Two Thursdays ago was perhaps the happiest day of my life.
Long story made mini, I signed a two book deal with Crown Publishing, a division of Random House.
My parents were over the moon
I was seeing stars.
My mother, swallowing tears in gulps, said in her syrupy thick Boston accent,
“Luv Luvs, we gotta celebrate. I’m going to White’s.”
I smiled, my taste memory tingling at the thought of one thickly sliced wedge of my very favorite cake in the whole wide world from my very favorite bakery in the even wider world.
And with that, she hung up the phone, swiped DeeDee from her pug post beside the living room window, and my two best girls drove forty minutes downward to Hingham, Massachusetts. The engine of my mother’s Carolla, I imagine, ferociously purring at 34mph on route 128.
Days later and many conversations in between, I arrived home from an hours-long writing session at Starbucks, to find this box.
She mailed me all 10 inches of the world’s tenderest, oh oh oh, the most perfect double layer white cake with a layer of frosting so supremely generous that Santa Claus looks selfish.
I called her.
“Luv luvs, you got the cake?!”
DeeDee barked beside her.
“Mumma, I love it so much. I love it so, so much.”
“You see the bright colors of those mums I had them pipe on the top- beside “Congratulations Andrea!”? Aren’t they gorgeous?”
[She sent me a picture of the identical cake she bought my brother for his birthday last week.]
“Ma, the whole thing- it’s incredible. The colors, the message, it all came out perfect…I mean, it got a little banged up on the cross country trip, but delicious just the same.”
“Oh no! Even after I wrapped it up tight? In the cake taker?”
“Yeah, it’s a little smooshed, but Mumma trust me, nothing-and I mean nothing- makes me happier than celebrating with this cake. Except if DeeDee were here and I could feed her a spoonful of frosting because you know how much she loves a good White’s cake.”
“Oh good, sweetheart. Well you enjoy that cake. I know how much you love it. No one would appreciate it more. No one.”
I called her again after my second scoop of cake and frosting mash, and told her that this, this very cake, was making me the happiest girl in the world.
I called her again when I finished licking all of that fluffy, billowy white frosting from the edges of the cake box.
Told her that I loved her.
Then I whispered I loved her once more.
And again, just in case.