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STUDENT | STORY | JANE TAYLOR

THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN BY JANE’S CUSTOMER – TURNED FRIEND – TURNED STUDENT. THIS WAS ORIGINALLY A POST IN THE TAYLOR MADE CAKE COURSES ONLINE COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK, THIS HAS BEEN ADDED AS A BLOG WITH REBEKAH RICE (AUTHOR OF THE POST) PERMISSION.

PLEASE NOTE – THIS STORY IS VERY MOVING AND FEATURES THE MENTION OF THE PASSING AWAY OF A LOVED ONE AND TALK OF FAMILY TRAUMA INCLUDING THE MENTION OF HOSPITAL ADMITTANCE, MENINGITIS AND DISABILITY.

“Jane & I were talking last night and we agreed to share our story with you.
I’d love for you to take the time to read the story behind this bouquet that Jane made for me.
We met in 2018 in the most tragic of circumstances.
16th January 2018, my darling husband very suddenly passed away. He was only 48 and young, fit & incredibly healthy. He didn’t drink or smoke and really took care of himself but, he had an undiagnosed heart condition & was taken in an instant. I was 43 & our girls were 7 & 13. We were living in Ashford, Kent, not very far from Jane.
At that time, my best friend came to stay with me for almost 3 weeks whilst we waited for the funeral and when she went home, I wanted to get her “something ” to say thank you, but I couldn’t give her flowers as she owned a nursery so was surrounded by flowers every day!
Then I remembered seeing a local lady on FB who done flower cupcakes.
I messaged Jane & asked her to create a bouquet for my friend and why I needed it “super special” & of course she didn’t disappoint.
When I collected them, I took my little girl with me & even though she’d never met Jane before, she absolutely fell in love with her; I mean who wouldn’t!
Jane, moved by my story, generously offered to make me some cakes for my husband’s wake & so this bouquet was created. Red, white & green for Wales as he was going to be brought into the crematorium to the Welsh National Anthem.
Over the years I had many cakes from Jane before I moved back home to Wales, thus never seeing her again.
Until that is, we bumped into each other at Cake International last November. It was amazing seeing her again & it was like no time had passed at all.
Bethan, my girl, was so emotional after seeing Jane, the whole 3hr journey home she talked non-stop about Jane, even telling her Nan she had seen the cake lady who made Daddy’s cakes 🤗
My husband & I spoke years before about me starting my own cake business but I never had the courage. Then, finding Jane on Instagram one day and seeing how big her business had grown, really gave me the push I needed. I started following her & watched her videos daily. I had a go at some of her tutorials and found I had a bit of a knack for it & took a leap and set up Cwtchybakes last October.
Jane you are my biggest inspiration.
You’ve been so encouraging of my work and been so kind in gifting me some courses.
I’ve said it to you many times but your warmth, generosity, kind and encouraging words, your offers to have Bethan for me when I was struggling a few months after losing Andy, you are THE most beautiful soul and I’m so privileged to call you a friend.
You touched my heart in so many ways that I will be forever be grateful to you.
Legend says that we only connect with certain people in our life because we are meant to & that those who continue to be a part of our journey are connected to us by The Red String of Fate (Google it, its really interesting)
I am beyond proud of everything that you have achieved and I love you dearly.
You will forever have a very special place in my heart xxx”

THE NEXT PART YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ IS A REPLY FROM JANE

From sadness comes a beautiful bond!

Back in 2018 I had a lady Rebekah, contact me to ask for a cake bouquet for her best friend! She said it needed to be really special. Of course I agreed and made the cupcake bouquet.

On the day that Rebekah arrived to collect her bouquet she came with her little girl Bethan. My, this kid was cute! Never in a million years did I expect to hear what Rebekah was about to tell me.

