Denise Day Spencer

January 10, 2011

53 and holding

Filed under: Personal reflections — denisedayspencer @ 4:53 pm

When someone doesn’t want to acknowledge aging with another birthday, she often picks an age and claims to be holding there. Generally it’s a number ending in “9.” But for me the number is 53.

Maybe I’ve always been inexplicably drawn to the number 53. As a child, I was always making cards for people. Actually, I still do that. Anyway, it started in childhood. For some reason I still remember the card I made for my grandmother on her 53rd birthday. I put “53! 53! 53!” all over the front of the card. Inside I printed an original poem that began, “Bet you’ve always wanted to be the just-right age of 53!” It never dawned on me that a grownup might not be as excited as I was about growing older — and may not appreciate having her new age plastered all across the card. I didn’t truly believe 53 was a just-right age; it was her age and that’s what made it great to me. (I confess I was not so enamored with 53 when that was my birthday last year.)

This past year 53 has come to be a special age for me once more, because Michael was 53 when he died. Now to me he will be forever 53. And today I turned 54.

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January 2, 2011

The year the magic died

Filed under: Home Front,Personal reflections — denisedayspencer @ 11:05 am

It’s time for reflection on Christmas 2010–my first Christmas without Michael.

Christmas is such a time for memories, and 31 years of marriage left me with memories galore. Like our very first Christmas, when we bought a real tree and Michael had to trim off the lowest twigs to make it fit in the stand and he chopped his thumb to the bone with the carving knife. We never forgot my taking him to the ER for those seasonal stitches. And like that same year when Michael wanted to do stockings but he bought everything except the stocking so he crammed the stuff into a brown paper bag he labeled “Christmas Bag” with a ballpoint pen. I saved that precious little bag for years, and would give anything to have it now. (more…)

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