Denise Day Spencer

February 1, 2011

Just moments

Filed under: Personal reflections — denisedayspencer @ 6:48 pm

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.





  1. Denise, I cried. So, so poignant. Hugs and prayers.

    Comment by Wendy — February 2, 2011 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  2. Denise,
    Today I learned of your husbands death and more importantly, of his life. Your ‘just moments’ noted above are so touching, so real life, so simple that most people just miss the importance.
    Michael’s Imonk’s podcasts helped me through a difficult time in my life, I enjoyed his voice of honesty and willingness to address the tough stuff of life. That’s why I was curious to return to see what Michael was up to these days and just say THANK YOU for sharing JESUS with the world. I am truly sorry for your loss.
    Thank you Denise, for sharing your Michael with the rest of us, for supporting him, loving him and being there through it all. A man is made so much better in his life’s pursuits when the woman he loves cares & cheers him on. I believe you will always be blessed because you had a husband who truly lived. In Jesus, love to you & your family. Jared

    Comment by Jared Goodrich — February 3, 2011 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  3. “My very first thought is, ‘I’ve got to tell Michael right away. He’ll want to know about this.’ ”

    I imagine that will happen for a long time, Denise. There are so many things that happen during the day that I “save up” to tell my husband about and I know how strange that would feel to not have him there to tell the things to. You continue to have my sympathy for your loss of Michael.

    Comment by JoanieD — February 3, 2011 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  4. I have no words that would be of help. Your writing touches me, as did Michael’s. May his memory be eternal. You are in my prayers this night.

    Comment by John Morgan — February 3, 2011 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you for being led by the Holy Spirit! Your insite helps guide some of Childrens teachings! Blessings to you.

    Comment by Sharon — February 7, 2011 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

  6. This sounds so hard to go through.

    Comment by Hope — February 15, 2011 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  7. I know you’re going through a hard time, but remember that God is always there for you. Thank you for being strong and sharing this with us all.

    Comment by MK @ Teach Sunday School — February 28, 2011 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

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