When 20-year-old Austin Wade Barber lost his fight with cancer in 2017, his death could have torn the family apart. But love was stronger than grief. Austin’s dad, Shane, explained that his other son, Cole — then age 23 — came to him with an idea and a mission. Shane recalled Cole saying, “I think we need to stick together. We need to continue to get closer ... rather than pull farther apart.”
To make that happen, Shane and Cole built a new home for themselves and their wives, Lori and Iva. It took 11 shipping containers, one Millermatic 211 and less than 10 months. The project was a labor of love. “Homes can tear families apart," Shane said. "This pulled us even closer together.”
“Homes can tear families apart. This pulled us even closer together.”
Shane explained that “the build of this home not only was putting together 11 containers, but it was pulling together — at the time — four of us. Then five of us, then six of us, as grandchildren were born.” His wife, Lori, agreed. “We were close before, but now we’re really close! We get to see the grandkids every day ... it’s healed our hearts for sure.” Iva, the mother of those grandkids, noted that she and Cole named their children in ways that honor their late uncle Austin.