What Keeps Fathers Up at Night


Just like any other teenager I had a curfew.  Sometimes I made it in on time for the curfew and sometimes I did not.  But no matter whether I arrived home before curfew, at curfew time or after curfew, I would always find the same scene when I walked through the front door.

There in the living room watching television or sometimes reading his Bible would be my father.  My first thought when I saw my father waiting up for me on the couch was that I was about to be in trouble whether I was early or whether I was past curfew.  Guilt is the first thing that comes into a teenager’s mind when he is confronted with a parent waiting up for him — whether he has any reason to be guilty or not.

Quickly putting my guilty mind to rest my dad would fumble looking away from the TV or looking up from the Bible he was reading and said, “Oh, I didn’t realize it was so late.  I guess I just got too interested in what I was doing.”

I knew better though because as soon as I went to bed the TV turned off and the living room light went out. Dad’s footsteps could be heard going down the hallway to his and mother’s bedroom.  No matter how early or late I was my dad would always wait up for me.

It was not until years later when I became a father and my children became teenagers that I realized what my father was really thinking about when he sat on the couch waiting until I got home.  A loving father can’t go to sleep until all his children are back safe at home.

On February 11, 2014 at 3:30 AM  that my father went to his heavenly home.  I’m sure when he got there both Father God and His Son Jesus were anxiously awaiting the return of their child home safely.  I will miss my father — in fact I always miss him sorely.  But I can comfort myself in the fact that he along with my Heavenly Abba Father, my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, my wife Cindy, my daughter Katie, my grandparents, and all those who preceded me in death will be waiting up and will be able to rest better once I’m home safely too.

Meanwhile I and my family will live our lives here without those loved ones and try to do the best we can.  What will keep us going will be the hope and the promise that we will see them all once again when the Angels escort us home safely.  (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Written by Larry M. Barber, LPC-S, CT author of the grief survival guide “Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise”  available online at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Love-Never-LPC-S-Larry-Barber/dp/1613796005 ), Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-never-dies-lpc-s-ct-larry-m-barber-ct-larry-m/1104364890?ean=9781613796016).

The grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunca Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa” 

Both English and Spanish versions are available for Kindle and Nook. Larry is the director of GriefWorks, a free grief support program for children and their families in Dallas TX  http://grief-works.org.

John Lawrence Barber 1922-2014

Lawrence Barber

(Brenham TX) John Lawrence Barber, 91, formerly of Cleburne and Burleson, passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in Brenham.

Funeral: 11 A.M. Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at Mayfield Kiser Funeral Home Chapel.

Visitation: The Family will receive guests from 2 to 4 P. M. on Sunday, February 16, 2014 at the Brenham Church of Christ and on Monday, February 17, 2014 from 6 to 8  P.M. at the funeral home.

Interment: Burial with Military Honors will follow the funeral service at 1:15 P.M. at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery.

John Lawrence Barber was born on July 27, 1922 in Blanco, Colorado the son of George Preston Barber and  Ella Caulkins Barber.  He served in the U.S. Army in World War II in Europe.  He was awarded a Purple Heart  and a Bronze Star.

After the war he attended Florida Christian College.  While visiting relatives, he met Betty  Barker at a church service in Cleburne, Texas.  On November 24, 1949,  he and Betty were married and lived in Cleburne where they had five children, two sons and three daughters.  Lawrence was a longtime member of the Central Church of Christ in Cleburne, Texas.

Lawrence worked for Rangaire Corporation for 30 years and Kroger for 10 years in Cleburne, Texas and retired to Burleson, Texas.  He moved to Brenham, Texas a year after his wife passed away.

Lawrence is preceded in death by his wife Betty Barber; his father Preston Barber and his mother Ella Barber: his daughter Karen Barber; daughter-in-law, Cindy Barber; brothers, Lloyd Barber and Orville Barber; his sister Pearl Culler; and grandchild, Katie Barber.

Lawrence is survived by children, Larry Barber of Dallas, Texas, Dianna Ross and her husband Rodney of Shelby, Alabama, Nancy Clothier of Crowley, Texas,  and Jason Barber and his wife Denese  of Brenham, Texas.

He is also survived by ten grandchildren, Christian Barber, Sarah Barber, Tonya Partridge, Richard Ross, Rachel Lovell, Kyle Clothier, Sean Clothier, Joshua Barber, Samantha Barber, and Shelby Barber; nine great grandchildren, Andrew Hernandez, Antonio Hinton, Anastacia Ross, Ava Ross, Reese Partridge, Coral Partridge, Crimson Partridge, Bailey Lovell, and Ava Lovell; and one great, great grandchild Angelo Hernandez.

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About griefminister

Director, GriefWorks & CounselingWorks Licensed Professional Counselor Certified in Thanatology (Study of Death, Dying & Bereavement) by The Association of Death Education and Counseling Grief Therapist, Educator, Consultant Author-"Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief with Hope and Promise.'
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6 Responses to What Keeps Fathers Up at Night

  1. leftturn61 says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. The men who served in WWII were a wonderful group of men with such strength and courage. I pray God comforts you and gives you strength to endure another devastating loss. GOD BLESS.

  2. Morguie says:

    So sorry about your father. He sounded like a caring man. I pray that you and your family may find comfort in your memories and in your faith at this very difficult time. I too had a wonderful and caring father, who I lost nearly 4 years ago. It is a loss I know I will never truly recover from. Having him and his wisdom to rely on when times were difficult for me was truly a blessing, that I miss so much at times. I realize even more as time passes and society around me changes, that I was very fortunate indeed. It seems this world is sorely lacking in the kinds of men children desperately need for fathers, to guide them into life’s path of right and good, to grow into strong adults who are capable and confident. In spite of the “new” thinking and the disturbing trends, kids need both a mother and a father, a solid set of well-grounded parents if they are to become a “whole or total” person. You and I were very very fortunate to have the kinds of fathers that today’s kids only read about in story books.

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