For me, making cakes is about so much more than just throwing together some flour and sugar. Every cake I make is a special, unique creation designed for an individual person. I spend countless hours and pour my heart into each and every one. I view cake decorating as my ministry; a way to show my love and God’s love to others. It is for this reason that I have never pursued cakes as a business. It is also for this reason that a couple of weeks ago I signed up to be a Sugar Angel with an organization called Icing Smiles. If you have never heard of Icing Smiles you should check out their website. They serve families of children with critical illnesses by using local volunteer bakers to create cakes and other treats to help these families celebrate special occasions and temporarily take their minds off their medical situations.
Ever since I first heard of Icing Smiles I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. It took me a while to finally get around to actually applying though. After months of putting it off, I sat down one morning and filled out the online application. To my surprise it only took about 5 minutes to complete. I was approved within a couple of hours. After talking to other friends who are involved with Icing Smiles I learned that it can take a while before you are needed. I was shocked the next morning when I opened my email and found that I had already received my first call to action. It couldn’t have been a better match because I was placed with a family that has two little girls. I also have two girls, who are teenagers now, so I have always had a special place in my heart for little girls.
The oldest daughter, Lucy was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just 3 years old. Lucy is now turning 8 and is cancer free after many surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. She has an amazing family who has used this tragedy to start a foundation, called Lucy’s Light, to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.
The call to action was a request for a birthday dream cake to celebrate Lucy’s 8th birthday. The theme request was Rapunzel from the movie Tangled. As I thought about the movie I was moved by the fact that Rapunzel was trapped in a tower for many years, fearing she would never see life beyond that tower. Through her strength and courage she finally jumped out of it and slid down her hair to freedom and a life beyond anything she could have dreamed. To me, this was representative of little Lucy’s life. She was trapped by an awful cancer but fought hard to battle it and, with her strength and courage, she is now free from that awful disease and has a beautiful life waiting for her. I knew that had to be the scene I represented in the cake.
Many hours of working on the cake allowed me a lot of time to think about Lucy, pray for her and fall in love with a little girl that I had yet to meet. Here is the resulting cake:
And some close ups:
The top of the tower
The tower base
Rapunzel escaping down her long hair
Rapunzel’s little buddy, Pascal the chameleon
Of all the pictures I took, here is my favorite:
Lucy seeing her cake for the first time
Most decorators would probably agree that a reaction like that is worth more than all the money in the world. This is why I love making cakes. This type of a moment makes every late night and a kitchen full of dirty dishes all worth it.
As I carried the cake to her front door, Lucy watched from a window and I could hear her screaming with delight. Lucy was as sweet and adorable as I had imagined she would be. My heart felt like it would burst as I finally got to meet this sweet little girl and hug her for the first time. She was so excited and wanted to know how I made every little piece on the cake.
Her family was just as wonderful. They overwhelmed me with their gratitude and I felt an instant connection with them. I knew it was no coincidence that I was placed with Lucy; there was a heavenly hand at work.
As I left the home, my eyes welled up with tears. This was one of the greatest moments of my life and definitely the greatest cake delivery I had ever made. I also knew that this couldn’t be the end of it. I had fallen in love with Lucy and fallen in love with her family. I am keeping in touch with this incredible family and hoping to be able to be a part of their upcoming fundraisers. I realize that I can’t expect that every call to action will turn out quite like this but I am so thankful for my first experience with Icing Smiles. For me, this is what cake decorating is all about.
May God bless you, little Lucy, and may you remain cancer free for the rest of your long life.
Until next time God Bless and Sweet Dreams.
Lucy’s little sister was able to bring in some left over cake to our preschool. Not only was the cake the most fantastic looking and tasting we have ever seen – I was touched by how much your generosity effected Lucy’s family. Lucy’s mom had such sweet comments about you! Thank you for doing such a wonderful service to our community.
Thank you so much for your kind words Melissa. This was definitely the most meaningful cake I have ever made and I feel blessed beyond words to have been connected to Lucy’s family because of it. They are amazing people. I’m so glad you were all able to enjoy some of the cake. Blessings to you and all the work you do with the little ones. I have so much respect and love for teachers. Thank you for sowing into the lives of little people.