Appalachia Pap

It’s Been Two Years


Pap at the John C. Campbell Folk School

Today makes two years since Pap died. I still miss him something fierce.

  • I wish he was here to offer his wise counsel to me like he always did
  • I wish he was here to hear Chitter’s new fiddle tune and Chatter and Paul’s new songs
  • I wish he was here for me to tell him about how good The Deer Hunter’s new job is
  • I wish he was here to see baby Margaret and talk about all her antics like the rest of us
  • I wish he was here to take care of Granny now that she’s got so feeble
  • I wish he was here to cook me a pan of fried taters and a stack of pancakes
  • I wish he was here to help me plan the garden

Over the last two years my grief has certainly lessened. In the beginning I couldn’t make it through a day without sobbing and I couldn’t concentrate on anything anybody said to me for thinking of Pap. There are still mornings I wake up with him on my mind and am lonesome for him, but overall I’ve come to accept that he’s gone. I’m also thankful that he went the right way you know?

Pap was 78 years old, in other words we had him for a good long time compared to other folks who lose loved ones way to early. Pap lived a good life, he was happy and pleased as he looked back over the years. He was especially pleased with his children and his grandchildren.

As I shared with you last year on the anniversary of his death, Pap was ready to go and he went out of this ole world on his on accord. He was at home surrounded by those he loved and that meant a lot to him.

On those odd mornings when I wake up with a longing for Pap I remind myself he said he’d be waiting on the other side of the shore in the shallow water and knowing he’ll be there is a balm for my soul.


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  • Reply
    April 20, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Sending you loving thoughts and a hug. Isn’t it wonderful that the same loving memories that cause so much grief come to bring us comfort and maybe even a smile? You shared so eloquently. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    April 20, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Love and Prayers. A lady I worked with said she still had a good cry atleast 3 times a week about her mother and she had been gone about 13 years at the time. She said time does put things further away but then something in life will happen and make me so sad that Mother isn’t here. 🙁

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 20, 2018 at 2:18 am

    When I first met your Dad at the singing we attended at the community center…I knew there was something special about him. Of course, I had read all your posts that included him in them and read some of his life history. The moment we were introduced or did I introduce myself; there was a twinkle in his eye that never left me, a knowing so t speak…There was something there besides all his songs, singing, working in the garden. husband, Father, Grandfather, etc., that I knew about from reading your blog. I can’t exactly explain it. But I am sure that others that have met him for the first time will know what I mean. A special someone that is real with a deep soul filled knowledge of the future and beyond. Almost as if he could read your mind and future with a comforting twinkle that put you at ease…I wish we had got to know him more….You were and are blessed Tipper…
    Thanks Tipper…
    Spring will be here eventually and maybe we will all lift our chins a bit higher as we think of our passed loved ones…They wouldn’t want any of us to be sad…

  • Reply
    Paula (Jenkins) Henderson
    April 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    MaryJane, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts of your dad. 8 years later I still go to pick up the phone to tell my dad about something I thought he would enjoy. It does my heart good to see his mannerisms in Dianna’s youngest son , Eric Sr and Dana’s son Lincoln has his eyes. Kevin and I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your dad and remembering his help several years ago putting the roof on Granny Jenkins’ house.

  • Reply
    Jane W Bolden
    April 19, 2018 at 9:30 pm
  • Reply
    Jane W Bolden
    April 19, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    Thinking of you.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    April 19, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    We endure and we cherish the memories. When Roy died, smack in the middle of the service, our 8-year-old, great-granddaughter got up from her seat and same forward to sit with, and hug, me. Made me sadder in that her “Pop” would have been so proud of her. I know I was. To this day, she is the one who spends the most time with me. Thinking of Granny often and sending prayers.

  • Reply
    Matthew Jones
    April 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm


    As you know, we lost Dad (Keith Jones) in November, so the emotions are still pretty raw for us. I think that folks in Appalachia experience the pain of loss differently than others around the country. Maybe it’s just in our blood? I don’t know. Bless y’all, and I’m continuing to enjoy the blog.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    My heart certainly goes out to you all, my parents are in their late 70’s and I know time is drawing near, but they both I know are prepared to meet their Savior, still I dread it so much, but who knows I may leave before they do, just gotta be ready to go. Your Dad sure did touch not only his personal family but his Blind Pig Family as well, yall should be proud and I know you are.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Let all those loving family arms surround you and each other with that safety net woven by Pap and Granny.

