June 14th, 2013 by Karen
Next Sunday, June 23rd, I was supposed to make a cake.
It was to be a triumphant cake! Whimsical with a touch of sentiment and a splash of congratulations.
It was to be a retirement cake worthy of a woman who had taught for 45 years and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. I can’t begin to express how stupidly excited I was to make this cake. I even made a pinterest board for inspiration.
This morning, I made a different cake entirely.
There is no whimsy to this cake…no hidden little decoration or detail to tantalize and delight. Instead it is simple and elegant. Just like Edna.
Through the years, I’ve found that whenever I make a cake, there’s always something that doesn’t turn out quite right. There’s a flaw in the fondant, a decoration is too large, or a part of the frosting is smudged. These are usually superficial issues and only I see them and they irritate me. To me, cakes are like art…except the more you fiddle with it, the worse it will turn out, so I’ve had to learn patience and when to leave well enough alone. These are good lessons for me. I recognize that I need them.
It is with a rather large amount of surprise however that I can say the following:
I baked the cakes last night and they turned out perfectly. There was no problem turning them out and the texture was wonderful…moist and just firm enough that it doesn’t smash. The crumb coat and frosting went on smoothly and in record time. I had just the right amount of ribbon in her favorite color of lavender. Finally, the fondant (which can often be the biggest pain) was literally the easiest thing I did this morning. It was absolutely effortless.
It is -never- effortless.
I was so stress free about the cake this morning that I was able to also make minor alterations to Maria’s dress, repair Alex’s tie, fix a bad ironed crease on Joel’s pants and still get myself ready to go long before we actually had to head out the door.
Set up was a breeze and the extra time to just sit in the pew silently in the church was so very nice. The service was lovely and unpretentious and it was filled with love, laughter and music. I loved watching Alex altar serve and worried for him when I saw his demeanor change as the whole of what he was doing crept up on him to the point where he had to leave the altar. This process has been supremely hard for him, despite Edna’s own efforts to cushion the blow, and it will take him some time to sort out all his feelings and grieve.
She was his rock this past year. He was lost and she found him.
What a blessing she was to us and how very much we will miss her.
Requiem Aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen.