twelve years, two days and two weeks

Today was the 12th anniversary of losing my beloved Nana. I was so busy, I barely even paused to reflect. Didn’t even light a candle. When I was lamenting this over dinner, M reminded me that I was about to pay tribute to her in the best way I knew how. I was going to bake a cake. I even have her spreader to frost the top.

Because yes, I am the kind of person who bakes her own birthday cake. The day after tomorrow, I will turn (holy crap) 41 freaking years old. So strange to even think it, let alone write it. When did I get so old? Shocking, truly.

This time last year, I was anticipating the birth of Baby J more than turning 40. M made it a beautiful day, actually a few days. But I was definitely freaked out by such a big number, and it was much easier to focus elsewhere.

I’m focusing elsewhere this year too, as Baby J will turn a whole year old in just two weeks! So instead of planning my own birthday, I’m planning a little party for her. Nothing big, just some friends and family in the yard for an almost summer picnic. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

It’s hard to even consider how long I’ve waited to plan a birthday party for my own child. Seriously. I get teary just thinking about it. I just hope I’m not a big ball of mess the whole day. How I wish I could pull some of you through the computer to celebrate with us. It would be wonderful to be surrounded by those who have been through this journey with me from this side of the story. You who understand what it took to make it to this day…

You know what I’m saying, right?

Anyway. I’ve always wanted to make a carrot cake from scratch. Rather than experiment for the baby’s birthday, I’m going to make it for mine. I researched recipes and chose one to adapt. Now you know what I’ll be doing when I get home from work tomorrow. After dinner, after I put the baby down to sleep, I will bake myself a homemade organic carrot cake.

I love the ritual aspect of baking — clearing the space, gathering the ingredients, the tools, the mixing, the transformation of texture and form, the warmth of the oven, the sweet aroma that overtakes the house and makes it feel like home. As I always do when I’m baking, I’ll think of my grandmother.

I’ll let you know how it turns out. And I’ll try not to eat the whole thing.

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~ by luna on May 17, 2010.

10 Responses to “twelve years, two days and two weeks”

  1. We will be celebrating with you in spirit! Enjoy it all, including the cake! ; )

  2. I’m sorry about the difficult anniversary but happy birthday to you and I hope the cake turns out fabulous.

  3. So many milemarkers this week! I think a carrot cake is an excellent way to celebrate/remember your special peoples.

    Wish I could be there. And NOT just for the spicy smell. 🙂

  4. Oh Luna, virtual birthday wishes for you! How exciting to throw a party for the baby. Sniff ;-( bye bye to baby. Welcome toddlerhood. I hope the weather cooperates too! You will see that your excitement for her birthday will eclipse your own birthday in future. 🙂

    Wishing you warm fuzzy memories of your grandmother while baking the delicious carrot cake. Sounds delicious.

  5. So many milestones in such a short period of time for 3 incredible generations. Sending warm birthday wishes your way and looking forward to getting a peek at a first you have waited so long for. I know your grandma is looking down with a giant grin for you.

  6. Luna- You have been through so much this past year- so many wonderful things have happened to your family. Isn’t it wonderful to have a family?! Your nana will be proud looking down at you baking a cake, for you and for that darling little baby that has become the joy of yours and M’s life. I am so happy for you to this milestone approaching. I will be thinking of you as you celebrate your birthday this week and Baby J’s 1st Birthday in two weeks. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life and this wonderful journey that has such an amazing ending…well not necessarily an ending as you and your beautiful family is just beginning. Many happy blessings to you! I am so glad that I have been able to ‘meet’ you and be a part of this- thank you.

  7. Happy Birthday!! I hope you have a great one!!!!

  8. Reading this makes me want to go bake a cake.

    Happy Birthday!

  9. How exciting about Baby J’s birthday coming up! A year already, wow.

    I love homemade carrot cake, I found a recipe online that was delicious… I make it every now and then. YUM.

  10. Nana is always there, in every cake out of the oven, the sweet calming scent in your nose….. wow, one year, eh? Her birthdays will be easier to celebrate than your own even though both your numbers will be going up!

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