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    April 19, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    WOW! My math is just plain awful today. I should have said it’s been almost 28 years. I’m old, but not ancient!

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    April 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Our times with our fathers (whether it be long or short – my daddy passed at age 62 – I had my first 36 years with him) is never long enough. I still miss Daddy something fierce, too, but it’s been almost 48 years since he went home. Time marches on. The “kick in the gut” pain has been replaced with the firm faith that he will be waiting, smiling that smile that lit up the room, and those big ol’ hugs that I miss so much. Your Pap will be there for you. I know it.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    As I stood with you at Pap’s Funeral, I wished that I could’ve said something to lessen your sorrow. All I could say is that Time will Heal, but my parents have been gone since the 80’s and I think of them every day. I think the memories will be there forever and that’s a Good thing. We all have to
    bear our own Crosses. Now, all my brothers are gone to be with the Lord and that makes me “the last of the Mohicians.”

    When I entered the Church, Steve met me first, and he always called me “Mr. Roper”. Then Paul rushed to give me a Bulletin. They made me feel like “Family”. Pap had that way about him and I miss him too.

    Cindy sat with me for awhile and told me about Chatter and that she wasn’t able to look at Pap, so that was why she was at his feet. After huggin’ Chitter and Chatter and saying some “kind” words,
    I went back to my seat.

    As the Family marched in, the musical “New Birth” played. It’s from Paul and Pap’s “Shepherd of My Soul” CD. That was sooo moving! Paul held his mama and Matt held Tipper. Cindy saw that Chatter wasn’t doing so well so she got up and moved to the front row to comfort her. There’s nothing in this world as a grandma comforting one of her own. …Ken

    • Reply
      April 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      I am so glad , that you had each day of all those years, and preciously , the Balm, ……I know how it is to have that longing for one you miss, such an aching longing sometimes , I’m htat way about my Mama … I miss her being here, her voice , her hands, her saying my name , me saying I love you Mama, and her saying I love you too, …and so much more… :)….

  • Reply
    Ann Appplegarth
    April 19, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your dear father, Tipper. Two years! It seems like just yesterday. And the remaining years before you and he “meet on that beautiful shore” will go just as fast. How blessed your readers are to know Pap through you. He is often in my thoughts, thanks to you.

  • Reply
    Anne D
    April 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Goodness gracious~~~So many errors in my post~emotions running strong, tears of love
    Surely forgiven, folks.

  • Reply
    Anne D
    April 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Tipper and family~ what a blessing you all have that Pap has ‘gone to Gloryland’, and will greet you with open arms one fine morning !
    Knowing this is a Peace in soul and mind for you.
    I am thankful that you brought Pap into all of our lives, affording us great lessons of love, devotion, caring, hard and honest work, beautiful soul inspiring music, a delightful sense of humor and wit, that twinkle in his eyes when pleased, proud of family, or after telling a story !!
    It is true that we feel the loss for the rest of our lives- because as I read here, I’m Blind Pig, “The price for great love is great grief”
    I am scertain that The Father is holding you all especially close this day…
    From my hear to yours

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    April 19, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Oh Tipper, I know just how much you miss Pap. I miss my Daddy soooo much too! It has been a couple of months now and it is still hard to believe and like a dream. We were both fortunate to have such wonderful father’s. Father’s that were so devoted to their families. My Dad’s last remaining sister sent me some photos of him and Mom the other day and I was so happy to get them. I just miss my Dad soooo very much. Thinking of you today.
    Hugs and Love,

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Beautiful!! You honor and cherish Pap, your heritage and your family so elequent and lovingly! Reminds me of “I’ll Fly Away”!!
    God bless and thank you for sharing with us.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 9:44 am

    My mama has been gone a year and a half. She lived to be 94 and she was active until the minute she passed. She went peacefully, with no suffering and we are glad for that. Sometimes I start to pick up the phone to call her and let her know about something that happened and I realize I can’t. She knows anyway. Lots of times when I say something, it sounds just like what Mama said. You never get over the death of loved ones, you learn to adjust. My faith has gotten my through those tough times.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 9:18 am

    I have always believed our loved ones who have gone to Heaven are still here watching over us. When I lost both my parents at the same time, I thought I would surely die. Time has eased the pain. You lost Pap almost a year to the day after I lost my young grandson. That day changed my life forever and I’m not sure the grief will ever end. I will be praying for you and your family to find comfort in the wonderful memories of Pap.

