This past Sunday marked an event that is deeply important to my little family, the annual throwing of the cake.
It started five years ago, when we lost my brother. While I would love to say he was lost in a mall and we found him an hour later, unfortunately that is not the case. He died much too soon, but of course everyone dies too soon when you love them and don’t want them to go.
Six weeks-ish after he died was his birthday, September 28th. I was having a hard time, and of course so was my daughter. We couldn’t stand the idea of letting his birthday pass with nothing. It was a small celebration, with a homemade cake and a loud off key version of ‘Happy Birthday’ sung by all, but it was a comfort.
Since then we haven’t let his birthday pass without celebration. The day of his death is hard, and always filled with anger and sadness that he is gone, but we take his birthday and celebrate the fact that we had him in our lives at all. It has become almost more important than the birthdays of the people we know who are still alive.
Oh, and we throw cake.
One year we were able to celebrate his birthday on his hill, the place where we spread his ashes. A few of us got together, and I baked cupcakes. We sang, we ate, and then we decided to share with our beloved brother/uncle. All the leftover cupcakes were thrown overboard down the hill to be “Uncle Sean’s” share of the cake. The daughters thought it was so much fun, it became a rather important part of the celebration. Sure, they get to eat cake, but they also get to take a piece and throw it as hard as they can, without fear of getting in trouble.
Maybe this is not how normal people remember those they have lost, but who wants to be normal anyway? It is much more fun to just pick up the cake, and throw it as hard as I can.