Death by Cake

I reached for my phone on the nightstand.  Where was I?  What was going on?  I tried to read the time on my phone, but my eyes weren’t cooperating.  Straining, I was able to make out 3:01 am.  I coughed. And realized my lungs were being constricted.  Panic set in, and I started to sort out the time line.  I flashed my phone around the room, I was at my parents’ house.  I tried to cough again, panic.  Ok… wait just a second.  I am at my parents, babies are asleep in here with me, teen son is in the next room… we celebrated my mom’s birthday last night.  You made her a cake.  You had a slice of cake.  Your obituary will now read you died from cake consumption.  Now I am both panicked and humiliated.

Like Mama Cass, forever known for dying by chocking to death on a sandwich, I will die from eating cake.  At this point I try and swallow and I cannot.  As I take shallow breathes I am trying to talk my heart rate down and formulate a plan.  The plan needs for me to receive medical attention, pretty quickly, without me having to answer a nurse asking “What seems to be the problem?” with “I ate cake.”

I stumble to the bathroom and flip on the switch.  From what I can see through the slits of my swollen eyes, I am covered in hot red hives.  I look like a cartoon version of myself, that my three year old drew, with a red crayon.  Desperate I dig through drawers and cabinets.  I find a bottle of Benadryl and pour some in my mouth.  First thing, if I live, I owe my children an apology, they were right.  Bubble gum flavored Benadryl is beyond disgusting.  Second, I can’t swallow.  The pink liquid seeps out of my swollen lips and down my pajamas, between my boobs.  I hear my rasping, strangled voice say… “I hate you Jami.”

I am not ready to go wake my dad and ask him to call 911.  I take the Benadryl back to the bedroom pour some in my mouth and lay down.  The thought process here is some will trickle down my throat and the rest may absorb through my cheeks and no one will ever have to know about this.  This process adds a drowning aspect to my anaphylaxis… but sticky and exhausted as I am I keep up the process until I am finally able to swallow.  As I lay there, not knowing if I would die, I wondered if they would serve cake at my funeral.

So to date, this will be my most vulnerable post, although admitting I poured apple cider vinegar in my nose and peed my pants, was hard; It is far more difficult to admit I intentionally risked my life.  And it is hard to admit I can never, ever have birthday cake again.  Ever.  Although I have the same reaction to bee stings as I do wheat…  I avoid bees. I like cake.

A current book project I am working on invokes this discussion… at what point are we willing to sacrifice what we want for what is best?  We make decisions everyday that can be life altering.  Should I get up and go to the gym?   Should I text her back while I am driving or wait until I get home?  What punishment is most fitting for this child?  Which school should we send them?  Which insurance plan would be a better deal?  Should I eat cake?

Little decisions can later impact bigger decisions.  I covet tribal beach life.  No laundry.  A strictly Paleo diet, sun, surf, naps, chasing brown babies in the crystal clear tide…  I sometimes wish there was less to chose from… then there would be less sacrifice for what would be best.  The clutter of a big American life is exhausting.  If the floor of my hut is made of dirt, I never have to sweep or mop it.  If all that I can choose for dessert is coconut, pineapple, or a kiwi, I won’t die from having birthday cake.

Maybe this is shallow.  I am an adult and I wan’t to make good decisions.  But when I don’t, what is the cost?  I have a precious, wise friend and she has a beautiful & talented daughter.  The daughter is one of my favorite characters on this planet, we will call her AC.  AC was recently was cast the lead role in the summer’s ballet.  Leading up to this she’s been in several other productions, busy with church, school, and practicing relentlessly for the upcoming ballet.  My friend grieved for her beautiful daughter as she watched AC limp into practice one evening and she decided she was going to batten down the hatches.  My daughter Sophie and AC are friends so I am hearing a lot of “No her mom won’t let her go…”  and “I don’t get to see her again because she needs to rest her feet.”

It occurs to me I am jealous of these boundaries.  I want someone to boss me, to tell me what is best for me.  Someone to say “Um, Jami, you cannot have birthday cake.”  And not because I am in trouble, but because I need the boundary so I can be well.   So ironically the morning after death by cake the scripture in my journal was “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food…” (Romans 14:20).  Just like my friend doesn’t want AC to no longer be able to perform, so she makes her young daughter rest, God is offering me the same wisdom.  “Jami, don’t eat cake or you will die.”  Maybe the audible command of a mom is easier to follow, I don’t know.  But knowing my Father in Heaven has left clear instructions for me is outstanding.  Knowing He met me the morning after death by cake with a specific instruction to this folly is overwhelming.  Sure, it could be a coincidence… but I don’t think so.  The work He does in me as a wife, mom, and writer is important.  He needs me not to die eating dessert or the work is destroyed.

Today I hope to embrace this truth.  To say yes when it brings glory and no when it doesn’t.  To seek biblical truths, and be the kind of child of God who is willing to be bossed.  A child of God who is eager to step away from the cake, have a kiwi… and live.  J

About jamiamerine

I am a wife, mom, & seeker of joy! I love to share funny and inspirational tales with my fellow moms. I fully believe that God intended laughter to be a form of rest and worship. I have a few kids. I have a few years on me. I have a great husband. And I love to laugh. I studied home economics in college, I can cook just about anything, but do not ask me to sew. In my graduate work I studied education and human development, I consider my life continuing education, my children are my ongoing thesis. If they survive that, I will let you know! I write non-fiction for laughter, respite, and inspiration. I also am in the process of submitting my first fiction mystery and have two more in the works! Mom life is hard work. My prayer for my readers is that, even if it you just have five minutes, you can be inspired and encouraged today. Keep it short and sweet... rest in Jesus girlfriend.
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6 Responses to Death by Cake

  1. Debbie says:


    I too LOVE me some cake and have even declared that if you are eating cake for a celebration be it a birthday, shower, wedding, etc. versus just bring a piglet there are NO calories. So, I morn for you not being able to eat cake again. It stinks being a grown up some times! But you have it figured out. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This made me cry. And not because I can’t have cake. (Although it’s probably best I that I don’t!) But because God has given specific instructions for me personally, that maybe others don’t have to follow. But I do. And I get mad sometimes, and I whine, and I want to know why me. And many times, I don’t do what He said. ‘Cause it’s not in the Bible. (and neither is “don’t eat cake.”) And it cripples me and keeps me from being what He needs me to be so that I am useful to Him – what my husband and my children need me to be, what my community needs me to be. Thank you for this very vulnerable post. You are precious. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mona says:

    Beautifully said

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keri says:

    No cake for me either…well unless it’s gluten free. I would be sick for 4 days and I just can’t afford to shut my life down for 4 days and endure the searing pain. I decided a long time ago no piece of food was worth it for a 5 minute taste versus days of misery, plus who will take care of my 4 kids during that time…oh yeah, me, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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