I am in our school’s dining hall. A faculty member asks another teacher if he can borrow a plastic tub to take some sweet potatoes home to his wife. “She really loves sweet potatoes,” he says. Such a simple act of lovingkindness. I recall how often we’d be traveling and Michael would come out of the convenience store with something for me that I hadn’t asked for — a candy bar, an oatmeal cake — just because he knew I liked it.
A friend sits down to eat supper with her husband. I overhear her telling him all about her doctor’s appointment that day. I realize that now if I have health problems or concerns, there’s no one who will care quite like a spouse cares.
I learn that a friend has lost his mother. My very first thought is, “I’ve got to tell Michael right away. He’ll want to know about this.” He’s been gone nine and a half months and a part of me is still in denial.
I’m talking with a student. She asks, “When you were my age, did you ever wonder sometimes if you’d ever get married?” I began to make some reference to before I began dating Mr. Spencer and it suddenly hits me: “Mr. Spencer” is just a name to her. She’s never known him. All around me this school year are students who’ve never known him. The kids loved him so; how can they not know him now?
I see a younger couple quarreling. I want to grab them by the shoulders and yell, “Every minute of your marriage is precious! Don’t waste even one!”
A Facebook friend posts a photo of himself with his wife. Middle age is being kind to them; they make a handsome couple. I can’t resist. I comment, “Enjoy these years.”
Another Facebook friend enters a thread in which folks are wishing her husband well on his birthday. She adds a mere four words that capture her heart: “Happy birthday, my love.” I wonder if they will have a special dinner at home that evening or if they will go out. What flavor cake did she bake for him? Will her card be funny or romantic? When the dishes are cleared away will they make love?
Such are the moments that make up my life.