I miss my Mother all the time, but especially when my birthday nears. She made everything so special. Mother grew up during the depression which meant there was very little money for the extras like a birthday party. I think that’s why it was so important to her that everyone in the family be celebrated on their birthday. Our parties weren’t elaborate or costly, but she paid attention to each detail making us feel like the party was a grand affair.
The cake – I’m not sure when my love affair with cake began, but Mother knew I loved white cake, with white icing and pink roses. If I wasn’t having a themed party this was the standard cake design. See the photo? It was actually Mother’s birthday party, but I am enjoying a giant slice of you guessed it – white cake with white icing. To this day, it’s my go-to favorite.
If it was a theme party Mother would plan a “let’s pick out your cake” day and we’d drive to the Cake Boutique on the east side for Fort Worth (it has since closed, but they made many an east-sider very happy). They would make any flavor and design you wanted. We’d take in a napkin from our party supplies and they would copy the exact image from the napkin onto the cake. It was always so fun to go and pick the cake up to see how it turned out. Sometimes Mother would pick it up and keep it hidden until my party.
Themes – One year Mother sent me off to bestie’s house while she transformed our house into an Italian restaurant. She’d collected wine bottles and melted candles down the neck of the bottle, covered all the dining tables with red and white checked table linens, made a big pot of spaghetti and I think we had cheesecake for dessert. It was a surprise, and one of the parties I remember the most.
Another year we piled all my friends into the motorhome and drove to Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner, then on the way home we enjoyed cake and ice cream. Our cake was the shape of a motor home with little girls’ faces sticking out the windows waving with daddy in the driver’s seat smoking a cigar.
My first birthday after Mother died, I really missed her alot. My sister invited everyone over to her house to celebrate. After dinner, she came from the kitchen holding a cake and singing. She set before me the most beautiful white cake with white buttercream frosting, covered in pink roses – “Happy Birthday Missy.” It was such a loving gesture, and a tribute to all those years Mother loved her family. I knew it was exactly how she wanted me to celebrate my first birthday without her.