What is it that we all really want in this life?
When we get near the end, will we look back upon our life and be satisfied with how we lived it?
With how we navigated the waters, climbed the mountains and trudged through the valleys?
No matter what we believe in while we’re here, it seems to me that what we want in this life all boils down to just a couple of things.
We want to love, to be loved in return,
and we want to be happy.
Of course, there are tons of different ways in which we all go about achieving these goals (sometimes TOTALLY missing it, and sometimes hitting the nail on the head) but in the end, deep down, I think those very basic things are what we all really want.
I don’t know what I’ll be thinking when (if) I know I’m nearing the end of my road here on Earth…whether I’ll stand relatively proud with how I lived it out or if I’ll be drowning in a sea of regrets.
And I’m not sure I even want to try to imagine the experiences that I’ll encounter along the way.
But when I look at Helen McGreevy, Thomas’s grandma, who has just turned 95 years old this past month, I’m overwhelmed with emotion.
(K fine, that happens easily these days, but this instance deserves to be noted, I tell you!)
I see a woman who was born on the heels of the first World War, and who grew up with four siblings in the midst of the second World War.
A woman who took it upon herself to care for of all of her siblings as well as her mother leading up to each of their deaths…three of whom passed away in her own house.
A woman who married an orphan, had nine beautiful babies with him…
buried one at childbirth,
later buried HIM (her husband) at far too young an age,
and has buried two more of their children since, with the cruel threat of another being lost in the near future.
I see a woman who has known loss in a very real way.
But I also see a woman of incredible strength.
And love. And devotion.
I see a woman who holds her head up high, even with failing eyesight, who relies mostly on the technology of a hearing aid so her world isn’t entirely silent, but whose mind is still sharp as a tack.
(Who also happens to be long-time vegan, by the way, hence the veggie crate cake.)
And I see a woman who is loved.
Who knows how to love others.
And a woman who is at peace..who’s lived a life of happiness despite the incredible heartbreak that has marked the passage of time.
A woman who is still here with us, waiting for Jesus to hug her sometime soon and say, “Well done, Helen. Through it all, I’m so glad you’ve known how much I love you.”
I haven’t asked her yet, and I don’t know if I will…but I hope she’s looking back upon her life feeling at ease with how she lived it.
Because as I looked around amidst her 95th birthday party, and listened to her children and friends talk about the love and respect they have for her, I realized that while life isn’t easy and is, in fact, often downright ruthless…
the love you embrace and the kindness you decide hand out,
DESPITE everything coming at you to tear you apart,
It matters in so many ways.
It’s not about what happened to you along the way, it’s about how you decided to live it.
Well done, Grandma McGreevy.
I pray that I too have the strength to navigate this life with as much grace, love and kindness that you have chosen to do it with each day.
And I want you to know how incredibly honored I am to have made you your 95th birthday cake. Xx
Helen McGreevy, age 95, with her great grandchildren (though we’re missing a few. 🙂
Happy birthday, Grandma.
My Sofie taking over the blueberry production! (And she also made the grapes, strawberries and sweet peas!! I couldn’t have pulled this one off without her.)
Learn how to get SUPAH sharp corners on buttercream, ganache AND fondant on Cakeheads.com using the Cakeheads Bench Scrapers!
The veggie crates before their color treatment. 😉
Here’s a video tutorial of how I made the banana!
I used Edible Art Paints to help color most of the fruits and veggies. LUUURVE Edible Art Paints!!
And I used one of my Bloom Sugar Art cutter and mold sets for the strawberry greenery. They’ve got some great sugar flower making sets!!
You can find the full, step-by-step video tutorial of how to make this Veggie Crate cake (and the fruits and vegetables) and SO much more, on Cakeheads.com!