I was able to attend the funeral service for my sweet Aunt Bonnie this week. My favorite part of the whole experience was getting to see my cousins (her kids) who I haven't been able to visit with in 20+ years. Funerals are really reunions, aren't they? My cousin Scott was as crazy as ever (just the way I love him) and at one point I confessed the following story from my childhood:
Scott and his wife used to have me come and babysit their daughter, Heather (now age 28! Man, am I OLD!) while they would go out for the night. They would always tell me to help myself to anything in the kitchen, so like any young babysitter, I would scout the goods and then decide what I was going to help myself to. On one occasion, the pickings were slim.
I started to pull things out of the freezer in hopes of discovering a stray popsicle or ice cream sandwich when I found a small white box. I was instantly interested in what this box could contain and opened it up to peer inside.
It was a cake! A small white cake with pretty silver candy balls and lacy-looking frosting. Why in the world would they be hiding this in the back of the freezer? And then it occurred to me - they weren't hiding it! They didn't want it.
I found a fork and took a small bite. It was wonderful. I had another few bites and then decided to box it back up and set it back where I had found it - just in case.
The next time I came to babysit I checked the freezer immediately. The box was still there! I took it out and ate a bit more this time then again set it back in the freezer behind the frozen vegetables and pot pies. They never said a word.
Over time, I ate that entire cake. Man, was it ever delicious.
It didn't occur to me until many years later, when I learned of the tradition of saving the top tier of your wedding cake and eating it on your first anniversary, that I realized what I had done.
I kept that secret all these years and finally was able to confess my deed to Scott. He threw his head back and laughed. And later, when we were saying our goodbyes, gave me a big hug, kissed me on the cheek and said, "I'm glad you liked that cake, Gerberta. I'm so glad you enjoyed that whole cake."