Grief & Gratitude

I had an 8 acre canvas, surrounded by 3900 acres of state forest. At first I felt fear of commitment to this monumental project, I needed the right people, the right tools, the right spiritual connection and hydraulics was a must. Mike Sampson, Donny Lesure and Stan Page showed up, we had the team who would help manifest this enormous vision. In September of 2003 devastation hit. My eldest daughter Tina Marie suddenly passed away. As a father, no words can describe the extreme pain of losing a child. I carried on in a haze with the loving support of my other two daughters, Sara and Megan. Putting Tina to rest was the hardest day of my life, my daughter Sara breathed a sliver of light into the passing to honor the sisters and came up with the name, ‘Three Sisters Sanctuary’, which also deepened our connections with each other. Quite a while later, two musicians from Amsterdam, Ellen and Peter left a note asking if they could give a concert, I jumped at the opportunity. Folk music filled the summer evening and I felt the presence of my daughter Tina Marie. I had fulfilled her dream of bringing music to the Sanctuary. Nature had the power to heal and became an integral part of my vision. I built the sanctuary based on the underlying belief there was a power greater than myself working through me. This gave me the ability to move towards light in my life instead of living shrouded in the grief. Grief and my daughters was the driving force behind the Theater in the Round which took over six years to build. The energy and power of the land, encouragement from strangers and the power of God working through me were my motivation to keep going.