Life is short. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine, watching the days race by without remembering to enjoy those precious moments with the ones we love. There’s always tomorrow, after all.
The thing is… sometimes, there is no tomorrow.
It’s a crushing lesson that was driven home again earlier this week, when news rippled through the food blogging community that one of our own, writer and editor Jennifer Perillo, had lost her beloved husband Mikey to a massive heart attack.
One moment, he was a healthy, active father of two, enjoying a bike ride with one of his daughters. The next moment, he was gone. Just like that.
I don’t know Jennie, aside from what I’ve read on her blog and on Twitter, nor did I know Mikey… and yet, on Monday I found myself fighting back tears as I stared at my Twitter feed, trying to find words that could adequately express the sympathy and pain I felt for Jennie and her two little girls. Even now, I don’t really have the words. None that are fit to print, anyways.
A few days later, Jennie wrote a poignant, heartachingly beautiful post sharing memories of Mikey, along with his favourite recipe for Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, and asked us to bake a peanut butter pie on the day of Mikey’s memorial service and to hug our loved ones tight in his memory.
Today, along with a huge number of other bloggers around the world, The Boy and I did just that. We shared Mikey’s favourite pie for dessert, and then hugged each other tight for a good long while. I snuggled the cats, too, just for good measure.
God willing, The Boy and I will be lucky enough to share many more evenings at home, many more long hugs, and many more peanut butter pies, until we’re both old and wrinkly and grey.
I know Jennie and Mikey had those hopes too, though… which is why it’s so important to remember to treasure each moment for what it is. A gift.
That’s the lesson, as bittersweet as it is. We can’t always put off the things that really matter for another day, because there’s no guarantee that day will ever come. Once in a while, we need to be forcibly reminded to turn off the TV, unplug the phone, disconnect from the internet, and have a slice of peanut butter pie with someone we love.
It just sucks to be reminded in this way.
Jennie, I’m keeping you in my thoughts. May you find strength in the love that surrounds you, comfort in the two beautiful girls you made together, and joy in the memories he’s left behind.
(I used Jennie’s recipe almost exactly as written, but divided up the crust and filling between two 3″ individual tartlet shells and one 9″ full-sized tart pan. You can find the recipe here, as part of Jennie’s goodbye tribute to Mikey.)