Packing up the office was hard
There are a lot of hard days when you are grieving.
Yesterday I cleaned out Mike’s office. The boxes were still piled high with stuff from the funeral display, and his classroom at Belleville High School.
Over the years we have rotated that space we call an office, first Mike, then when I went into real estate…me. Then back to Mike. The last year with both of using laptops and wireless…about the only thing we both used it for was to print…him lesson plans…me real estate contracts.
So it wasn’t hard the last month to run in grab a print piece and walk out.
One of my good friends is paying for my house to be deep cleaned. It hasn’t been deep cleaned since Jamie died on Oct 20th, 2011. It needs it bad and I am thrilled to accept this generous gift. But….the office needed to be packed up before they come. So I tackled it yesterday.
Mike built model airplanes. They were amazing and so detailed. He would settle for nothing less than perfection for every detail of the plane and cock pit. He had a second desk in the office with hundreds of bottles of little paint jars for his models.
I went to Walmart and bought a plastic tub to keep all of them together. Then a larger tub…in went the brushes, X-Acto knives, sandpaper, glue’s,stickers for the planes and model heads never to be finished.
I never really appreciated his fascination with building model airplanes and his dolls. (Action figures that looked just like the pilot of the plane they flew) I feel guilty now about that.)
In fact our second fight after being married was when he went out and bought a model to work on when we were in the midst of starting a campus outreach at Ole’ Miss. I’m a work alcoholic, he was not…except in coaching his football teams and his damn lesson plans.
There is also a book-case in the room we called the office. Mike was so organized and there I found, his college degree from Western Kentucky, his degree in teaching from Eastern Michigan University and his graduate certificate from Grand Canyon University.
- Why didn’t we frame them and hang them up?
- Why didn’t he show me the one from his Master’s degree?
- Why didn’t we have a party when he finished his Master’s?
These are all thought’s rolling through my mind crying and cleaning…packing away.
Mike had everything organized, all of the articles that were published when he was “Preacher Mike”, all of the football programs when his team won the Championship for the Washtenaw Junior Wolverine team, all of Jamie’s highlights from football at Father Gabriel Richard High School and later at Adrian College.
A stroll down memory lane. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to clean this room called “the office.” I left all these out on the bookcase. I figured at some point the kids would want to see them and the chance of that if I packed up was slim to none.
Four garbage bags of lesson plans, thrown out. History,Law,Psychology books packed up to be delivered to Belleville High School. The desk where he painted packed up and put away.
It took ALL day and then Matthew came in and organized the airplanes putting them back where he had them in the display case and hanging from the ceilings.
Mike had over 4000 followers on a forum where he chatted with other guys interested in history and model airplanes.
I don’t know how to reach them to tell them he is gone from this present earth. Maybe they know because he has not been posting for a month now.
In the midst of grief, there are hard days and yesterday packing up the office was one of them.
Yet in the midst of packing and the sorrow…God was there, holding me, loving me.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there; if I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you (Psalm 139:7-12).
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
My next post is going to be about what spouse’s should know about the other ones, including bank accounts, life insurance, military release papers, and passwords. My daughter, Christa started a blog, Pocket Full of Memories, she is a beautiful writer and like me gets healing from writing, go check it out.
I wish I could, like Christa’s blog think of a name for my book, my editor says it will come to me…but so far nothing.
Thank you for reading. While you are here read a few of my posts on brain death. Get informed.