I don’t know Jennifer Perillo, I’ve simply looked up to her from afar. I adore her recipes, her writing, her and her spirit.
This past Sunday evening, I saw that Jennifer sent out a cryptic tweet. All she said was: “He’s gone. And my heart is shattered in a million pieces.” My heart sank. While the words didn’t tell the full story, I knew. I tried showing the tweet to my husband, and I couldn’t even talk about it without crying. I just had that feeling in the pit of my stomach. When the news broke the next morning that Jennie’s husband Mikey had died of a sudden heart attack, I felt an inexplicable and accute sadness. My heart was broken for her.
Jennie is a complete stranger to me, and yet I was strangely affected by her husband’s death. Many foodies, writers, and bloggers across the country were feeling the same way, apparently. We were shocked and saddened. We wanted to help, but didn’t know how. But then, just days after her husband died, Jennifer Perillo let us know how we could help. She posted a blog, which asked us to remember Mikey by making his favorite dessert: a peanut butter pie. It was simple request, and yet it carried so much weight. It was a way to show my support from afar; a way to join in with a collective voice and show Jennie that we care.
My life is a little nutty this month, I’ll be honest. I feel like I have more to do than I have hours in the day. I happen to have a refrigerator full of cherries and I probably should have been baking cherry pies last night. Instead, I stopped everything for a few minutes and made a peanut butter pie. Tonight, I’ll eat a piece of that pie and remember Mikey. And I’ll pray for Jennie and her two daughters and for strength and peace in the dark days that lay ahead.
And while this tragedy isn’t about me, it does serve as a reminder to be thankful for the time that I have with the ones that I love. As my husband was on his way out the door last night to meet up with a friend, I told him I loved him and gave him a kiss goodbye. And suddenly it struck me: we aren’t always guaranteed a kiss goodbye. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, so I’ve got to be grateful for each day that I have with my husband. I can only pray we get to enjoy a few more together.
So this pie is for Mikey and Jennie. I hope you know we care.
P.S. I won’t post a recipe, as I followed Jennie’s recipe exactly (except I used slightly less sugar and sweetened condensed milk).
P.P.S. I hosted an engagement party tonight for some great friends, and we ate peanut butter pie and celebrated their engagement. I think it’s very fitting to celebrate one union, while mourning the loss of another.