On Friday, bloggers from around the world gathered at our virtual kitchen table to pay tribute to food blogger Jennifer Perillo's husband, Mikey, who passed away suddenly a week ago. I didn't get to make a pie on Friday or Saturday, due to a myriad of work and life commitments that kept me out of the kitchen. I made two pies on Sunday, around the time that Mikey passed. The pie pictured above was made with love and a few tears.
This news sent me reeling back to a few months ago, when my own husband, Frank, faced open heart surgery. He is nearly fully recovered now, all the better for having been to hell and back to repair a genetic heart defect. Right before his surgery, we talked about what I would need to do if he didn't make it through. We went over his last wishes, where all the important paperwork was located, even though we didn't want to think about the possibilities.
The night before his surgery, Frank laid out his will and Advanced Medical Directive on the dining table. I wanted to stab the pile of papers with a kitchen knife every time I passed the table. It was the last thing I wanted to think about, but the possibility of death loomed around us like a bone-chilling fog. I could only hope for the best, but be as prepared as I could for the worst.
I now realize what a luxury it was to be braced for the idea that Frank might not make it. Jennifer didn't have the opportunity to steel herself against the possibility that Mikey might not be there for Sunday dinner, or to enjoy his favorite pie with them one more time. Both Frank and Mikey are a reminder of how fragile our hearts are, and though they can mend, sometimes they break beyond repair.
I hope that everyone who makes this pie, or some variation of it, does so to honor the lives of Mikey and Jennifer and the beautiful family they built together. Life is is all too fleeting and its sweetness should be savored every day, like the very last bite of peanut butter pie.
For the recipe, see Jennifer's blog post, For Mikey.