letters to Libby. Enjoyed all the articles you have written
    and shared with us. All of you will always remain in my heart, I love each one of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tena Keith

    Barry, I have truly enjoyed your beautiful letters to your precious wife. She was so loved and is dearly missed by many people, but certainly none who can feel the true depth of your despair. May God richly bless all your days with love and laughter. You’re a very special human being.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hillary and Ronny Hilton

    Thank you for allowing my husband and I to read along with others, your letters to Libby. I feel like I know her even though I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person. Your story has continued to point us to the love and the plan that God has for each of us. I sincerely hope you continue to write stories of your life. God bless you Barry!

    Liked by 1 person

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