Thursday, August 27, 2009

Icing on the (Cup)cake

I was asked to make a cake for a funeral luncheon last week. In my opinion, people who are eating at a funeral luncheon deserve the best there is - with a little bit of happiness thrown in as well.

Does it get any happier than cupcakes in shiny wrappers?

I used to think that perhaps it was a bit disrespectful to go against the grain when it came to those who were paying their final respects to someone that they loved. So, in the past, when asked to assist in providing a meal for those in attendance at a funeral I always prepared exactly what I was asked to bring.

Until my dad died.

After returning to the church from the cemetery I was drained. Emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. I walked to the food tables, loaded with mountains of rolls and pans of cheesy potatoes and slices of ham that many kind people had prepared for us, and forced myself to eat. When I had finished my meal I happened to walk past the dessert table so that I could toss my empty paper plate in the garbage. I had no desire for sweets. However, in order to hold in my tears I had resorted that day to putting empty thoughts in my head, so as I walked I mentally noted what I saw. White cake. Chocolate cake. Yellow cake. Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip cookies. Yellow cake.

And then... cupcakes! In bright, cheery wrappers! But the thing which really caught my attention was the colorful chocolate candies, placed on top of each cupcake in the shape of a smiley face. Somehow this simple change from the expected brought a smile to my face and I grabbed one, hoping that the saying 'You are what you eat' would hold true. I thoroughly enjoyed each bite, savoring the happiness each one seemed to contain.

Now, when asked to provide a cake for a funeral luncheon, I always do something more. The cupcakes I made not only looked blissful, they tasted it as well. Do you know why? They were frosted with my best homemade buttercream frosting. They were topped with sprinkles. And they were made with the hope that even the smallest bit of happiness would come to those who would be enjoying them.

When it comes to happiness, I'm all for paying it forward.

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