Hard Day Packing Up The Office

July 21, 2013 — 29 Comments

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 Caulk models and action figuresMike 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.

The Bookcase

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.

Preacher Mike 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.

MIke Caulk models and action figures

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.

Preacher Mike I hope so because that is a lot of followers.

Hard days

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.

Have something to add?

Loading Facebook Comments ...

29 responses to Hard Day Packing Up The Office

  1. I was so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing , yes God is with us ,I’m glad you also have family and friends to hold you and love you as you walk this journey ,you already have been traveling ,so sorry for all your losses, son and grandchild

  2. Missy we all love you and Mike so much
    and will miss him on earth but will soon hang for eternity together.

  3. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers Missy! I cannot even imagine how difficult that was for you packing up the office and I want to thank you for sharing that with us – I, too, look forward to your next blog – about what spouse’s should know! You are such a strong wonderful lady Missy – Your faith is truly an inspiration! God Bless You my friend! Jan

  4. What a gifted writer you are, Missy! You really have a way of pulling your readers into your world so that we feel a portion of your pain and turmoil, your faith and strength, your vulnerability and perseverance. My heart ached for you as I read this piece and by the end I was tearful, yet thankful, that the Lord has molded you into a women full of wisdom. Thank you for honestly and openly sharing your heart with us. Also, thank you for caring so much about others that you are actively trying to better prepare us. I am looking forward to your next post.

  5. Your post about cleaning the office was beautifully written. You have been in my prayers every since we received the shocking news in June. Your blog ends on a comforting, faith building note.

  6. Missy this was wonderfully written and made me think of Mike in such a personal way. Our prayers continue for you and the family.

  7. I love the Psalm you included in this post. I was thinking you might consider using a title that speaks to the concept of “even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day.” I am certain that you will know when you find the right title for your book. Love and prayers!

  8. Thank you for sharing Missy, I know it is hard as you say to tackle Mike’s office, I hate to think about those who would have to tackle mine, seems only things important to me are here and I know their worth….or worthlessness…. but I can still remember where I placed something 5 to 7 years ago….or longer…. God bless you as you process through your days and I pray that our Father God will show you in HIs time the name for your book….it will come to you….cheers your old friend Rusty

  9. I love your posts, you’re so strong and inspiring.

  10. I love you mom. I’m always here and I know Daddy is too. He’ll never leave you. Even though you can’t see him, he loved you more than anything. He’s told me since his passing to “Be strong for mommy”……I will and I know God will give us all the strength to get through this.

  11. Thank you for sharing. I know today was so difficult and please call me anytime when you just need a shoulder to lean on. I know you have been spending time with the family so I didn’t want to disturb you but call me when you get a chance.

  12. Love this perspective. God is here, holding us, loving us.

  13. I love you Missy. I so wish I could take all of your heartache away for you my friend. One foot in front of the other I suppose. I’m here for you, always.

  14. Love this post, Missy. Glad to get to know you both a little better.

  15. I think your next blog on what spouses should now will be VERY helpful to many, including me. Actually, I think you could and should publish a little book or check off list for all those little details that we don’t think about until it’s too late.

    • Thanks Marian,one book is enough LOL. But, even with the little he had it is overwhelming the things to do, the waiting for papers, then getting them and needing more.

  16. Your words are inspirational and Mike would be proud of the writings from you and others in your family. As hard as this is for you, I think of how much harder it would be if you were not a faith based family. I continue to pray for you……

  17. Missy, I am so sorry you are going through the grief that you are, but at the same time so blessed to read about how you are handling things with God as your pilot. You and yours are truly inspirational!

    Many Hugs!

  18. I grew up with a brother who had a passion for both building model airplanes and flying real planes. I never understood the model fascination–those models are SO detailed and the pieces so intricate and the finished product is a piece of art to them. They’re just a dust collector to me!

    I can’t imagine how difficult yesterday was for you, Missy. I’m glad that’s done and the deep cleaning will be done soon too.

    I’m definitely looking forward to your next post! I think I probably mentioned to you that when Ray was not doing well, I did have a panic attack one day, thinking that I had no earthly idea how to access any of our finances, insurance, etc. Thankfully now, I KNOW our insurance guy but, still am not up to speed on the finances. You also brought to mind social media passwords – don’t know those either. That is also something that everyone should make a conscious effort to keep for your spouse – perhaps in a safe somewhere? I know it’s upsetting not to know how to reach his 4,000 followers.

    Prayers are with you, Missy, as always. As you said, there are just no words that would be enough to comfort you but, the prayers will continue. Love you…

    • Thanks Debe, there is so much I am learning about what I didn’t know. And I thought we knew everything about each other. Just learning about the jet ski was an ordeal. So much I took for granted.

  19. Missy: My prayers are with you. May He give you comfort.

  20. Mildred Russell July 21, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thinking of you, Missy, and praying for you. Your children are wonderful, what a blessing!

  21. I wish that I could think of something, anything, to say that could ease your pain, even if only for a moment, but there are no words, all I can offer is love and most importantly prayer.

Would love to hear your thoughts...