THIS TIME IT was my turn to bake the cake, using the same recipe she used all those decades of baking birthday cakes for her six children.
While she crafted animal-shaped cakes for me, my three brothers and two sisters, I opted for the simple, pouring the batter for Crazy Cake into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Later, after the homemade chocolate cake cooled, I topped it with homemade chocolate frosting and a rainbow of sprinkles.
Saturday afternoon my husband and I carried the treat and two jugs of lemonade into Parkview Home in Belview to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.
Not wanting to set off the nursing home sprinkler system, Randy lit nine candles rather than 82.
And while a small group of us sang “Happy birthday” and Mom blew out her candles, I considered the blessings of having her with us another year. Here she sat, albeit in a nursing home, but much healthier and in less pain than a month prior. She is walking again (slowly and with a walker), rising from chairs without assistance, making the best of this unexpected change in her life.
But one thing remains constant. Mom continues, as she always has, to show us all that she is one strong woman. She handles whatever comes her way with grace. She sees the best in everyone and possesses the kindest of hearts.
When a Parkview staff member asked if I was Arlene’s daughter and told me I look like my mother, I accepted that as the highest of compliments. I can only hope that I also emulate Mom’s goodness, kindness, faith, strength and gentleness of spirit.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling