Today is my father-in-law’s birthday, may he rest in peace. We celebrated by making an applesauce cake.

Ed’s favorite cake was applesauce cake; Jessica used to make it for him every year — even after he’d been admitted into hospice care — so it seems fitting to celebrate his birthday by making it. (His favorite dessert, Jessica tells me, was probably pecan pie, so we put pecans in the cake.)

Namine knows Jessica’s father has passed away, so she was confused. “Are we going to send it up to heaven?” She asked me with a perplexed look on her face.

“No,” I said. “We’re going to eat it.”

Namine gave me a withering glare. It wasn’t fair, she told me, because it was Grandpa’s birthday and it was his cake. I explained that we make the cake every year in celebration of Grandpa’s birthday, but because he was in heaven, he can’t eat the cake, so we do. She accepted that.

So Jessica sat on the floor with Namine, and the two of them worked on Grandpa Tarver’s cake. (Oh, how my heart aches that he never got to meet my daughter. He would have loved her.)

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Measuring stuff. Word problems are everywhere.

I’m glad Namine loves to help us as much as possible. She especially loves to cook and bake. With a little help, she operated the mixer.

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After we put the cake in the oven, I thought Namine went back into the living room to play with some of her new toys. But no, she had taken the bag of pecans with her and hid under the table.

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"What are you doing?" "Nothing. I'm not doing anything. Go away."

After we pulled the cake out of the oven — and it had a chance to cool off — Jessica wrote “Happy Birthday Dad!” on it. The three of us sang “Happy Birthday” to Ed. He would have been 66 this year.

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