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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Let Them Have Cake

I love hearing about people.
Where they came from.
Who their families were.
Their stories . . .


I have a good friend who was raised in a bakery.
Really.
Her family lived on the third floor of the building. The bakery was on the second, and the ‘workings’ (ovens and things) on the first.
I think it sounds like a small slice of heaven.
Or maybe a large slice. Pun intended.
This is a part of her story . . .
Her father immigrated to their small Alberta town as a young man, intent on finding his way.
He took a job at the local bakery and, using skills brought with him from the old country, quickly made himself useful.
There was a girl at that bakery.
A pretty girl.
Daughter of the owner.
Much to the owner’s dismay, the two quickly became an item. I expect it was all right for him to be a baker, but he wanted more for his daughter.
But she had other plans.
The two made arrangements to be married.
And the father/boss gave grudging permission, both for the ceremony, and for the time away from the shop. But he only gave them enough of said time to perform the actual ceremony. Then both of them were to be back at the store to work.
Yes, it sounds odd to me as well.
Moving on . . .
The two slipped away to be married.
An hour later, they were back, aprons donned and ready to work.
Now the young new husband was very handy at decorating cakes.
Very handy.
In fact, he had been doing most of the decorating in the shop almost since his arrival.
As a gift for his young bride, he had created something really special. A many-tiered cake, astoundingly decorated. With angels and trumpets and flowers painstakingly fashioned out of icing.
It had taken him some time.
Upon their return to the shop, he presented his gift.
It was . . . well received.
It was at that moment that another young groom came into the shop, intent on picking up the cake he had ordered for his celebration.
The cake, another decorated by our young husband, was duly handed over and paid for. Then, as the second groom carried his precious cargo out of the shop, he slipped.
And he and a mound of perfectly-arranged, meticulously-bedecked cake and frosting both hit the floor with a resounding splat.
He emerged unscathed.
The cake . . . didn’t.
The young man scrambled to his feet and stared down at the ruin of what had been a work of art.
And his gift to his new bride.
Dismay writ large, he looked over at the young baker.
Who, in turn, looked at his bride.
Who nodded silently.
Our young groom went into the back of the shop and emerged with his own gift. The one he had spent hours decorating for his beloved. The one she had enjoyed so briefly.
The two of them handed it silently over to the unhappy groom.
The story ends there.
I have to imagine the joy on the young man’s face.
The pain in the heart of the creator.
And that of his darling . . .
The two of them celebrated many, many years together. Took over the bakery and raised several children there.
There were other cakes.
Just as meticulously decorated.
Just as beautiful.
But none more appreciated than the first.

16 comments:

  1. Oh, now you've done it - made me weep. That is beautiful. How hard it must have been for the young baker and his new wife ... what selflessness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was crying when she told it to me. Such an inspiring story!

      Delete
  2. Ooohhh...precious story! Love extended, love received. Sweetness.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sometimes doing things like this makes you much happier than the item does.
    I love making people happy. Life is short.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that true! Sharing does that for me as well!

      Delete
  4. Very good; lovely. No wonder the bakery continued to be a success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With people like that running it, I agree!

      Delete
  5. What a beautiful story of love :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People continue to amaze me. Usually for the good . . . :)

      Delete
  6. A beautiful story about a wonderful gift. I love stories like this, real life, real people, simple goodness of heart.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can't decide if I want to cry or be joyously happy. Such a Gift of the Magi story. What amazingly big hearted people to have given up so much for a total stranger. I'm glad to know that they had so many more wonderful moments together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truly amazing people. And they raised amazing kids! My friend is so sweet and kind. You just know where she came from . . .

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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