Two Years

Two years ago the shrill ringing of the phone
broke the silence of a peaceful night.
Quiet words were spoken and heart-wrenching sobs
came welling up from deep within.

Two years.
What are two years in a lifespan?
A minor drop in the bucket.
What are two years grieving a death?
The feeling of a lifetime.

T 3-07

Tris, we miss you still, we always will.
So much remains the same,
so much about us has changed.

We still congregate at Mom’s
because we love to be together.
We still sit around the table and talk,
catching up on each other’s lives.
We still sit around the fire outside,
but now we watch the sky, the moon,
knowing you are somewhere out beyond.

T 5-14

We still speak your name,
in a good memory, a loud story
or something we know you would love.
We laugh more, cry less,
but miss you just the same.
The ache in our hearts is still there
because you are still missing.

T 4-12

The children are growing, changing,
getting taller without permission.
They miss the kickball games, roasting marshmallows,
playing in the shop, and long bumpy jeep rides with you.
Tyson has a little girl now.
I know how excited you would have been for him
and all the advice and comments you would have had.
Your two girls are growing up, tall and sweet,
becoming beautiful little ladies.
And your son, He is so much like you in so many ways.
I know you would have laughed
and loved to see him in action like we do.

T 7-14

In the middle of missing you,
we are so grateful and thankful.
It was our privilege to have you
as part of our lives, our family.
We are so thankful to be the ones
who knew you best, the real you.
We smile when we remember your laugh
and are thankful for all our conversations.
Our lives would be so much less
if we had not had almost 33 years with you,
and for all those years, we are grateful.

T 6-15

Time keeps moving along,
often with us dragging our feet.
Some days it feels like we never move,
others we look back to the beginning
and see the far distance we have come.
We would not be where we are today
if it were not for Jesus.
He gives us grace to face each day,
courage to rise on the next,
and strength to put another foot forward
to keep walking this journey.

T 11-12

Two years ago our hearts were broken,
never to be the same again.
As we knelt at the side of that upturned dirt
we whispered, “Good-bye for now,
we’ll be there soon!”

Tris, we miss you still, we always will.

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Four Months

Never has time been so long.
Never has time been so short.
It feels like yesterday we heard you laugh,
yesterday we saw you come through the door.
But it feels like years since we heard your voice,
saw your smile, and heard you sing.

Never a road so hard,
so wearisome, so tiring, so dark.
Darkness is the absence of light
and light left our lives when you took flight.
Weary to the bone, tired of the weight on our mind,
wondering how to walk this path,
how do we go on with an ache so great?

Never a day goes by that we don’t imagine your face.
Never a day that we don’t smile at a memory.
We miss you so much, so very much.
You were larger then life and
took up such a big part of our hearts.
A Tris shaped hole forever remains.

Tris 5x7

Never a day that we don’t wonder what you are seeing,
hearing, singing, and laughing about up there.
I am sure your happiness knows no bounds
as you belt out praises to Jesus.
Four months of splendor are a drop in the bucket,
you have only begun to see the glories.

Never have we shed so many tears.
Never has the pain gone so deep.
Never have we grieved as we do,
but it’s all the price of love.
We would never have chosen to love you less,
never given up a minute of time with you.
In return, this grief we carry
is because of our love for you.
We will walk this road bravely,
head to the wind, facing the fight,
in honor of you, whom we loved so dearly.

Tys is 30!

We aren’t big “birthday party people” in our family. The kids may get a small deal at home, but getting together, throwing a party, or anything big, usually doesn’t happen and we’re all ok with that.

Tris was not one for birthday parties. I’m not sure what all his reasons were, but he would have been happy without them. That was one of the reasons we threw him a big 30th party 3 years ago. He was completely surprised, but also completely enjoyed himself. I guess that started the wheels rolling in his mind because this fall before he died, he mentioned Tys’ birthday to Lisa. He wanted a party for Tys, just like his own, and at Christmas when Tys least expected it.

Tys was a very important person in Tris’ life, as his only brother, they were very close. They talked on the phone almost every evening, they spent Saturdays together in the shop. They shared common hobbies, tinkering on vehicles, riding dirt bikes, buying things on Craig’s list, visiting pawnshops
and much more.

The idea was already brewing in the back of my mind, but before I voiced it to anyone, Lisa called me one day and told me what Tris had said. And just like that, Tys was having a birthday party because Tris had already planned it. There was no way we were skipping it now.

Tys’ wife pulled off a lot of the work, along with her family. We had a few lines in place to get him where he needed to be the night of the party, but over all, it really wasn’t too hard to surprise the one who claims he can never be surprised.

