Mother’s Day is this weekend and for a couple weeks I’ve been struggling with the right thing to write about my dear mom. There are so many happy times, so many lessons, so many stories I could share. But none of them seem to be worthy of the celebration she deserves.
To tell you the story of my mother, I suppose I need to start by telling you about my father.
Four years ago, on an April afternoon, mom shared with me that my father had died. We were in the car on the way home from one of my book signings. It was just the two of us. I was emotional, but didn’t cry. I was sad and angry all at the same time. I’d never met him and I found it hard to be sad about the death of someone I had never known. You read that right. I had never met him.
At 22, Mom got pregnant and he decided that he wasn’t ready to be a father. So he left. In the wake, I was born to a 23 year old single mother who lived with her parents.
The story is happy because shortly after I was born, Mom met the man I know as my Dad. They married when I was 3, but he was always there, so I never really felt like I was missing anything. But Mom carried the burden.
Over the course of my first 18 years, Mom made me her priority. Every day. In every way. She stayed home to take care of me. Despite the financial burden it was for our little family, it was important to her.
She was the mom who was at every baseball practice, every school play, and every band performance. She was the mom who would say up to the wee hours of the morning playing Uno, or Monopoly, or Super Nintendo. She was the mom who saw me struggling to fit in at school and got a credit card just to be able to buy me popular clothes in the hopes it might make me seem like the other kids. She was the mom who made it fun to scrounge for change to buy 59 cent hamburgers on days home from school. She was the mom who bought me an Alanis Morissette CD as a teen even though she knew it had bad language and told me I was “old enough to handle it.” She was the mom who worked so hard to never let me feel like we did without anything.
The first time I held Jack in my arms, I instantly understood why she did all that she did. But it’s one of those things where I don’t think you can fully understand the sacrifices your parents make for you until you have a child of your own. You just can’t grasp that kind of love until you experience it yourself.
Every day has me in awe of the mom she was and continues to be. Seeing her be a grandmother is just as amazing.
Is she perfect? Nope. But I’d give anything to be as close to it as she is.
I can’t wait for y’all to try this new recipe. It starts with a basic boxed cake mix but is transformed into so much more. Light fluffy, layers of lemon cake are filled with lemon cream filling. It’s so easy, but looks and tastes like a million bucks.
Seriously. No one will believe this was a boxed mix. And the filling made with lemon curd, cream cheese, whipped topping, and fresh lemon juice will have you licking it right out of the bowl. Shhh… I won’t tell anyone.
Easy Lemon Cream Cake
- 1 (15.25 to 16.5-ounce) lemon flavored cake mix
- + ingredients called for to make cake
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
- 1 (10-ounce) jar lemon curd
- 1 (16-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Prepare the cake according to the package instructions in two 8-inch pans. Allow to cool completely before slicing each layer of cake in half crossways to create 4 equal layers.
- In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the lemon curd and beat until smooth. Add the whipped topping and mix until well combined. Add the lemon juice and mix completely.
- Place the bottom layer of one cake on a serving platter or cake stand and spread about 1/4 of the lemon filling evenly over it. Repeat with the other layers and filling and top the cake with the remaining 1/4 of the filling. If you find the filling too runny, refrigerate it until spreading consistency. Chill the cake completely before serving and store in the refrigerator.