A sob erupted deep within and tears rolled down my cheeks. Not one to cry easily, my reaction to seeing the “with picture” elephant cake recipe caught me by surprise. Especially since I was looking for Christmas cookie ideas. Although I’ve never made that cake, my mother did when I was a young child.
Seeing the elephant cake recipe and picture bought back an intense longing to visit with Mom again…an impossibility since she passed away more than 22 years ago. So I did the next best thing, I visited with a few memories of her.
One Christmas season she bought an extra box of Ivory Snow soap powder. Instead of using the soap to wash clothes, she and I rolled gobs of wet soap flakes into several snowmen and decorated them with items from her sewing box. Being a little tot at the time, the transformation of soap powder into snowmen was pure magic to me. And I liked magic.
As a preschooler, I actually performed magic, although it only worked with Mom nearby. I’d place a small toy under one of the pillows on our sofa, then hurry into my bedroom to spin around and repeat the magic words, “Hokey pokey, please and thank you,” three times.
That simple routine always made the toy disappear, and repeated, always brought the toy back. Except around lunch or supper time. Mom said that was because the magic man who took the toys was probably fixing his meal.
Like most kids in the 1960’s, I walked to and from school, including lunchtime. On this particular day after lunch, I walked to our elementary school without my friend. From out of nowhere came a big dog, and back then big dogs scared me. Although in a dress – required school attire for girls – I climbed a nearby tree to escape the huge, tail-wagging canine.
Eventually Mom happened to drive by and spotted a child treed by a dog. She stopped to chase away the animal and was surprised to discover the child was me. Mom never wanted any child to be in harm’s way.
Mom found the elephant cake recipe in one of her magazines. She tore out the page and made the cake for my little brother’s birthday. Her cake looked just like the picture in the magazine, a pure delight for us kids.
Mom always prayed for my brother and me and passed her faith and love for God to both of us. For me, that’s my best memory of Mom and her forever legacy.