C.S. Lewis wrote, “If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created.”
The quote from the author’s “A Grief Observed” is certainly profound. It’s one thing to say it, to read it, but it’s a different thing entirely to witness it be put into action.
Lewis’ words could describe a mother from Florida perfectly. In 2017, the anonymous mother lost her son. He was stillborn and would have celebrated his first birthday this month.
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Though grieving over what her son had lost, the mother didn’t allow her grief to stop her from honoring him by giving what he would have had to a stranger.
Nick DeClemente works in the bakery at a Publix grocery store in Jacksonville. According to DeClemente’s Facebook post from Oct. 10, the mother came in asking if there were any first birthday cakes on order.
A father himself, DeClemente was a bit baffled by the request. He says the woman explained it didn’t matter which cake she paid for, she only wanted to pay for any first birthday cake anonymously.
The reason is inspiring and heartbreaking at once. “She then started to tear up and tell me that she had a stillborn child a year ago and in tribute to him she wanted to pay for someone else’s cake,” DeClemente wrote.
“It was probably one of the most touching things I’ve seen in all my years working in retail,” DeClemente continued in his post. “I hope that this lady finds peace through this tribute and that the customer recieving (sic) this gift will, if nothing else, pay it forward.”
The quarter sheet cake she purchased had a Sesame Street theme. The order form said to write, “Happy 1st Birthday King David” on the buttercream frosting.
The cake sold for $32.99. Not a high cost, but priceless at the same time. Words can’t express what this mother must have felt as she walked away.
I hope whoever picked up the cake was touched by the grieving mother’s kind gesture. If it had been me, I would have wanted to thank her and give her a hug.
“I was a little lost for words just because of how in awe I was of the moment,” DeClemente shared in an interview with Fox News.
To all the parents out there who have lost a child, our hearts and thoughts are with you. We hope you will take comfort in this sweet mama’s story and know you are not alone.
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