100-Year-Old Fruit Cake

This Christmas I have been enjoying the Hallmark Channel. One of their movies is entitled Broadcasting Christmas. It has a story about a family that kept and preserved a fruitcake they had baked for uncle Francis who was declared missing in action and didn’t come home from the war. They interviewed Mrs. Henderson in the movie about the fruitcake. She explains that her “grandmother baked the fruit cake wrapped it in cheesecloth and sprayed it every month with rum to preserve it. Time went on 10 years, 20 years, 40 years and the cake kept. Mother took the fruit cake from grandmother and I took it from mother”. She explains to them that it is a ritual, a reminder that wherever the world takes you there is always a place where your heart remains. Where you are loved, and remembered and treasured. Where someone kept a cake for you.

In my family, it is not a cake but a Christmas cactus that is over 100 years old. My grandma Ida that I have told you about gave it to my mother who then gave it to me and when I am gone I guess I will pass it down to my daughter, although she is dreading that because she doesn’t have much of a green thumb. In fact, she almost killed it a few years back.

 A few years ago, when her and I lived together she got a Christmas cactus as a gift. She put it with mine (the one that was grandma Ida’s and my other one which is a start off grandma Ida’s). She put her cactus in-between mine and right away my two cactuses started looking droopy and sick. Hers was not growing either. I told her mine were not doing well because she put hers between them and separated a mother from her baby. She told me I was crazy that plants don’t have feelings and so I asked her to do an experiment and remove her plant from the middle to see what happened. That night, before we went to bed she moved her plant and the next morning when we woke up my two plants looked wonderful, they were no longer droopy and they had woven there branches together as if they were hugging each other, and within a few months hers had grown so much it needed a new pot. Interesting isn’t it!

Whether it is fruit cake, a Christmas cactus or something else we all need things that help us remember our loved ones and hold them close to our hearts, both those that are living and those that have passed from this world. I believe it is through these strong family bonds that we will all find peace and happiness in this crazy world! My plants are proof that families need to stick together, love, support and cherish one another!!!


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