Lightening finished

Jackson’s Lightening McQueen & Mack Cake

There are times when I lose the vision. In general, I’m able to see the potential of something…almost anything. I can see what it COULD be. When my husband and I were considering buying our first house (which was split into three apartments) and we did a walk through of the apartment we would be staying in, he squinted and shuddered- but I SAW it. I saw what we could make it…and we did soon after we signed on the dotted line. We transformed the slum-like housing previously occupied by an exceptional hoarder into a cute, cozy sanctuary to start a family in. I have such fond memories of that place.

It’s the same with most of my cakes. You’ve got to have “the vision” to make this business work or else you’ll end up in rehab for anxiety issues. But I have to tell you, sometimes it just vanishes. Try as you might to find it again, it’s gone. All you can do is forge ahead and pray your little heart out. That’s what happened with Mack. It was going rather well- I carved out his head and was looking forward to moving on. Then I buttercreamed him, and POOF, it all went dark.

I could no longer see how he was going to look anything like he should. It turns out, I get pretty cranky when the vision leaves me. I guess I’m trying so hard to convince myself that it could still work, that I can’t imagine how the kids might NEED something at that moment, or why they would be asking me any sort of questions about…ANYTHING during my little crisis. In short, I’m not a good mom when I lose the vision. Don’t judge me- I’m working on it.

Since it was my only option, forge ahead I did. A little fondant here, a little fondant there, some airbrushing…some metallic edible dust, some praying, a lot of detail…more praying, and a BAZILLION hours later, there he was. Mack was back, sitting there on the counter waiting for Jackson. How long? From eight in the morning until 11:00 at night.


Earlier in the day, my husband picked up on my distress over the phone when I thought all was lost, so it was fun to see his face and hear his surprise when he walked in the door after work, saw Mack’s head and said, “What? You nailed it!” (It took several more hours, and a LOT of chai tea to make the rest of the truck, but the head’s the fun part!)

NO part of this cake was easy. It was ALL stressful- from the carving of his head, all the way down to the adhering of the edible images. (Gosh, those things are delicate!) He nearly killed me, but once he was finished and I regained my sanity, I popped Lightening on his back (who I made of rice krispy treats earlier in the week), and deemed them ready for delivery.

But this cake’s delivery was going to be different.

You see… this cake was for Jackson.

Here’s an excerpt from a blog I initially wrote about this special little guy…

“I talked to Jackson’s mom last night. Just thinking about it hurts. No, she isn’t a drama queen…she’s just a normal girl who got married, and had a couple of babies that she loves more than life, just like we all do. But SHE got the call. One of her babies, Jackson who is 4 years old, was no longer OK. He was diagnosed with a brian cancer that relentlessy attacks the central nervous system, creating increased intracranial pressure, loss of motor function, speech impairment, as well as other various complications.

She cried a little when I told her about the cake donation, and I cried quietly as well. She didn’t say much, but one thing stuck in my mind. She said that she never thought anything like this could’ve happened to her family. It was something you heard about from others, but it wasn’t you. She was wrong.

“Jackson is heading off every week to Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to begin Chemotherapy treatments that are set to last over the next year. He requires frequent hospital admissions, doctor appointments, along with numerous laboratory and radiology tests, all of which he handles with amazing courage.””

So, you can see why this cake needed to be special, and why the delivery was going to be a bit different for me.
Off to the benefit we went, with our new friend and cohort, Nikki Ehret (helping to transport all of the wrapped gifts that so many in our community and elsewhere sent for this li’l sweetie pie, as well.) We brought in the cake, and Nikki the presents. After all of the time and energy spent, the anxiety melted away when Jackson was wheeled over by his mom and dad to see his cake. Jill cried, (so did Jackson’s grandma :) ) Tom (his dad) smiled, and Jackson started chattering about Lightening. I love him. What can I say? Another little piece of my heart has been carved out just for him. He stole it, and now it’s his forever.

I don’t want to bring these beautiful babies cakes…I want to heal them. I want them better. But, that doesn’t happen to be my particular gift- so for the time being I’m just going to keep bringing them cake, hopefully some gifts and joy…and I’m going pray incessantly.

Jackson didn’t get a chance to open any of the gifts while I was there. He was a bit tired, and I think his family was overwhelmed with everyone’s love and support, so I just asked Jill to snap some pictures while he opened his presents at home, and send me some to share with you. Tom and Jill wanted you all to know how greatful they are for you loving on their little boy…and I’m sure, if he hasn’t done so already, Jackson will be sporting a very big smile while ripping away LOTS of wrapping paper, and hopefully having a night to remember.



The AMAZING people who so quickly sent a gift…

  • Barbara & Dave McArthur
  • Nicole & Pete Pavlovich
  • Rhona Seema Bhajan
  • Suzanne & Jay Cross
  • Ruth & Jamie Slingerland ( and Diego & Cecelia)
  • Aimee & Jasen Cooper
  • Gina & Steve Alfieri (and Anthony, Cristian, and Nicholas)
  • Linda & Jonathan Slingerland
  • Kate & Matthew Bott
  • Kate & John Crisham
  • Ellen Haley
  • Jennifer Cavaretta
  • Dena,  John & Austin Bonafede
  • Lily, Sofie, & Finn McGreevy

Plus a few others who wanted to remain anonymous…


I wanted to add everyone’s pictures, but there are just too many.  A REALLY great problem to have!!



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