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A Memorable Celebration

Life Story Club Contributor

I’m the oldest of nine kids. My mom passed away when I was 14, shortly after the youngest sibling was born. We got really close to my dad. He never remarried and worked really hard for us. And a few years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and so he was getting really sick. And it was on one of my sister’s birthdays.

She didn’t come home very early and my dad was very sick and he hadn’t been eating very much lately. I hadn’t thought of this as a memorable celebration until I was approached with this question, so I really appreciate this question because it’s kind of a hard memory for me. he I bake cakes and he loved my cakes. Every time he asked me, “What is your secret? What is your secret?” and I always told him. He just wouldn’t remember it. But I’d say, “I just under-bake my cakes because I don’t want them to get dry.”

He’d try to bake cakes and he’d always bake them the right amount of time. And he’s like, “They’re not the same as yours.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I told you my secret.”

He hadn’t been eating a lot and none of my siblings were home. He was like, “Well, I guess it’s time to cut the cake.” And I was so taken aback, because he would never do that without my sister present or my whole family. I said, “Well Rachel’s not home yet. It’s just me and you.” And he said, “Well, you snooze, you lose,” which is a saying he would say. I thought that was kind of telling of how badly he was feeling. And so we cut the cake. I could tell he was eating it for me.

And he was like, “Oh, it’s so good. What’s your secret?” It was just really nice. It was nice.

He went to sleep at night and he never regained consciousness again. He didn’t die that night, but he never was lucid again. I guess I never thought of it before. I kind of dread my sister’s birthday now because it brings up these memories for me but it was a very memorable celebration of just good food, my good cakes and it was a birthday celebration, even though the birthday girl wasn’t able to be there. Just a time to be with my dad and also the last things he said to anyone.

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