Kirk Spencer

“I’m Retired Now, But Still Running Against the Wind”

“A Gift…Only Borrowed” Audio Book Sample

A Gift…Only Borrowed is the compelling narrative of what it is like to be a young father shrouded by the challenges surrounding his family’s life during an extremely difficult time, the death of one of his children.  Pulling you along, the author takes you through those first days in a strange place filled with anxiety, anger, uncertainty, and terror and the next several months full of one crisis after another.  His recollections of the sights, sounds, and smells still linger fresh today.  His story captures in real time how it feels to be standing on the sidelines watching your life slide right past you.

Does the author’s story bring easy answers to resolve this story?  No.  He never did find the manual.  His story may give someone else taking that unfortunate, but necessary trip, a road map which may help equip them to better survive their own journey. 

“A little girl came into this world a little flawed, fought bravely for four long months, but came up a little shy.”  A gift…only borrowed.

Lindsay Rene Spencer

Kirk Spencer is a first time writer, husband for over forty years, father of two grown children, and grandfather to seven.  He is retired after forty-five years in the grocery retailing industry where he started bagging groceries in high school and ended his career as the president of a large customer focused food brokerage company.

A Parent’s Lullaby by Camilyn Morrison

6 thoughts on “

  1. It is a must read for anyone that has lost a child! I lost a daughter in her early 20’s and it was the worst day of my life and it was unexpected. I enjoyed her life on earth for year’s I can’t imagine loosing her after only months!
    I read the book in a few hours with tears flowing the entire time. Excellent job Kirk Spencer!


  2. A Gift…

    …Only Borrowed is a book I could read over and over and find learn a different lesson about life, each time. Whether you are a parent, soon to be parent or have suffered the terrible loss of a child, this book is ABSOLUTELY a MUST read! If your perspective on the importance in life is not changed after reading this book, not sure anything will change it.


  3. Only Borrowed will take you through one of the most difficult journey any parent will ever face. The story line has so many emotions wrapped in it; heartbreaking, beautiful and at times jovial. I found myself crying and then smiling within the same paragraph. The authors’ words are so beautifully written, he can almost tell what pieces of the book will make you cry and therefore he always leaves you with a smile. A loss is not always a loss, and after reading this book you will understand the deep meaning of that phrase.


  4. In A Gift . . . Only Borrowed, Kirk Spencer tells the heartbreaking story of the birth, the four months of life, and the subsequent passing of his and his wife’s third child over 35 years ago. He often laments that he hadn’t written the story sooner, when it was much more immediate. For example, following the funeral for the child—Lindsay, a girl—he writes: “I’m sure there must have been a wake somewhere, but I can’t remember anything about it. So many lost memories after so many years. I should have put this story to paper a long time ago.”

    I can’t count the times I’ve told my writing students that they’re too close to an experience to have a clear understanding of it. To wait. Kirk shows the wisdom of that choice. The insights he gives about every aspect of Lindsay’s life and death and all who it affected—then, now, and in the years in between—could not have come otherwise, and would not have come so perfectly and so elegantly worded. For example, when Lindsay is in Columbus Children’s Hospital undergoing tests, and he and his wife Lynn go days without hearing the results: “What do you worry about when you don’t know what to worry about?” But worry they must. We know that we would.

    When Lindsay has been diagnosed, and a pastor shows up that neither Kirk nor Lynn know: “The sky didn’t open up. There were no answers from above. No voices, and certainly no burning bushes. But a gentle breeze of comfort settled over both of us, much like a warm blanket. It felt like a soft hug.” And when they are told that Lindsay’s condition is terminal: “We waited. We waited at work, we waited at home, we waited at church, we waited at traffic lights, we waited with friends, and of course, mostly we waited next to Lindsay’s bed. Then we waited some more.” And as they waited, they hoped for a miracle they knew wouldn’t come.

    A Gift . . . Only Borrowed isn’t an explicit guide for how we can survive such an experience. Most of it takes place over that four-month period so long ago, and “survival” lasts decades longer. But we finish the book knowing that, should we have to, we can survive, and that doing so may involve faith, and family, friends, and maybe even some kind of luck. And we know that that’s what being human means.


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