If you had the pleasure of meeting my fantastic mother, you would know about a little tradition we have in our family...joy cakes. Joy cakes are, by definition, cakes that bring joy. Simple. There doesn't have to be a reason for this cake, there doesn't have to be a party for this cake, and most importantly this cake does not have to be homemade (Momma couldn't bake!!!)
Mom would bring home a cake in the middle of the week, on an extremely uneventful day, and that cake would be so much more than a few minutes of happiness. It was an instant reminder of how blessed we were to have one another, how great our lives really were, and that even though life sometimes sucked, it can also be joyous.
You see, my mom had cancer for most of my life. She was diagnosed when I was ten years old and I can't really remember her ever being truly healthy. Most of my memories with her are in a chemotherapy office. I cherish them, I really do. I believe that my young spirit kept her alive far longer than she may have otherwise and I was forced to spend hours with her that most kids (and adults) may never spend with their mother. But y'all, even though I hid my eyes and pretended to be listening to an iPod or reading a book...I heard every "Ouch", I saw every prick, I watched every straight line form across her face as a new round of terrible medicine would make it's way to her room. It could have easily hardened my heart to this world, but...joy cakes. This was more than just a fleeting moment of happiness, this was a reminder that having joy is something much deeper inside of your soul that lasts far beyond the best and worst days.
I am two years into the best decision I could have made for myself. Two years of learning, sweating, emailing, researching, calling, crying, and laughing. And here I am...with my store bought cake, self timer pictures, and a joy that will be with me until the end of my days.
Thank you to my Momma for teaching me, my friends, family, and fellow vendors for supporting me, and MOST importantly my Brides and Grooms for trusting me. I love you all.