I once heard that you should always be pouring into someone younger than you, and have someone older pouring into you. These words have become invaluable to me throughout my life and travels. Every city and/or country I have lived in, without really intentionally meaning to, this dynamic has always seemed to be true. I can’t help but want to invest in the lives of younger women and I always seem to find myself delighting in the wisdom and advice of women who are further along in the journey of life. Of course inevitably, my ‘mentees’ have ended up shaping my life as much as I have shaped theirs, and I can only hope that I have done some good in the life of those who have invested in mine. There have been so many precious people at either end of this mentoring cycle and I would absolutely not be the person I am today if not for our meaningful connections.
Recently, one such lovely lady helped support me through a difficult period. She provided lots of hugs and encouraging words as well as cups of coffee and hope. During our journey together, she also hired me to make a few cakes for various family occasions and I have chosen to feature the one for her father’s 70th birthday. This story really is more hers than mine in some ways as the cake I made was in honour of a long-standing family truth/joke about their father. She gave me a picture of a Green 1970’s Chevy Truck that was the exact truck her father had owned for 20 years throughout their childhood (and early adult lives). He apparently dearly loved and cared for this truck and it was quite the event when he finally parted ways with it. I studied the picture and tried to cover every possible detail to make it as true to life as possible. My friend grew up in Georgia and in true 1970s/80s Christian fashion, this vehicle bore the mark of faith in the form of a unique license plate at the front. It read in big letters ‘TRUCKIN 4 JESUS’! Being such an important feature of the truck, we were sure to include it in the design of the cake. It did take a long time to get right but the look on her face when she came to collect the cake, and knowing that in some small way she allowed me to contribute to their celebration of his life, was more than worth it! Hearing how moved he was by the reunion with his beloved truck, and finding out that he didn’t let anyone cut it for ages, was probably one of the most satisfying moments in my cake career! Perhaps, I can’t be a mentor for my friend in the way she has been for me, or repay her the encouragement, empathy and hope she gave me during a difficult time but I was pleased to bring more joy to a meaningful event in her life.