Jim Martin 1961-2000

My first husband Jim, passed away nine years ago today. I've been thinking for awhile about what could I say today on my blog. There is a big risk in putting something so monumental as death into words especially when you aren't an accomplished writer. My conclusion was that there is no way for me to try to express in words how much we loved him, nor what my faith journey has been before, during, and after his death. I also can't express what a miracle it was that God brought Randy into our lives five years ago and consequently blessed us with two of the sweetest little girls. For those of you who don't know me, Jim died while exercising on the treadmill in our basement. Yes, it was his heart at the age of 38. He was a family practice physician and we had four children, 10,8,5, and 5 months.

So, that being said, I decided to share just a little about Jim's love of antiques and refinishing furniture. He refinished a lot of pieces and loved to collect too.

When I met Jim, he had a shefflara (umbrella plant) in his dorm room. He loved it. This is the one remaining plant still alive from his funeral. It's running amok, and is severely neglected. When I went to take a picture of it this morning, I noticed there was new growth.

Our bed he refinished.

Our collection of ships that he loved.

My spice cupboard that I tried to refinish, but never completed. Jim took over and got it done.

A dry sink or commode that he refinished.

One of many in our collection of telephones that he refurbished. It's plugged in and works!

Two more of our phones (also work, the top one is connected) I wish everyone could hear the sweet sound of dialing an old phone. Honestly, it's a neat experience. If I were a writer I could describe it better! He also refinished the plant stand (smoking stand?) they are sitting on.

This is only a sampling of items he restored and of what he liked to collect. Maybe I can show more another time.

Jim's folks gave this cross to me. Someone in their town made it. Isn't it beautiful?

One of my favorite pictures of Jim with our son Will. Will would play or watch t.v waiting for Jim to get done on the Internet. He would check the reflection of the computer monitor in his glasses to see when he was done. Then they would play "dinosaurs" on the computer together.
About 3 weeks or so after he died, Will crawled up in my lap during Mass and put his head against my chest. He whispered, "I can hear your heart. That's good."

Today, I pray for all those suffering loss. May they feel the arms of Jesus around them in their grief. Amen.


  1. That was a wonderful way for me to start the day. Thanks mom.

  2. God works in such mysterious ways. Thanks for sharing some great memories of Jim. You now are blessed with an even larger, extended family, and we are blessed too with you and Randy finding each other.

  3. Your post brought tears to my eyes! I hope to be remembered with such love one day!

  4. What a beautiful and touching post. Thank you for sharing it. I'm so glad God has blessed you even through the pain.

  5. beautiful. what an honor it is for you to share that with us. thank you.

  6. Jill - thanks for sharing the wonderful memories of our son Jim. Jim would be happy that Randy came into your life.
    We love you all.

  7. Dear Jill ~ it is so beautiful and special of your to share your precious Jim here...I feel honored to read and learn some about your special man.

    Death is as much a part of life as so many other things...sometimes in our culture people seem uneasy about 'going there'...

    Bless you and your dear ones

    My Mr Magpie is a JimJimmyJames

    BIG hugs
    p.s. I do believe you ARE a writer as you have done a mighty fine job of it here!

  8. This is a beautiful post. I'm glad you linked to it from today's.

  9. What a heartfelt post and what a wonderful husband and father Jim was. When our loved ones die, a part of us dies too. His memory will always be part of you.
    What a sweet moment you tell us about your little son Will who was reassured by the sound of your heart beating.


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