Every once in a while I have a cake order that comes with a touching story. All cakes carry their own story. A special birthday, a beautiful love story, a missionary's long awaited return home, a new addition to the family. But sometimes the story reaches a little further. It fills my heart as I hear the story and I work to create something special to help the family celebrate THEIR story. And I'm always so thankful that the family opens their tender emotions to me. Because for me, cakes are more than 'just a cake.' They carry a story. A glimpse into a life. An emotion. A memory.
This cake carried two stories. One is adorable and fun and exciting. The other is tender, fragile and close to my heart.
This particular cake was made to answer a boy to prom! He asked the girl with a cute poem and shamrocks and a pot of gold. They wanted to answer him with the same 'theme' in cake form with the answer 'yes' inside. And they gave me total creative license with the cake!
What?! Creative license?! That's the best thing I can ever be told! And putting yes in a cake?! I have a confession, I asked a boy to a dance in high school with a cake! This brought back fond memories, but I'm not saying how long ago that was!!
My instant thought was, "RAINBOW INSIDE the cake!" With gold 'coins' to hold the answer. Did I put a tiny piece of paper saying yes inside a random coin? I might have. Tehe! But really, if a boy got this as his answer to prom, he already knows the answer is yes! I wish I had a picture of the inside, but you'll have to trust me when I say the cake inside was just as vibrant as the outside!
That's story #1. One boy, one girl, enjoying the high school experience!
Now, it could have stopped there. But it didn't. When I delivered the cake to the girl's family I had a nice visit with her mom; trying to figure out how we knew each other. It started with a simple question. "How do you know ....?" I live in a small area, and I'm constantly tying people together in all sorts of places. This beautiful, strong woman opened up to me about probably the hardest day in her life.
Her 4 year old daughter had died several years ago, and in that moment of her life she found a true friend. A friend who cried with her and bore her pain on her own shoulders. A friend who, although she probably wanted to take away the pain, she sat beside a mourning mother and mourned with her. And her story touched my heart.
I personally have never lost a child. But I have several friends who have. Either in child birth. From tragic accidents. Sickness. Loss of faith. It doesn't matter the cause, the pain is still real. It's raw. And it doesn't ever really go away, even when you think you've healed and found peace with it.
The little triggers are there to bring the pain back again. And you're grieving that loss all over again.
No parent should ever have to go through that pain.
I have been raised my whole life in the LDS church. And I've always had a strong testimony of life after death. Our loved ones are not really gone from us. They've moved on to a spirit world where they wait patiently to be reunited with us. That brings comfort. It does. But there is also still a hole that never really gets filled. A life that should be moving right along beside you. A pair of eyes that should be aging and growing and sharing moments and making memories.
So, as I sat thinking about this dear mother, and the other mothers in my life who've lost a child, my heart filled with love for them. This cake was already made and decorated, but how appropriate is this?! It's a rainbow!!!! Have you heard the term, 'rainbow baby?'
I'd never heard the term 'rainbow baby' until a friend of mine had a baby after having a stillborn and multiple miscarriages. Why rainbow baby? Because although the pain of the lost baby is still very real, the new baby is the promise of a bright future. The rainbow amid the storm clouds.
How beautiful is that?! Who can deny the beauty of a rainbow in a stormy day? And the joy in a mother's eyes as she sees her newborn baby?
So, how does this tie into this cake and this family's story? This mother didn't lose her daughter in childbirth, but she lost her baby girl. She had more children afterwards, and they were HER rainbow babies! Every grieving mother deserves a rainbow amid her storm.
My multiple friends who had a stillborn had their rainbow babies. My friend who lost her son when he was 9 months old had her rainbow babies. It is my prayer that every mother who's lost a child can find her rainbow! Because yes, as time goes on the pain lessons. But the pain is never really gone. The storm clouds loom, no matter how distant they may get on the horizon.
But the rainbow is real. There is still beauty in our lives. There is still joy that our Heavenly Father wants to give to us. There are rainbows all around us!
So, whether it's a friend who cries beside you, a beautiful newborn baby's cry, a neighbor who sends you a letter or text when they know you're hurting, or just a simple smile from a stranger on an especially hard day, please know there is always beauty to be seen! There is ALWAYS a rainbow to brighten a heavy heart.
Thank you, Amy, for opening your heart and sharing your story with me! And to all my dear, dear friends who have grieved, and who are still grieving, this cake is for you! This rainbow is my love for you! May you find the beauty in this day, and every day!