May 1977. I had graduated from high school, and Mom had coordinated a very nice celebration for me at my parents' home. I did wonder, though, about her choice of cake. It was lemon cake and I was fairly sure she knew me well enough after 18 years to know that I really wasn't a fan of anything lemon. A few days had passed, and one morning my mother and her best friend, Madelyn, were having coffee in my mother's kitchen. I don't what possessed me but, seeing the remainder of the lemon cake on the kitchen counter, I picked that moment to push my mother's buttons a little.
"Mom, why did you have a lemon cake made for my graduation? You know I don't like lemon. What were you thinking?" I know, I know. What an ingrate, right? Actually, the texture of the cake couldn't have been better... moist, a little crumbly, and the texture of the frosting had been nearly perfect as well.
"Well, I don't know what I was thinking, Chad," replied my mother. "I was so busy getting everything else ready for your graduation that I asked Madelyn here to bake a cake for you. Maybe you'd like to ask her what she
Needless to say I would have gladly crawled into a hole and remained there for a month.
Fast forward 3 and a half decades. I was attending the funeral of the mother of my own high school best friend. Madelyn was also attending that service, and I seated myself across from her at the post-funeral luncheon. We were reminiscing about a great many things, and I eventually told her that even after thirty-some years I still felt like a heel whenever I thought about that moment in Mom's kitchen.
"Oh, I hope you haven't been beating yourself up too badly," she said. "Maynard (her husband) and I have been laughing about it for years on the rare occasions when it comes up." She always has been my mom's best friend, and one of the reasons she is such a good friend is because of her forgiving nature... just one among many of her very admirable qualities.