Before we get to the party, a few things about Tys. His name is Tyson, but I haven’t called him that since oh, I don’t know when, probably the last time I was mad at him. He’s Tys to everyone.

Tys party (1)
He’s great for a good laugh. My favorites are when we’re in a crowd and he’ll come up and quietly say something stupid to make you laugh. He also knows exactly how close to the line he can go with Mother. This dirt bike in the house would be one foot over the line.

Tys party (2)
He’s the fixer all things. If it needs to be tinkered with, he always has a knife or tool in his pocket to fix it. He will work on something for the longest time and is almost always able to fix it.

He calls to check on me, to see how I’m doing. He listens.

Tys party (4)

He will tease mercilessly, endlessly. And for some unknown reason, the kids love it. They fight him, chase, and badger right back.

You need a job done, call him, he will come.
He is reliable and hard-working on a big or small job.

Tys party (3)

He has three boys and they love him. For the most part they are a jolly bunch, but I’m not sure what was happening here. He seems to have added the 4th big blue son over Christmas time. These boys love to be with their dad. One or all three have been known to cry  if he leaves without them.

He is the King of taking dumb pictures. If you have a camera he’ll strike a pose, or he’ll use your phone and later you’ll find countless selfies of him. I’ll leave it at that, use your imagination since space does not allow me to post all the photos I have like this.

MIG bikes

He is welder by day and a MIG welder by night. He made these bikes from scrap welder rods and a few drawings on cardboard.
(I may or may not have stolen his photos for this)

3 wheel MIG bike
He was asked to make one for the Haiti Sale in FL and since he was bored with the Schwinn model he was making, he created a 3-wheeler with a Pinecraft license plate. Go to Florida and buy it. It’s one of a kind.

Now about that surprise party…

Tys party
All the way down there, the sky was dark, overcast. I kept watching one place where the sun was shining  from behind. It was hanging right over the church where we were going. It wasn’t until I took a picture that I saw the heart in the sky.

We waited awhile for him to show up…Tys party (7)
Not quite sure he wanted to come in. I told him he had to, Tris planned this party and there was no way he was getting out of it.

Tys party (8)
He obviously has lots of friends!

We made sure he had 30 gifts,
but I know for a fact that there were more then 30.
Tys party (9)

Tys party (10)
A selfie stick.
Just what he needs to photograph himself
from the top of a grain leg he is welding.
Tys party (11)
He had lots of help opening gifts.
Tys party (12)
He asked for this gift! He bashed vests in a very loud and obnoxious manner one night, so we bought him one! He says, “Never mind that your arms are frozen, at least your torso is warm!”
Tys party (13)
Max, down on the right, just cracks me up!
For being the son of Tys, he is a lot like Tris.
Tys party (16)
He was a little worried about opening some of these bags.
Tys party (15)
Now he’s stylin’! Add that vest and he’s ready for the mall!
Tys party (14)

Tys party (18)
It was a good party, even he admits it!
Turning 30 isn’t so bad after all.

Tys party (17)
We had a good night but missed Tris very much.
He would have loved it! So many people to talk to and enjoy.

Happy 30th birthday Tys!
We love you and are blessed to have in our lives.

 

Happy Birthday Tris

Happy heavenly Birthday Tris.

Tris party

I can’t believe Nov 3 is here and you aren’t.
Who would have thought we would celebrate
your 33rd birthday without you?
You never were one for big birthday parties,
but sorry man, we’re having one this year.
We’re going to bake cupcakes, decorate them,
and let the kids spit all over them
while they blow the candles out.
We’ll sing happy birthday to you and laugh at your jokes.
We’ll look around to find you and then remember where you are.
Makes me wonder what kind of celebration
you are having up there.

Tris ice-cream

There will be ice-cream, of that I am sure
because a birthday is not a birthday without ice-cream,
according to you.
Not just any ice-cream though,
homemade ice-cream was the absolute best.
If it wasn’t homemade, it must be soft.
We would get out the container
and everyone would scoop theirs up.
When we were finally ready to put it away,
there you would sit, waiting patiently.
“Aren’t you getting any ice-cream?” we would ask,
even though we already knew you were.
“Yep! Be right there. Just waitin’ on it to get good and soft!”
I think we’ll need to pull out the ice-cream machine
for this birthday of yours.
I don’t think you had a happier weekend
then that one back in June
when we ate ice-cream all weekend from the ice cream machine.
There just isn’t any other way to celebrate
then with what you loved best, so ice-cream it will be.
I wonder if heaven has ice-cream.

