Piece by Piece


Piece by piece!  is what I thought as I looked at my husband’s reloading desk, the last of “his” areas to be cleaned out. Everything else in Phil’s cave had been moved, sold, or given away over the past 31 months.  His desk was the heart of that cave. A corner so familiar and special to me, it shouted out his name whenever I came near. I can still see him sitting there bent over his work. He enjoyed making special loads for his long-range rifles. He would twirl his chair around and look at me over the top of his glasses when I would enter to speak to him. The tools he used for so many hours still lie there. But, yes, it was time to move on. 

We all have to come to the place in our hearts when we know it’s time to “take care of” our beloved’s possessions. I have done this little by little. I took my first big step when I had what I called “a man’s yard sale.” Unfortunately, I realized too late that I wasn’t ready to part with my husband’s “toys.”  As men came and made purchases or even tried to bargain for better prices, I regretted having the sale to part with Phil’s things so quickly.

I do feel that each widow should consider carefully removing her late husband’s belongings. If you don’t need to sell them to help pay bills, wait until you’re sure you’re ready. Just don’t rush into it.

I couldn’t part with my husband’s clothes for quite some time. I removed them from the closet after just a few months, but I kept them until it didn’t hurt so badly to see them or to move them out. Even then, I sometimes gave them to my daughters and asked them to do it for me. I still have Phil’s housecoat and a few special shirts, and I’ve found I can use some of his heavy outdoor items for myself. Little by little I do notice I no longer feel the need to keep some items that months ago were near and dear to me.

I’ve kept a small drawer with a few special things of Phil’s that I’ll always keep as a memory. I also have a little display box with some items that I treasure and my daughters or grandchildren may like to have someday.

Now after almost three years since Phil’s homegoing, I’m tackling this special corner of his, which was once his private spot. As I look at the almost empty desk, I feel like more of him has gone. But it’s time. He no longer needs the things of this earth, and I must move on also. As I work on clearing out the area, I still feel like he’s going away, as well, piece by piece.  However, he’s already been gone for 31 months.

Phil is no longer a part of this life, and I’ve just entered another stage of letting go. As I look at the handwritten notes he had attached to the file cabinet next to the desk, I start to remove them.

But then…suddenly, I realize, it’s not time yet.

It still needs to be done piece by piece.

Phil's den picture (1)

Poem “OUR BOY” – One Year Later


I am reposting this blog this week in honor of the one year anniversary of the home-going of  sweet Jeremiah Ulmer. I have watched his family sorrow, yet not without hope.  I have grieved in my own heart with them as well.  We continue to remember him daily. February 6th will represent the completion of a year of “first’s”. It is not, however, the end of grieving. Grieving does not come with an expiration date. Everyone’s grief is different. Still,  I know from the loss of my own dear son that their grief will continue to lessen over each new year. As each wave tosses them out into the sea of grief, each wave will also bring them back closer to the lighthouse on  shore.  As I have watched them travel this first part of their journey, I have seen the entire family keep their eyes heaven-ward and lean on their Savior.   This week is bringing to close one year of  indescribable joy and peace for Jeremiah as well as one year of learning to cling to God for His healing and peace for his family. May God bless them as they they start another year in their journey with their Lord.

“OUR BOY”

by Charlotte Ulmer Minium on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 2:44pm ·

Our Boy”

by Stephanie R. Ulmer

I heard your prayer from up above,

For another boy to hold and love,

And so I fashioned one with grace,

A beautiful boy with a handsome face,

I gave him twinkling eyes of blue,

His baby skin was soft and new,

He had ten fingers and ten little toes,

Big chubby cheeks and a cute little nose,

A hearty laugh, an adorable grin,

He was as sweet as a boy could have been,

And so I was finished, my planning was done,

I sent him to earth, I gave you your son.

Take heed though, I whispered, his time won’t be long,

Make each moment count, for soon he’ll be gone,

And so I watched ‘or him from heaven above,

Our boy was growing, he was showered with love,

He teased his sisters and played with his brother,

He respected his father and was sweet to his mother,

He liked hunting and fishing whenever he could,

He picked on his siblings like little boys should,

He loved knives and guns and trucks that were loud,

He was boy to the core and he made us all proud,

But just like I told you it didn’t take long,

Our boy grew up. He was tall, he was strong,

No longer a child, He was more like a man,

You had hopes for his future, but that wasn’t My plan.

I missed the boy, he was Mine from the start,

I knew all his thoughts, I knew him by heart,

And so when his time on earth was all passed,

I called My boy home, back to heaven at last!

He came in an instant, My bright happy child,

And when he caught sight of the angels, he smiled.

He’s up here in heaven, he’s sheltered from harm,

He’s safer than ever he was on your farm,

His eyes are still sparkling a beautiful blue,

His skin is remade, its again fresh and new,

The memories he left are all yours to share,

They’re sweet and they’re precious, so handle with care,

And so when your feeling discouraged or blue,

Remember he’s Mine, but I shared him with you.

In Loving Memory

Of

Jeremiah Justin Ulmer

5/27/93 – 2/6/12

Jeremiah with his big 7 pt. buck. He shot him from 750 yards away straight through the eye. He couldn’t have been more proud.