The Little Broken Cake: A Lesson In Love…

The Little Broken Cake: A Lesson In Love

Looking into my childhood, there are many memories with tales to tell, lessons to teach, and wonderful stories to pass down through future generations. But there is one memory that is so full of love, compassion and the spirit of giving that it has a magical quality. This memory enriches the soul with inspiration, courage, and wisdom. One is reminded that love has the power to work miracles and create magical memories that can be called upon in times of trouble. This particular memory has served me well, so I want to share this gift of love with others.


The journey begins. I am taken back to a rainy October day in 1968. It was my favorite uncle’s birthday. I wanted to do something really special for his birthday, so I decided to bake a birthday cake for him from scratch…all by myself.


Having already brought my trusty Easy Bake oven into the kitchen, I set about the business of gathering the necessary materials and preparing for the task at hand. Now it was time to bake. I felt just like Betty Crocker as my hands skillfully measured and mixed ingredients, making sure that everything was absolutely perfect. This was no ordinary cake, you see. It was created with love especially for my uncle on his very special day.


I slaved for hours to get that tiny little cake picture perfect. Finally! It was done. It was the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. It was definitely worth the extra effort and hard work that I had put into it with patience that only comes from pride in one’s endeavors.My masterpiece was a tiny, two-layer white cake with velvety fudge frosting and one little blue candle for decoration. I could barely wait until five o’clock to surprise my uncle with his special gift, painstakingly created by my two little hands.


Overjoyed at the prospect of finally getting to present my uncle with his cake and wish him a very happy birthday, I raced out the door with cake in hand. In my haste, I failed to notice that it had rained. The embankment beside the porch was wet. Darting blindly off the porch, I hit the slippery embankment and realized with horror the catastrophe that was about to ensue. Everything seemed to be in slow motion as my feet flew out from under me, and my cake went twirling high into the air. Only seconds after my pride hit the ground, my beautiful cake came crashing down beside me with a loud splat! When I looked over at the little broken cake, lying there in a jumbled heap of brown and white swirls, my heart broke too.


Little did I know, as I sat there crying and nursing my wounds, an old angel was watching from above. I heard a gentle voice say, “Don’t worry child. Everything will be alright.” My grandmother, who had been watching from the kitchen window, came to my rescue. Being the wonderful, magical creature that she was, she saved the day. She knelt down beside me, kissed me on the cheek, and wiped away the tears saying, “We had better get busy if we are going to get this special cake to the party on time.” I looked at her with skepticism, but she just smiled and began carefully picking up the pieces of cake. As I watched her worn old hands gently laying each piece of the mashed morsel onto the cookie sheet, I suddenly felt better. Those hands just had a way of fixing things.


What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Granny took the slightly flattened pieces of cake into the kitchen and began working her magic. With the skill of an artist, she molded the cake back together. Then she swirled on some extra icing, dusted the top with powdered sugar, and finished it off with some maraschino cherries. I couldn’t believe my eyes! My cake looked better than ever, and she even had another candle for it. Not wanting me to make a fuss, she said it just needed a little patching up. But I knew that only granny’s love could have created a cake out of that mess. I gave granny a big hug and a kiss, and I thanked her for loving me so much. So with my new and improved cake in my hands, I was once again on my way. This time I walked carefully down the steps!


I arrived at my uncle’s house on time and with my cake still intact. I was brimming with love and pride as I presented my uncle with his cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to him. My uncle, having heard what had happened, proclaimed it to be the most beautiful birthday cake ever made. As he finished the last bite, he said, “That was the most delicious cherry-chocolate cake I have ever eaten! How did you know it was my favorite?” Then he proceeded to go on and on about what a great cook I was. I was overjoyed.


I floated home on cloud nine that day thinking about how wonderful the day had been. Suddenly, it hit me! The awesome power of love! I had just witnessed its miracles! I felt like a magician who had just discovered the secret of true magic and was overwhelmed by the simplicity of such miraculous power. Surely the power of love could do anything!


I thought about how granny had patiently pieced that little broken cake back together, tediously applying a heavy layer of fluffy icing to cleverly conceal its cracked, uneven surface. I could envision her hands delicately dusting powdered sugar over the top of the cake, making the chocolate peaks look like snow-capped mountains. I could even hear her humming as she placed the cherries in a decorative circle around the candle which adorned the center of the cake.


Then my thoughts turned to my uncle. The way he ate his cake with such fervor; even though he knew that beneath those lovely layers of creamy camouflage lurked the hideous “Cakenstein!” A monstrous mess of cake pieced together with a little bit of mud, a little bit of icing, a few blades of grass, and a whole lot of love.


You see, it wasn’t granny’s amazing skill that enabled her to turn my crushed confection back into a beautiful birthday cake. It was the magic of love. Love was the source that empowered her hands to fashion a cake from chaos. The miracle of her love not only fixed my broken cake; it fixed my broken heart and turned disaster into delight.


And it wasn’t starvation that prompted my uncle to eat the mixed up morsel. Love had strengthened his pallet and warmed his heart, making each bite a delectable treat.


I learned a valuable lesson about love that day. Love is unconditional. Effortless. It simply is…


Love can give courage, strength, and tolerance. Love can inspire hope, bestow compallion, and mend broken hearts. I learned what it means to truly love. I learned that sacrifices made for love are choices of the heart.


So, to this day, when “Murphy’s Law” strikes and all goes awry; I take a few minutes to think about that little broken cake. I think about how love restored it to a beautiful birthday cake and how great I felt watching my uncle savor each bite. I think about how much they loved me and how magical that love was. Then… just like that little broken cake… I am restored.


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Kimberly Sweet

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I live in Kentucky with my son, Daniel and my Basenji, Bandit. I am a “Groovy Gypsy” writer, an artist,…

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