Tris porch

We’ll have a good meal for your birthday too.
You were always up for good food,
“That was about the best meal I ever had.” you would say.
You didn’t care for all the fancy things,
just something plain and simple made you happy.
We might celebrate with a big plate
heaping full of beef tips and gravy over mashed potatoes.
Maybe we’ll grill a good steak, just the way you liked it.
We’ll throw in some hot wings for good measure
because we know how much you loved those too.
We’ll skip the veggies, the salad
and the fruit for today, in honor of you.
We’ll all eat up and lean back and say,
“Man, that was good!”
A common comment from you was,
“No one can cook as good as Lisa! My wife makes the best food!”
I wonder what you’re having today!
I wish our imagination was good enough
to see half of your birthday meal up there.

Tris jeepin

Since it’s not so cold out,
we could all go for a long jeep ride tonight.
Back to the cabin, through the woods,
we might even hit a mud hole or two,
just for old times sake.
The kids could bounce along in the back,
having the time of their life.
How does that new gold jeep ride up there?
Pretty smooth compared to that old Willys you had?
Although I’m sure you wouldn’t trade the gold one,
we would love to see you drive that Willys one more time.

Tris shop

I guess we could all go hang out in the shop
to celebrate your birthday.
We could invite all the guys you loved to talk with,
guys that stopped in on a Saturday,
guys that would call for advice, with a question or just to chat.
There is a lot of tinkering we could do up there.
Did you ever just sit still when you were in the shop?
There was always a motor to be torn into,
tools to arrange, a floor to sweep,
the dirt bike to fix, a jeep to repair, or a tractor to fix.
There were kids to entertain,
tools to collect that they had drug around,
some junk food for them to snack on,
or Sunny D for them to sip.
We might plug in the stop light that you were so proud of,
and just watch it glow in the dark.
Are there tools in heaven? Anything to tinker on?
A golf cart to fix or someone’s tractor?
I’m sure you’re in the middle of it, if there is.

Tris swing

Maybe instead of jeepin’ or hanging out at the shop,
we’ll just stretch out on the couch
with a toothpick in our mouth after our good meal.
We’ll all pull out our phones
and check Craig’s list for a good deal.
Pretty soon we’ll drop our phones
and take a little snooze in honor of you.
You must have slept lightly because you still seemed to hear
every conversation that was going on around you.
After a bit, you would whip your legs around, sit up and say,
“Well boys, let’s get this show on the road!”
Are there toothpicks in heaven?

Tris table

But most of all for your birthday,
we would just love to sit around the table with you
and listen to you talk and laugh.
Oh, just to hear another story that you so loved to tell.
We would all interrupt and soon you would say,
“As I was saying …” and pull everyone’s attention back to your story.
We would love to sit and watch you stick your toothpick
in the candle and turn it into a mess.
All we would really want for your birthday is
one more hug, one more laugh,
just one more evening with you.
We miss you so
and selfishly we wish you back,
just for one more time.

Tris relaxed

Happy birthday Tris.
I hope it was thee absolute most
grandest birthday celebration you have ever had!

Life of Grief

My mind whirls endlessly,
never ending questions without answers,
fighting reality, grasping for hope.

And then without warning, a London fog rolls in
and my mind stops on it’s on accord,
unable to process the most simple things.

Tears push behind my eyes, but refuse to fall.
The next minute tears well up ceaselessly,
a never ending stream.

Life continues to go on around me,
even when I feel like it stopped.

The last few weeks would best be described with a photo a day.
I do have a photo for every day,
but I won’t be sharing them all for various reasons.

10-7

10.7
On the darkest of days, friends and family rally around to lift you.

10-11

10.11
The days following the funeral were filled with
shiny stars, beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and much more.

10-12

10.12
We stood in the lawn one afternoon and watched God
paint a rainbow right before our eyes.

10-13

10.13
There were days spent in Tris’ shop,
looking through his tools, laughing at his jokes
remembering him in his favorite spot.

10-14

10.14
Glowing evening sunshine warmed us,
dried our tears, and drew us closer to heaven.

10-15

10.15
There were quiet evenings around the fire,
reflecting, talking about Tris and all of our good memories.

10-16

10.16
Tris was a junk food junkie and his work truck was full of snacks.
Sarita and I went to his favorite store and loaded up on his favorite stuff.

