I don’t know Jennifer.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t hurt for her.
Sometime this week I became aware that a family had been torn apart by the sudden death of a husband. A father. A friend. I became aware because a friend shared a wish that we all make Mikey’s favorite pie and share it with our loved ones. Don’t take things for granted, was the message. Cherish your family and what you have right now because you never know when it will be taken from you.
And so we did. Late Friday night I bought the ingredients and prepared the pie on Saturday morning as Swee’Pea helped with quality control, tasting bits and pieces as we went along. I made the pie for “dessert night” which is usually Friday in our house but was serendipitously switched to Saturday because I had to work late on Friday.
And as we sat around the table last night, eating our delicious Peanut Butter Pie, I explained to Swee’Pea and TheMonk that we were eating this pie in honor of Mikey. I explained that I didn’t know Mikey but it was my understanding that he would want us to eat his favorite dessert and come a little closer as a family. We talked about death and how Mikey was watching over us and how my father, who died when I was six, was looking over us too. And what was left unspoken was that I too could die at any time. I addressed this unspoken fear by telling them that I love them very much and even if I died, I would be there for them whenever they needed me. As tears welled up in my eyes, I told them how much I loved them and that no matter what, I would be there. Just as I know Mikey will be for his family.
It was a good reminder for me. As hard as I try to live in the moment and embrace what life has to offer me, too often I get caught up in someone else’s anger or frustration or hurt or whatever. I know that life’s too short to carry petty anger in our hearts and I try my best to let it pass through me and let the love remain. I don’t always succeed.
But today, as we eat leftover pie and enjoy a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I’m left to ponder this again. I know I’m lucky and that my family is lucky because we still have each other – even when we annoy the hell out of each other. We have each other to lean on and to love and hold close. It’s something I didn’t have as a kid and something Jennifer and her family don’t have now either.
I pray for peace in the heart of Jennifer and her family. I pray for peace in the heart of mine as well. Life’s too short. I think I’ll have some more pie.
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