Memorial Service Video March 27, 2015

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The service on Wednesday was so lovely. There are dozens of people to thank–too many for me to even begin that process here–and there has been a lot for me to do this week (for which I’ve been so thankful), but at no point did I feel overwhelmed. Having tasks to complete has made moving through the days more bearable, a thing that I would do well to remember now that there are fewer of them.

I’ll be honest–I haven’t watched this completely through. It will probably be a long time before I’m able to, but that’s ok. We had the service recorded because we wanted all of you who were unable to attend to have the option of viewing it. We felt it captured perfectly what we wanted–to honor and celebrate my momma’s extraordinary life.




Thank You March 25, 2015

Today was such a long, lovely day. I am exhausted, but I’ve laughed more today and in the last week than I thought was possible. Sarah James said it seems like there has been more laughter than tears, which is saying something, because there have been a lot of those, too.

You all have just knocked us out with love this week. Each conversation tonight was so perfect, and gave us extra pieces of her–there are so many.

We are blessed by you. It’s as simple and profound as that.

Until tomorrow,


Honoring Cindy Tripp March 21, 2015

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Cindy Tripp

Cynthia Breath Tripp passed away peacefully on the morning of March 19. She said, in her final days, that she always imagined she would die in the spring, so she waited with her family at home until the daffodils began to bloom in her own front yard.

She is preceded in death by her mother, Lorraine Honoré Breath; father, James William Breath; and uncle Gene Honoré. She is survived by her husband of 44 years, James Ellison Tripp III; daughters, Sarah James (Jacob) Myatt and Emily Lorraine Tripp; granddaughter, Abigail Kate Myatt; brother, David (Linda) Breath; sister, Diane (Bernard) Porter; aunt, Ilona (Kenneth) Matar; foster daughters, Amber and Megan Neeley; and many more who were a part of her spiritual family.

She was a lover of language and clean laundry. She had a gift for bringing out the best in people while loving them exactly as they were. She found beauty and meaning in the people and things most others overlooked. She cherished handwritten letters and filling the space of a room with love and antique knick knacks. She favored her granddaughter Abigail more than anything or anyone listed above.

Cynthia was cared for by true angels at the end of her life, and her family would like to thank the caregivers and staff of Dr. Kenneth Dodge, Dr. Howard Burris (Sarah Cannon Research Institute), Dr. Patrick Murphy (Tennessee Oncology), Dr. Bart Huddleston (TriStar Southern Hills), Griswold Home Care and Alive Hospice for their tender assistance.

To honor her life, a memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25 at Fellowship Bible Church. Her family will greet friends on Tuesday, March 24 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and again on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at Fellowship Bible Church. Arrangements are being made by friends at Austin Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Brentwood Academy, her home away from home. It was there she found her life’s calling, to aid in the flourishing of others.


Visitation and Memorial Info March 20, 2015

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Today we decided on the visitation and the memorial service, both of which will be held at Fellowship Bible Churchwhich is located at 1210 Franklin Road in Brentwood.

  • Visitation – Tuesday, March 24 4-7 pm and Wednesday, March 25 from 1-2 pm
  • Memorial Service – Wednesday, March 25 beginning at 2 pm 


In a post shortly after her diagnosis, when trying to find a way to cope with what her life had shifted to look like, my mom wrote:

I moved step-by-step through the minutes and hours and days. I reminded myself that none of this surprised God and that He had always been faithful in the rough patches of my life. I just breathed in and breathed out, and I prayed to be a good witness of His goodness no matter what. When I felt those moments of panic creeping up, I refused to allow them to take root because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop the fear if they did…

The truth is that there is no right way to handle this. Focused or disorganized, controlled or emotional, organized or erratic, poised or angry—there is no wrong reaction. The events of this week confirm that life is fragile and there are no guarantees.

There’s a lot of things to do, but going through these motions–putting tasks on lists and checking them off (or, assigning them to other people to check off)–is the way we are coping right now. We are making decisions and making calls, and trying to remember to eat and rest when we need to. We feel wrapped in the knowledge that you are all with us in this, that your love for her is deep and true.


this morning March 19, 2015

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This morning Cynthia passed into a new world.

Last night I wrote something before bed, intending to post it this morning, and I don’t know–we finished reading Stitches late last night, and Momma has always liked completing things she starts.

I’ll leave this here for now. Maybe one day this will start to make sense.



Most everything makes some sort of sense in hindsight–if meaning cannot be completely revealed, at least a pattern usually is, a template can be constructed from the remaining moments, so that we are better equipped for the next big bad thing that comes our way. Life is cyclical, that is for sure, and there is something comforting about the repetition of it all.

We Tripps have not yet made our way to the grand land of hindsight. We’re still jarring around in the cycle, trying to find meaning in the pain when it comes, only to be knocked over by it when it doubles back and pulls the rug out from under our feet. We move forward, then some chance moment bowls us over, leaving us feebly trying to cope with how rapidly our lives have changed in just two short months.

I’ve been reading Stitches by Anne Lamott to her in the past few days. Out of all the books in this house, I’m not sure why I picked that one up to read. Maybe she planned it, putting it on a shelf all by itself outside the laundry room where I would pass by it every day for the last three weeks. I picked it up because it looked gentle, and it is. I started to pick out passages that have affected us, but then stopped, realizing that retyping every word might be a bit more labor-intensive than I’m up for at the moment. Here’s just one:

To heal, it seems we have to stand in the middle of the horror, at the foot of the cross, and wait out another’s suffering where that person can see us. To be honest, that sucks. It’s the worst, even if you are the mother of God. 

Mary didn’t say, “Oh, he’ll be back in a couple of days.” She didn’t know that. She stood with her son in the deep unknowing as he died.

So that’s were doing. We are here as witnesses, keeping a vigil, staying in this moment with her even when it doesn’t make any sense at all.