You Still Make The Cake …

30 Jan

I woke up knowing he’d be the first thing on my mind.

Brown eyes, black and silver wavy hair, usually covered by a hat. The very same blue Dodgers hat I wore all day today. Go Blue.

Tired and exhausted from the night before, the night of thinking of tomorrows and tomorrow already here, as evidenced by the sun peeking through the blinds. Staring at the ceiling, knowing that the closest I’d ever get to him today was just a memory or two. Pictures, left over voicemails, hats hanging on hooks, shirts folded in the closet, and half a bottle of Jovan Musk  in the cabinet. They were all waiting for me this morning, like every morning.

But today was different.

Today was his 69th birthday and the cologne smelled a little different. I think it was losing its strength, but I could still smell that aftershave scent. It still lingers in the air, reminding me of how I wished I had more memories.

It’s always a tough day, knowing someone isn’t going to blow out the candles anymore. But you still make the cake, you make it anyway. Today I made it with my daughter, who’s named after him. Listening to jazz as we measured and stirred the flour and sugar, dancing to his favorite tunes in our aprons as the smell of chocolate filled our small kitchen, I smiled. I thought he’d be watching and smiling as we twirled around to his favorite trumpet and piano tunes.

Jazz was on all day today. Running through the park this morning. At the stoplight. In the kitchen. And as I write this piece. His calming happy music surrounded me as I remembered him driving his silver Toyota Tacoma, with the station tuned into KJAZZ and him strumming his fingers on the steering wheel.

Yup. It was on all day. Reminding me, giving  this purpose, making the baking experience a little better.

And for some reason, during the taste-testing process perhaps, we didn’t have enough frosting to cover the entire cake this year, and that was O.K. It wasn’t a disaster. We made a head pastry chef decision and thought layers upon layers of frosting would be just fine. Like a chic bakery.

He’d probably get a kick out of it, and we’d make our own story about it. In fact we probably already did. I’ll probably think back , when all my hair has that silvery fox color, and remember how we baked the chocolaty chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and chopped almonds, how we danced in the kitchen thinking about my Dad turning 69 and how he’d enjoy a piece of cake, or two, along with a cup of coffee.

We took our picnic and visited him. I told stories as my daughter had one piece and my son two. Large cups of milk, and one cup of coffee for pops. Sitting there talking about life and wishing he was there to blow out the candles and make one more wish.

My Dad … the Dreamer, the Adventure Seeker, my HBO-Watching-Buddy, the Owner of Over 70 Baseball Caps, the Jazz-Listening-Beep-Bopper, Pay-It-Forward-Patron, Awesome-Date-to-Opening-Plays at the local theater, Spirit of My Spirit, Heart of my Heart, Laugher of My Jokes, and friend … turned 69 today. I wish him well, send him light, love, and laughter.

And I miss him.



My Dad … talking about dreams … me trying to listen.





10 Responses to “You Still Make The Cake …”

  1. Amanda Lyle January 31, 2017 at 1:23 AM #

    What a lovely tribute to your dad. Made me well up in places. What lovely memories! Adorable picture too! 😊

  2. tracymartin January 31, 2017 at 6:13 AM #

    what a beautiful tribute. he sounds amazing!

    • The Guat February 21, 2017 at 1:38 AM #

      Thanks so much for reading, sorry it took me a while to get to my comments. But so glad you enjoyed the story. My pops was definitely a good guy. Thanks!

  3. Dentler Erdmann January 31, 2017 at 7:00 PM #


    • The Guat February 21, 2017 at 1:39 AM #

      Thanks Erdmann! It’s always a tough one that day, but somehow I always make it through. Thanks for reading this one … this one was definitely special 🙂

  4. Cayman Thorn February 1, 2017 at 4:12 PM #


    Your letters to your father are always so beautiful and true. They are colored with all those big nights and simple moments. When you write about your father, you always make me cry, always. Every single time. Never fails.

    As I’ve told you many, many times before after you delivered up one of these beautiful stories . . thank you for introducing this world to us. The world of you and Dad, the old days that forged all these amazing days you’re making with the kids now. You learned so very well.


    • The Guat February 21, 2017 at 1:46 AM #

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m always humbled when people read my dad stories and enjoy them this much. I’m glad they make an impact. I’m glad that others can get a chance to see his spirit through my eyes, they get a chance to know him a little bit, and know that I’m my father’s daughter, that’s who I am and I always wake trying to do my best even when it’s hard. And It’s always a tough day for me on this day, but I make it through sunrise to sunset. Thanks so much buddy. Buen Camino!

      • Cayman Thorn February 22, 2017 at 8:00 PM #

        Thank you, hermana. Your stories of Papa are gifts. Beautiful ones. If it’s true that a person is made better through the things they love to read, then you make us better with your stories of Papa. They are mighty strong inspirations.

        • The Guat February 23, 2017 at 12:55 AM #

          Totally one of the top five compliments I’ve ever received. Thanks buddy. Buen Camino.

          • Cayman Thorn February 25, 2017 at 3:24 AM #

            I doubt that, hermana. Your peeps know how special you are. Fo sho.

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