10-17

10.17
More time spent in his shop,
checking out his next projects and remembering better days.

10-18

10.18
And one last early morning visit,
saying good-bye before I went home.

~~~

Blogging may be sporadic until I get my thoughts together again.
I don’t want to bog you down with my mountain of grief,
but neither do I want to write like it never happened.
It has very much effected our lives and changed us forever.

Keep praying for our family,
it looks like Mt Everest was dropped in front of us
and is waiting to be climbed.

A Tribute to Tris

How can it only be a week since he left us?
It feels more like years.
We miss him so very much.

I wrote a tribute to Tris for Eric to read at the funeral.
Someone ask if I was going to write something
but there were just no words there.
No words would come.
One morning I gave up trying to sleep at 5am
and this poured onto the paper.

Tris

Oh Tris, how our hearts ache,
split open with pain like we’ve never known.

Tears spring up from a well that never runs dry.
Our laughter is turned to mourning,
our spirits heave with the heaviness of losing you.

We cry, we grieve, we weep, we mourn, but it’s all because of love.
You were so very loved, more then you will ever know.
We loved your big ways, everything you did was big.

Tris ice-cream

We loved your talking, loud though it was.
We knew when you were in the room,
we could hear you coming a mile away.
Your booming voice brought people to attention,
They listened when you spoke, they heard a man.
Oh, how we miss that big voice.

Blog 5-12 (13)

We loved your care for our children.
Crying babies? Not a problem. You had it all under control.
“Let’s play kick ball you would say.”
and all the kids would come running.

After a game, they would hop in the jeep
and drive away on a ride with you.

How we’ll miss your care for them.

Tris jeepin

You were the one to call for everything, and how we loved that.
Something is broken, something quit,
“Call Tris,” we would say, “He can fix it!”
You were the one who called, ‘Just to talk!’
When our phones would ring with your picture,
we could hear your smile, your laugh.
Who will we call now?

You loved people, you were interested in everyone.
When you visited with someone, they knew you cared about them.
You had an interest in their lives.
A good viewing was your delight, so many people to talk to.
I’m only sad you missed your own.

Tris swing

Your little family, how you loved them.
Lisa was the perfect one for you.
Her quiet spirit kept your loud one under control.
You loved nothing more then to tease her and see her laugh.
Your firstborn, Katelyn, you were her anchor.
When she was hurt, when she cried, she wanted Daddy.
Aleigha, your right hand little lady.
She was often seen perched on her Daddy’s knee.
And little Grant, my, how proud you were of him.
He loved no one more then his Daddy,
waiting at the door every day for you to come home.
Who will fix their bikes, who will kiss their hurt away?
Who will tell them stories and tuck them into bed?
Who will say, “Come Lisa, it’s time to go!”

bike (3)

There are so many things we loved about you,
so many things we’ll miss.

We’ll miss your singing, my but, how loudly you could sing.
Not always on key, but you sang from the bottom of your heart.
Your jokes, we spent half the time trying to figure out
if what you were saying was true.
There was your ever ringing phone and all the calls from farmers.
You would answer and then head outside to pace.
Your big long legs ate up miles of space, walking while you talked.
A good deal was never to be passed up on Craig’s list.
“What’s your bottom dollar?” you would say.
We’ll miss your big and in charge ways.
You were the leader, the pillar of our family.

Tris relaxed

We will never stop missing you.
A Tris shaped hole was been left in our hearts that will never be filled.
The life of the party has gone before us, what will we ever do?
We can only look to Jesus, whom you knew so well.
We know you kneel at his feet today,
we do too, crying, broken and pleading for help.

I will love and miss you for the rest of my life.
Keep singing for Jesus until I come. Your big sister, Shannon.

My Brother

My heart is heavy with grief as I type this morning.
My brother Tristan, only 32 years old, passed away
so very quickly early Wed morning, Oct 7

Although we thought his health was fine,
he died of a sudden heart attack.

Tris

We loved him so much, he was the life of the party.
He will be so very missed.

A quote a friend sent me:
Now at last he is beginning chapter one of the great story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever; in which every chapter is better then the one before.

Lift our family in prayer  as we grieve this loss.

Mark Tristan Stoll, 32, passed away unexpectedly early in the morning Wednesday, October 7, 2015

He was born Nov. 3, 1982, to Owen and Marie (Yoder) Stoll. On Oct. 18, 2003, he married Lisa Wagler and she survives. Together they had three children, Katelyn Elizabeth, 8, Aleigha Claire, 4, and Grant Tristan, 18 months.

He is also survived by his parents, Owen and Marie Stoll of Odon; one brother, Tyson (Amanda Stoll) of Loogootee; two sisters, Shannon (Eric) Hostetler of Utica, Ohio, and Sarita (Tim) Graber of Odon.

He was a member of the Mt. Olive Mennonite Church. Tristan was loved by all who knew him. Friendly and ready to visit, he always had a smile. He was a wonderful husband and father and loved spending time with his family. He was employed by Hutson Inc. as a John Deere mechanic and was known by many farmers in the area.

Calling hours will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Mt. Olive Mennonite Church in Montgomery.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be in the church cemetery.