Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Hearts Lemon Torte Cake!

Cheesecake Factory's Lemoncello Cream Torte

"Through the heart's wound, I see it's secret"
(Bernard of Clairvaux)

As my family celebrates the birthday of my older brother, we are rejoicing in many ways! Lemon Torte has always been his favorite cake and "the" cake he requests for his birthday every year. This luscious cake tastes better as each year passes, because...

Five years ago, my brother’s heart was attacked…stopped! He had what is commonly called “the widow maker”.

He collapsed in his family room. My sister-in-law called 911 and fortunately, the paramedics were there in a couple of minutes. After five shocks, they managed to re-start his heart, then rushed him to the hospital where the doctor was standing by to receive him and place a stent into his major artery. His life had been saved but…he was in a coma. The team of doctors who were attending said they could not tell us if he would wake up, and if he did he could potentially have brain damage.

After three days of waiting, wondering and fervent prayer, not only did he awaken, but he immediately recognized each of our faces and was talking! I can’t explain the feeling of joy which flooded that ICU room! At first we discovered that he did have some short term memory loss, but soon he was 100% back!

He surprised us on that third day when his eyes popped open! We joke and say he rose from the dead! He’s a miracle! In fact the doctor called him “miracle man” and said, “if he had ever any inclination to play the lottery, he should probably do so”!

I’m amazed at God’s grace which blanketed all of us during that time because as this was all going on, my mother had also been admitted to the hospital…just one floor up! She had been failing for some time (complications from heart disease) and her body was giving out. During their stay, we would take turns visiting the two of them and wore a path from my brother's ICU room to my mother's room upstairs.

Just after my brother’s release from the hospital, my mom’s doctor said there was no more they could do for her and hospice was recommended. Four days later, on Christmas Eve, she passed away. My sister-in-law, my brother and I stood by her side those last days; the three of us, holding onto each other for support. We were able to tell her everything we desired; thanking her for being the best mom in the world and for creating memories for us that will live forever, making our lives beautiful and happy.

We were able to stand together and say goodbye to our
precious mother. Our hearts bonded even more so in this time of grief as the one who gave us life now took her last breath.

It was bittersweet in several ways. Christmas would forever be a different experience for us all; both of our parents were now gone (end of an era); Bruce was still in recovery mode, but thank God that he had his memory! We do have the sweet assurance that we will all be together again on glory’s side! Sweet also that my brother’s life had been spared…his heart had been saved! Yet he said he felt like a piece of it was missing as a piece of my own heart was! Yes, bittersweet!

I was overcome with emotion when I thought that I had almost lost my brother along with my mom. I don’t think I could have stood to bear it. My gratitude still overwhelms me.

When March rolled around, my family gathered to celebrate Bruce's life! This special birthday was a wonderful celebration for all of us with more meaning than words can describe, but captured each time we look into each others eyes!

Today is Bruce's birthday again...and we celebrate once more!

How happy I am to celebrate you today, brother! I celebrate your resilience, faith, strength, your devotion to family, your healthy memory, your life, your heart! How blessed we are to be able to "remember" together!

Life is filled with second chances...and joy truly can replace the pain!

And...through it's wound, we see it's secret!

Brother, I'm so glad your heart was saved!

I'm sorry the miles have kept me from being there this year to help you devour your all-time favorite cake...but (for some reason) ;) I was craving it I stopped at cheesecake factory for a slice to go. I'll be thinking of you with every bite...and I know you will enjoy every bite of your very own, favorite Lemon Torte Cake! You deserve it!!  Happy Birthday to you!!!

A contented heart...with every bite...loving lemon torte!


The Mom Chef said...

Wow, what a story. Happy birthday to your brother and bravo to his heart's tenacity.

I was seriously wowed by that cake and was looking forward to the recipe. :) I can see why it's your brother's favorite. Next time, if you need help celebrating, let me know, ok?

A multi-dimensional life said...

Haha! I thought I might entice you by that photo!
And it's not even April fool's day yet! :)
I do love that cake and there is actually a recipe for it. I should post it :) xo

Karen said...

wow , what a touching story.. Im so glad your brother is fine, and celebrating yet another b day,, and the description of your moms passing was very much like my memory of my moms.. she had a stroke in her sleep and was in a coma for two days before she went to be with the lord,but we were all blessed to be beside her at that time and to tell her,, that she was a great mom, and that she had finished her job and though we would miss her,,we knew she would be fine in heaven with god and with our dad,they had been married 57 yrs..
great post..
although I thought you would give us the recipe for that delicious looking
have a great weekend friend..

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh my! I just don't have words. God's ways are so much higher than ours and I give Him praise for your brother's life and also sorry for your loss. The cake looks wonderful and I hope you enjoyed every bite as you celebrated the life of your brother.

A multi-dimensional life said...

You are all so sweet. Thank each of you for your kind comments! Karen, we share such a similar remembrance of our mothers's! Let's all celebrate each and every day we have with those we love.

I guess I'd better post the recipe for my version of that cake! I tricked you all this time LOL

Toyin O. said...

Wow, what a powerful story of God's faithfulness;Praise God your brother made it. Wishing him a wonderful birthday, that cake looks so yummy, you are quite an artist in the kitchen:)

mangiabella said...

what a moving story! I am overwhelmed by God's graciousness to restore Bruce as mom was reaching her time to go...He is a walking testimony!!! Today we celebrate Bruce, and life, and those precious tender moments we have with the ones we love! This cake looks so incredible, those lemony layers, I haven't been to a cheesecake factory in a long time!!! But the next time I do go, this is what I will be ordering!!! Happy Birthday Bruce!! Salute!

A multi-dimensional life said...

Thank you Jaime and Toyin, unfortunately I can't claim that cake....but even better...just put the key in the ignition and drive to cheesecake factory and purchase...then, enjoy! :) xo

Bob West said...

Very Interesting blog. I am now a follower. I thought you might want to check out Paradox Principles as well.
All the best, Bob West

OceanDreams said...

Oh my goodness glad your brother was okay - what strength he has and God certainly took care of him! Ohhhh that cake looks delicious!

Merry Graham said...

That was beautifully written ~ thanks for being so transparent and thanks for pointing us to God.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a beautiful post. So sorry about your mothers passing. What a miracle you were given with your brother. ((HUGS)) Now I have to go over to Cheesecake factory and try a piece of that Lemon Torte! Hope he had a wonderful birthday.

Deborah said...

This is so moving Lorraine...thank you for sharing such a tender part of your life...
Sending the warmest of hugs to you today!

With all my heart...Deborah xoxo

Summer said...

What a tender and beautiful story ....Our GOD is faithful ....You have an ability to convey words so wonderfully ....And that cake !!

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