Saturday, September 20, 2014

Birthday Thoughts

Late Summer Soy Bean Field Near My Home...I loved the gold and blue together.

Today I am thankful that I made it to see another birthday!
It was just about 2 years ago when I began getting sick and 
when I think about how frustrated and scared I was,
I realize what a blessing it is to be where I am now.
In treatment.
Getting better.
There were many days in those two years that I did not want to live
or that I thought that my illness was going to kill me.

It is a bittersweet birthday, though,
because it is the first one I am spending without my father.
I had a memory today about him that I hadn't thought about in a long time
and I am sure that is his way of reaching out and reminding me he is still with me.

My husband made me a dairy free/gluten free (but not sugar free!) version of 
my favorite dessert for my birthday 
and I can't wait to eat it this evening after dinner.
When I saw all the strawberries in the refrigerator this morning,
ready to be added to the shortcake he made from scratch,
it reminded me of the time my father surprised my mother and I 
by making what he called a "Strawberry Mountain."
It is one of my favorite memories of childhood and
the reason why I absolutely love strawberry shortcake still today.

My father, for some reason, decided one day to make a dessert for my mother and I.
He layered pound cake smothered in strawberries with 
vanilla ice cream and whipped topping and then
repeated again in another layer, like a parfait.
The tall concoction resembled a mountain of sweet strawberry goodness,
thus him naming it Strawberry Mountain.
I still so vividly remember the gigantic grin on his face when he put it
in front of my mother and I.
He was so proud to have made something we would enjoy.
He never ever cooked (that I remember)
so the fact that he made this for us was amazing.
I remember him watching us intently as we took our first bite
and anxiously waiting to see what our reaction would be.
He kept saying, "Good, isn't it?"
and we had to keep reassuring him it was just delicious...
the best thing we ever tasted.
He beamed.
I have no idea of what the occasion was...why he made it,
but I sure do remember his smile and proud glow from making us happy.

To this day strawberry shortcake is my all time favorite dessert.

Thank you to all my family and friends for the birthday wishes.
I am spending it quietly with my family,
relaxing and reveling in the fact that today is the third day
in a row that I am feeling good.
42 is going to be a good year...the year when I get my life back.

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