Four hundred and forty-eight days ago I lost my 44 year old son to a quick and life-altering brain disease. But, it wasn’t just me losing a beloved child. My husband also lost a son and our daughter lost her best buddy in the world; her brother.
Many people have been affected by his death. Many people have held us close to their hearts, literally and I hope his extended family as well as his Oregon family have gathered together and talked about him.
Especially today – his birthday.
He would have turned 46 which is very hard to believe, since I’m only 50. (not)
Gretchen, Terry and I wanted to honor him in a special way. A way that would make him smile that big crinkly smile of his and have his big ol’ eyes sparkle. So, that’s what we did.
I’d read about a woman, about a year ago, who recognized her late son in a very special way on his birthday. She went to the bakery in her local grocery store and asked if they had any little boy birthday cakes that would be picked up that day. Then she would pay for the cake and be an anonymous gifter.
Terry, Gretchen and I talked about doing that this year. So today, after a meeting at church, Ter and I stopped at Publix and sat in the car while we haggled out what we’d say to the clerk. “We’d like to anonymously pay for a little boys birthday cake.” We wondered how that would be taken and if there’d be a crowd on a Saturday. We decided we’d wing it and headed inside.
On the way back to the bakery, we tried to decide which one of us would do the talking. As we got closer, we noticed a guy leaning over the bakery case and Ter hurried to became the next in line by inches. I sidled up between him and the guy leaning over the case.
“Yes! It’s a Car Cake,” the guy said to the lady holding a large cake box behind the case.
I nudged Terry. “It’s him,” I whispered loudly.
“Excuse me,” Ter said. “Is that for your son?”
“Yes, it is. He’s three today.” His smile said it all.
“Would you please let us buy that cake for you?”
He politely refused until we told him our story. He relented, told us he had to pick up a few other things, including balloons at the front of the store. Terry ripped the bar-code off the cake and took it to the front of the store and paid for it. The dad and his mother met us at the balloons.
“I’m the Grandma!” she said as she moved between Ter and me and pulled us into a group hug.
The dad said, “I can’t wait to get home and tell my wife this story.” His smile said even more.
We couldn’t wait to get home and tell Gretchen the story.
Happy Birthday, Boys!