This cake should have 27 candles. I used my grandmother’s recipe for the cake batter—to call upon the ancestors for strength. I used my mom’s frosting recipe, guided by her compassion as I whipped the softened butter into the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder. There was no need for salt—a few warm tears did the job just fine.✨
As I placed each candle on the cake and lit them, I imagined Breonna as a young girl full of hopes and dreams growing up in the midwest. A nurturing person who realized her dream by becoming an EMT. As I blew the candles out, I thought about how quickly her life was snuffed out—her spirit leaving her body as fast as the vanishing smoke. I thought about my little sister, who is 27, and a nurturer at heart, too. It hurt too bad to imagine my sweet sister in Breonna’s place. 💫
Breonna will never get to save another life, care for an ailing person, or blow out 27 candles on a birthday cake. This cake isn’t perfect—the frosting isn’t smeared “just right”—and our efforts do better won’t be perfect either. I’ve long been paralyzed by perfection, but we can’t let perfection impede action. 🙏🏾
There’s no greater way I show love than baking someone a birthday cake. But this is the first birthday cake I’ve baked for someone who will never get to bite into its frosting-filled layers. This was an easy recipe but a difficult bake.
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