These are for my best friend as a thank you! She has stayed with me at my house for the past 3 weeks because my husband died suddenly! My instant response was “sorry, what ?” I thought I had misheard her, but no she was being serious. Of course I asked if it was ok to ask what happened? She told me that he was fit healthy, young man and literally died! I still to this day cannot compute this! He had an undiagnosed heart condition.. All the while we were talking I was trying not to cry but that didn’t last long, I didn’t know how to respond or what to say so I just held her.

Now, many of you will not know this as I don’t like to play the poor me sob story card, but my daughter Grace who’s now 21 is disabled. She had meningitis at 5 weeks old. They told us she probably wouldn’t make it because she was so poorly and that if we wanted to get her christened now was the time.

She was then transferred to Guys Hospital in London, where they told us she had suffered a massive stroke. My world fell apart at this point, I had Francie aged 3 and Georgia aged 2 at home and my instant thought was how am I going to do this? Am I going to cope with a disabled chid? As well as having the other two so young. I was only just 24 when this happened! Quite a lot to deal with on such young shoulders!

The neurologist came round to speak to us while Grace was hooked up to so many wires and bleeps constantly going off. He said that as a result of the stroke she will be left with left side hemiplegia, she would be blind and her quality of life would be limited. Grace would never be able to walk, talk will need to be tube fed, she will be autistic and epileptic.

I remember saying as clear as day, “no she will be able to!” He tried to say again that this will be her future! Again I said “No it won’t be, I’ll prove you wrong!

We were in Guys Hospital for weeks until she was well enough that I could cope at home. It wasn’t easy, feeling torn between being with Grace and being there for Francie and Georgia who were still so young and they needed me too. I had amazing friends at the time who stepped up and tag teamed it with me. We would swap so they stayed with Grace while I went home to see the girls.

The day we came home with Grace I set the wheels in motion of her rehabilitation! Twice weekly visits to an amazing Cranial Osteopath Mark who I define as ‘GOD”, because of the meningitis I couldn’t dress Grace, her arm was locked to her neck. Within one visit of seeing Mark she was laid on his couch and her arm just unravelled! I’m crying writing this because, unless you saw it you would never have believed it! Proved the consultants wrong already, they said her arm would stay like that!

This went on for 2 years each time improving and being able to do more. She was never tube fed other than in the hospital, she did talk, she did walk all be it at the age of 4 but she did all what they said she couldn’t do. She is now a fully functioning 21 year old. Yes she is autistic, and does have left side hemiplegia but she your average very annoying child who sends me off my rocker but she’s here!

The reason I am letting you all know this is because of the way I reacted to Rebekah!

Once we were out of hospital with Grace, people who I have known for years and would consider a friend or associates would cross the road if they saw me coming. People would leave baby groups when I walked in.. I get it, people don’t know what to say! Let me tell you something you don’t have to say anything at all.. what I wouldn’t of given for my ‘friends’ just to hug me, would of been enough! Don’t shy away if you know someone has had a tragedy just cuddle them. You don’t need to say a word.

Back to Rebekah’s story.

All the time we were talking Bethan was just standing there! this little 7 year old girl was so beautiful and she was just smiling at me. She walked over to me and we cuddled, she didn’t let go for ages and I just stood there until she was ready to let go. Something beautiful happened at that point, I don’t know what it was? We were going to be in each others lives! Lets face it I was just the bloody cake maker at the end of the day but it ended up more than that.. and as Rebekah said before the universe played some part in this.

I offered to make her husbands wake cakes because I didn’t know how else I could help! I piped him bouquets in the colours of the Welsh flag as he was Welsh. It was an absolute honour to make them.

From then on Rebekah and Bethan came for cakes and we’d have a lovely chat, Rebekah had good and bad days so I offered to have Bethan so she could go and do something for herself. It was standard as soon as Bethan walked through the door we cuddled she gives the best hugs! Each time they left I would sob for hours now I’m not a crier! I would hold Lee and the kids that bit tighter!

Rebekah I am so damn proud of you, For starting your own business, you are the epitome of an amazing mother who deserves every success!

Love you all the world!

Jane x

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