I love cake and the kitchen because I spent so much time with my Grandma in it. My very first cake was a chocolate one. So proud with batter all over my face from eating it before it even touched the oven. Grandma, you cultivated my joy with baking. I remember struggling in understanding math and my Grandma teaching me with measuring cups. You taught me so much and I used to run home from the school bus looking forward to helping you set the table. If we ever have a special guest I know a cake is going in the oven.
You see baking is more than just food to me. I bake and create meals because it makes others feel good. It gets their heart open to talk to you. It gives people a reason to smile when you prepare their favorite thing. You touch someone’s heart by being a part of their special day. You partake in their birthday, wedding, anniversary, child’s birthday and so much more. You taught me so much about loving people and you helped cultivate me into being a giver. People that know me see that in my heart.
Grandma taught me how to can and preserve. You know that applesauce and jam that tastes so good? That fresh jam in some of those cupcakes, yeah that is Grandma’s love you taste. My first canning experience you took me to the berry farm and I made fresh blackberry jam. You even let me have a little vanilla ice cream while I enjoyed my day with you.The applesauce I make is just like yours. Fresh apples, spiralized or hand peeled with a cup of love.
Grandma, I loved those pineapple upside down cakes and learning to drizzle vanilla icing on a pound cake.As a matter of fact I just iced your last birthday cake just for you my Queen. Oh I’m going to miss you so much. Look at my husband taking care of you.
He loved you too. Thank you for staying here for my wedding. I loved you in that red dress.
My wedding day was a little complicated but it was worth every moment to have you next to me. I got up early, finished my cakes and helped you get bathed and dressed. One last time to brush your hair and adorn you like the Queen you are. Reminded me of all those days you did my hair for me and got me ready for school. I was such an adventurous little girl, the braids never made it past 1:00 while I climbed monkey bars, did hopscotch and ran around. I missed that school bus probably once a week, sometimes I wonder if I did it on purpose just to ride with you. I watched your memory decline but you never ever forgot me. When I flew down to see you, your eyes lit up and you would say my name. You give me a little sugar and tell me you love me. I honored my marriage with the celebration of your birthday.
You were such a character, always full of laughter.
You mastered the Grandma handshake, sliding a few extra dollars in my hand to get candy, all the way into adulthood when I needed gas in my car. You co-signed for me so I could go to graduate school. I became a physical and occupational therapist because my heart was set on helping people like my brothers be healed. To walk again, to use their hands again, to dress themselves again; I get to be there for those moments. Just this week I helped a patient take their first 4 steps in the parallel bars. The person losing control of their body has trusted me to guide their feet. You had faith in my abilities and I used those things I learned to take care of you up into your last days. I set up your equipment, I taught Mom and Dad how to transfer you when you couldn’t walk anymore. Just when you lost your ability to take steps, I carried you. Don’t let the wheelchair fool you. She never lost her strength, her powerful presence. My Grandma was and always will be a Queen.
When I finally got my Doctorate degree I was awarded for perseverance, a trait I learned from you.
When I needed advice I used to sit in the kitchen with you. I told you about my first crush and my first and only real love. I’m so happy you met my husband and that he loved you just as much as I did.
You have brought my heart so much joy. So many skills that I will carry for the rest of my life. A baker, a life giver, a quiet force to be reckoned with. You made a mean dinner roll by the way. Mine aren’t as good as yours but I make a pretty good biscuit. You loved when I made you breakfast or dinner when I came home.
I wish you could have been here for when I have my first child but I know you will still be around. You witnessed your other grandchildren and you were a third parent for me. How lucky am I? Not only having a Mom and Dad, but also Grandma to come home to. I’ll teach my babies just like you taught me to be; Strong and independent you are my love. Thank you for holding on so long for me. You watched me accomplish so much while you worked so hard. From preschool graduation to my doctorate degree you were there. You even tagged along when I signed up for a race.
Thank you for being my Maid of Honor and spending your last birthday with me. My last gift was sneaking in some fudge and turtles before I got on my plane to go back home. I’m glad you enjoyed our weekend together. I love you.