This is our son, our sweet boy, our angel, Gerard John. At our first trimester screening, we found out he was diagnosed with Trisomy-18, a rare, genetic condition with very many complications. He was not expected to make it to birth, but by the grace of God, we were blessed to have him in our arms for 22 1/2 months, inspiring so many by his perseverance, strength and courage.
Formally known as cakes by narleen kristel, I used to design and bake specialty cakes and desserts for many loyal clients. However, once I learned of my son's condition, I chose to close my business to focus on the care and survival of my baby boy.
Since our precious Gerard's passing, I have been finding ways to grieve and deal with the painful loss of our only son. Most recently, John and I have both found comfort in baking and cooking again... something we both have in common and something we are very well known for. As we baked some of our favorite desserts, pastries, breads, cakes and snacks, our dear family, friends and clients began to order again. As orders were being picked up, it gave us a chance to see those we haven't seen in a very long time. Not only were we able to share our treasured baked goods, but it gave us a chance to feel a sense of normalcy, which was something we haven't felt in a very long time. When we see the joy on the faces of our clients, or the happiness they share when they have enjoyed what we made, it gives us a sense of healing. I often say, "it's like I see my son's smile in the faces of our customers." Because I know in my heart, my son would would be so proud to see his Mommy and Daddy working together to do what they love to do. An even more amazing thing to come out of our baking was the opportunity to meet new clients who have also shared their own personal heartbreaking stories of Trisomy, infant loss, miscarriage or the painful loss of a loved one. Little did we know, our baked goods would bring comfort to our clients in more ways than one.
Because of that, we decided to re-open and re-brand our business as a family... with a different focus and a very special purpose. Fusing together John's classic American and French background with the pride I have for my Filipino heritage and the love I have for Hawaiian influences, we are so proud to share our treasured family baked goods and desserts. Sweet Gerard's Bakery is our home bakery, built in loving memory and honor of our beloved son, Gerard. While we dream of someday having our own store front, for now, we will continue to bake and fill happy bellies while healing hearts.
For more information on Trisomy-18, please visit The Trisomy 18 Foundation at: trisomy18.org
John - Alenna Kalea - Narielle Annejulie - Narleen Kristel - Gerard John