June 11, 2019
Before he passed, my Dad put our family cabin on the market. It closed last week and I received the check on Monday. Since it was a rather large amount, I went into the bank to deposit it into my Mom’s account on Tuesday.
The teller was quite chatty, and the transaction took a long time, and she had to have someone else approve the deposit, and at some point I started crying quietly. I haven’t been able to enter a bank without crying since Dad’s death. I’m not sure what the trigger is, and I thought perhaps this day would be different, but it wasn’t. I mumbled, “I’m so sorry. My father recently passed away and dealing with paperwork is difficult.”
She excitingly said, “Oh, tomorrow is your birthday! Happy birthday!” I smiled wanly and thanked her. “Are you doing anything extraordinary and special?” And what went through my mind was, “I’ll be celebrating without my biggest supporter, my Dad.” Last year’s birthday was extraordinary and special – so many of my friends came to Asheville to celebrate 50 turns around the sun. And Dad loved it. He always loved interacting with my friends and was always so charming. He reminded me of how lucky I was to have such strong friendships.
Instead, what I said was, “No, not really” and tried not to sob loudly, the tears running more quickly down my cheeks, annoyingly hot in the air-conditioned bank.
“Would you go out and get a cupcake? And maybe put a candle on it?” she asked.
“Maybe,” was all I could muster as I received the deposit slip and walked out of the bank into the hot, hot summer day.
June 12, 2019
Mom and I went to a friend’s house for dinner. It was the happiest I’ve seen her since she moved to Asheville. She had a glass of wine, she ate a full meal, and she accepted a piece of cake to take home. It was the most perfect birthday present I could ask for.
I took her home, we sat on her balcony, we watched the sun set behind the Blue Ridge Mountains, and then I returned home.
As I walked onto my porch, I noticed a cupcake, right there on one of the chairs, next to the mailbox. It was beautiful. A chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, so perfectly swirled, with two blueberries and one raspberry on top, with decorative papers, and enclosed in a plastic clam shell.
“A cupcake!” I thought, and brought it inside.
June 13, 2019
I had back to back meetings all day and didn’t stop for meals. Around 1:30 pm, I was hungry. I saw the cupcake on the counter and took a bite. The icing, so smooth, so just a hint of raspberry deliciousness, perfectly complemented the moist chocolate cake.
I ate the whole thing.
During the last bite, I had a thought. “I just ate a cupcake and I have no idea where it came from or who left it on my porch. I’ve become that person who just trusts people leaving food on her porch.”
And I think I’m okay with that.
And if whoever left the cupcake is reading this, thank you for the second most perfect birthday gift you could have given me.
Note: image is not the actual cupcake. I ate the whole darn thing before I even considered taking a photo.