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 9:05 am

    The hours and days tick away. We find so many worthwhile things to fill our lives, and we look back and thank the parents who guided us to make the best of our lives. They were the great generation, and they mostly had principals and morals. They were our compass when we were wee children trying to maneuver through all the bumps and joys of childhood. They urged us on when we were hesitant, and we always knew they had our backs. My 94 year old mother joined my Dad this past July. He had also died in July in 2001, as did my youngest sister. They all loved the Lord, and knew what prayer meant. Strangely, I accepted it all with courage, but I can never forget. It is almost as though they are still there guiding, and I remember so many words of encouragement. Our parents taught us how to cope with ups and downs, so now we are better able to go on. I remember how my dad complimented me when I would not let slick roads stop me from doing what I must. Now, this morning as I narrowly escaped an accident, I hear my young grandson say, “That was some good driving.” He is watching and learning as I once did–still do!

  • Reply
    Nancy Hofmeister
    April 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

    You honor his memory well . . .

  • Reply
    Susan C
    April 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Pap was a wonderful man who left a marvelous legacy with his family for years and years to come. What a comfort to know that we’ll see our loved ones on the other side where all tears will be wiped away.

    • Reply
      Robert Barlow
      April 19, 2018 at 9:51 am


  • Reply
    Barb Johnson
    April 19, 2018 at 7:41 am

    My wonderful Daddy died in February this year. He would have been 90, we had him a good long time too,but I would have taken more healthy years with him. He died unexpectedly after a bout with pneumonia. It was the worst 3wks of our lives. I will never understand why this man of faith (and he was amazingly witnessing to Drs and nurse till the end) had to suffer so. I reach for the phone most every day to tell him the latest news. There is a hole that will not be filled till we get to the other side . You are correct, that Hope is a balm to the soul for certain.
    Grace and peace

  • Reply
    Betty "JO" Eason Benedict
    April 19, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Tipper you have no idea how many have come to know and love your Pap through your writing, photos and music.❤️

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 19, 2018 at 7:35 am

    PRO10:07 The memory of the just is blessed: ………

    You three siblings and the grandchildren are your Mom and Dad’s legacy that lives on. Even adult children continue to reflect their upbringing. Through your wishes today we still see your Dad. I hope to live a life that will result in my being missed as well as you miss him. It is perhaps the highest compliment one can receive.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 19, 2018 at 7:23 am

    That picture is sooo Pap! Like he is standing there talking to me. I miss him too! I think the finest man I’ve ever know. So true to who himself and his beliefs. So true!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    April 19, 2018 at 7:19 am

    When I think of those gone on I think of the dash that is between birth and death dates. His dash was so full of love. He used his dash to bring help and love to others and he did so many interesting things in his life. That should bring comfort to those left behind. We can only hope we are using our dash as wisely as Pap.

  • Reply
    Julie Moreno
    April 19, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Sadness and grief are for those on this side. I am not sure it ever really lessens; to my way of thinking it just feels differently each day. Knowing that I will see my parents and grandparents again brings me much peace. I don’t know how folks that don’t believe that ever find peace and comfort. Praying for you today.

  • Reply
    Leon Estes
    April 19, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I can sympathize with you. I lost a loved one who had led a long, fruitful life. Mom lived to be 81, having survived Dad by 17 years. By this time I had a wife and child and was busy with life, but we still missed her. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep doing what God wants you to do.

  • Reply
    Eleanor Loos
    April 19, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Yes, indeed, Tipper! It’s so good to know that those of us who love our Lord will meet HIM some day and then we shall be privileged to meet all those loved ones who have gone on before. What a blessing and comfort!

  • Reply
    Sheryl A. Paul
    April 19, 2018 at 6:51 am

    You will always have your happy memories to help you through the hard times. You and your family were and are blessed to have had him in your life

  • Reply
    April 19, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Thankful that you can take comfort in the fact that you’ll see him again. ❤️ Love you

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