What Love Looks Like



It was my birthday.

And it felt big.

Like a bookend on what has been – and what I hope to be – the most intense year of my life.

It was a year marked by loss, change, rewriting old scripts, and cracking open and finding and feeling love and a new path in life.

There were many times when I felt like a balloon at risk of floating away.

And when I did, my friend who saw me through it all would tie my string to her belt loop and keep me floating along at her side until I was ready to come back down and be again on my own.

She and I share a love of making cakes.

(Although she is an Escoffier-trained pastry chef; me? Not so much.)

And as my birthday approached, she wanted so badly to make a cake for me, my sweet friend did.

But she had just had chemo, and man, that stuff takes a lot out of a girl.

“I’m going to be a phoenix this round!” she said dramatically, her arms in the air. “Rising from the ashes!”

It takes a lot to keep her down.

So she made the three layer, pecan praline, caramel cake.

And … it fell apart on the drive to my house.

She did a good job concealing her disappointment.

But, for me, it was perfect.

It was the perfect gift.

It was our last year together – a gloriously sweet and heartbreakingly beautiful mess.

But it was more than that.

Because it was in the cake’s imperfection that I could see the love.

Not despite its imperfection.

The love was in its imperfection.

It was a perfectly human cake.

And I loved it.

But not nearly as much as I love the human who made it for me.

And whom I hope to share my birthday with until we are crotchety little old ladies.



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  • Colleen Courtney Andersen

    How wonderful!