Jessica wrote this post many years ago, shortly after Bubbe died. Just found it as a draft and sharing here. What a wonderful thing, to remember Bubbe and her love for being a grandmother and for baking and providing and being cynical. I wish she didn't die.
It was a sad day for me, celebrating Art's birthday without my mom. I realized just how sad I was last night as I was planning to put together The Chocolate Cake. Bubbe's Chocolate Cake. Mom loved doing it all up for birthdays - beautifully wrapped gifts that had most likely been collected over the course of several months, dinner of the Birthday Kid's choice, cake of choice... She loved making all that happen and I loved watching her do that for our kids. She really knew how to make someone feel special on their birthday and Lewis even said after Bubbe died, "Who will make mine birthday cake?"
It pained me to sing Happy Birthday to Netta and Bailey without my mom there and it pained me to have to make the cake that she would usually make for Art today, but it was also a way to be with her. She would have been scolding me about trying to remove the cakes from the pans too early (the first one came apart) or whatever I did wrong that made the frosting seize up during mixing would have reminded us of the time we tried to add rum to some truffles destroying our efforts. But she also would have praised the final result. It turned out pretty good!
And she would have LOVED Art's reaction to the book we got him.
She always got the kids a book, carefully chosen for their current interests. I channeled her by ordering Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates for Art, a sequel to a library book he had loved. And I channeled her as I grumbled about the layers of the cake not being very high, or how it came apart here or there. She would have been very disappointed that we didn't have real candles (Ben cut strips of cardboard and lit them. She would have smirked and looked over the top of her glasses at him but been secretly delighted by the ingenuity).
Mom love-love-loved being a Grandma and loved giving things to her daughters and her grandchildren. Art got one last present from her, a little pinball toy she had picked up on an outing with Emily a while before being hospitalized. Art got that today. I guess from now on her gifts will come more and more from me.