The simple words of another tweet from Jennifer Perillo moved me again on Sunday: “Whatever you’re doing at 5:52pm today, please take a minute to hug someone you love.”
That time marked the one-week anniversary of her husband’s sudden death. And in that week, people around the world mourned for her, baked her husband’s favorite peanut butter pie and took at least a few minutes (hopefully more) to appreciate the people they loved.
I did. Well, I attempted to. As you may know, my track record for all things kitchen related is a bit alarming. In fact, when I explained to Lenny that I’d be making the pie to take to a dinner party with some of our closest friends, he asked if we should consider having a back-up dessert. I balked at the idea. I could do this, I would do this and it would be a success. As a tribute to Jennifer. To Mikey. To marriage.
You see, while most food bloggers joining in the peanut butter pie celebration saw this as a way to express love through cooking, I saw this as a way to celebrate beautiful, loving marriages. And it’s a good thing. Because the pie was more like pudding (one friend got me every utensil possible to tame my beast of a treat and declared, “Hey, that even looks like a ‘blog’!”). And the crust was more like cement (seriously, another friend’s plastic fork broke in half when he went to take his first bite). But somehow it tasted delicious and the laughter that came from every corner of the room was sweeter than any dessert.
There were 6 couples with us that evening. And though some had gone home to put sleepy kids to bed, each person I made that pie for—including my own wonderful husband—has taught me something special about what it means to make a marriage happy, healthy and hopeful. They’ve taught me lessons in compromise, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, partnership, laughter, parenting, holding on, letting go…and so much more. And from what I’ve grown to learn about Jennifer and Mikey through this tragedy, I think our celebration would have done them proud—even if the pie wasn’t perfect (or even on a spectrum that included perfect).
So on Sunday, when I read that tweet, I thought back to the laughter and love that filled the room during our peanut butter cream disaster. And I thought ahead to where I’d be at 5:52pm (which was 2:52pm my time). I’d be getting my boys prepped and ready to walk down the aisle as ring bearers in honor of a new marriage.
Before I knew it, it was time. The boys made it through their part and we were witnessing the union of a perfectly matched bride and groom. They were glowing—young, beautiful and full of life. The ceremony was a perfect reflection of their generous spirits. The reception was a true celebration of family and love. And I couldn’t be more confident that their life together will be a very happy one.
But of course, that’s not where my story ends. Because in one of those only-in-a-movie (or blog, in this case) moments, as we were leaving the wedding, I saw the favors: heart-shaped measuring spoons. While it was perfectly fitting given the groom is a chef, it felt so much more meaningful on the week the peanut butter cream pie was shared around the world in honor of a man and his beloved wife.