This morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and took cream cheese out of the fridge to soften. I went back to bed, only to get up again 2 hours later to make a peanut butter pie. I’m not making it for a birthday. I didn’t make it because I was craving it.

Earlier this week, Jennifer Perillo, a food blogger, recipe developer, and writer, lost her husband to a sudden massive heart attack. Jennie and her Mikey (as she called him) are about the same age as my husband and I.

I’m not friends with Jennie. I don’t even personally know her. I follow her on Twitter, read her blog periodically and met her briefly at Eat Write Retreat in May where she was a speaker on one of the panels.

But when I saw this, my heart ached for her.

Jennifer Perillo

Jennifer Perillo (@JenniferPerillo)
8/8/11 6:46 AM
This is the worst sucker punch. I desperately wished for him to come to me in my sleep.

 

This blog post is the reason I got up this morning and made a pie.

Mikey’s favorite was Peanut Butter Cream. She’d been meaning to make one for a while, but never got around to it. Today is his memorial service, and her wish was for everyone to honor him by making a peanut butter pie today.

While I’m sure my husband would probably like Jennie’s version, there is one pie I make that is a favorite of his. So today I’m making him that Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie.

Grab your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband, your wife, your best friend, your sister, your brother, your parents. Hug them close and tell them you love them, then make them their favorite, whatever it be. There’s no reason to wait until tomorrow. Live today.

 

 

20 Responses to “Love, Life and Peanut Butter Pie”

  1. 1

    Traciwilbur — August 12, 2011 @ 6:10 am

    Oh, this makes my heart hurt. And also hits close to home, as my Dad passed away from a sudden massive heart attack at age 39. As my husband and I approach that age, I often think back to how my Mom must have felt being a widow at 38 with 2 children. I can’t even imagine what Jenny is going through. I can’t make a peanut butter pie today (allergies) but I will definitely make something special to honor Mikey.

    • Beth replied: — August 12th, 2011 @ 6:23 am

      Oh my goodness. So sorry for your loss and your mom’s. Even if it was years ago, I know it still hurts.

      I was reading Jennie’s “about” page yesterday, something that was written when she first started her blog. She mentions that her father passed away at 49. To lose both your father and your husband at such young ages, I can’t even fathom.

  2. 2

    Amanda — August 12, 2011 @ 6:42 am

    Beautiful post!

  3. 3

    Leah — August 12, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    My heart just breaks for Jennie. It really put things into perspective for me. The little, stupid things that frustrate me all of a sudden don’t seem to matter. I think I’ll have some cream cheese softening on my counter very soon, too.

  4. 4

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  5. 5

    Lesley Eats — August 12, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    Similar story to Traci…my stepfather had his first heart attack at 34 and 4th and final at 46. It makes me nervous and I watch my husband like a hawk, but it does little good. I don’t want to be a widow.

  6. 6

    Jennifer Justus — August 12, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    Oh so touched by this. Pie will definitely be made in my house this weekend. Thank you for sharing.

  7. 7

    Peanut Butter Cream Pies for Mikey — August 12, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

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  8. 8

    Alicia (Weekly Greens) — August 12, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    I made pie today, too. I’ve had Jennie heavy on my mind all week. I can’t even imagine what she is going through. I hope that the storm of peanut butter pies in the food blogosphere today coaxed a smile on her beautiful face (on a day of unimaginable grief).

    I’m feeling particularly connected to the wonderful people I met at EWR at this very moment and the food community as a whole. It’s been amazing to witness the rallying of support and love. What a special group. It was so nice to meet you then and this post reminded me that we don’t really know each other that well, though it seems like we know each other better through our writing. Happy to you know, Beth. :-)

    • Beth replied: — August 12th, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

      and the same to you Alicia! Hopefully our paths will cross again one day :-)

  9. 9

    Camels & Chocolate — August 12, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    OK, my best friend from college is the pastry chef at Capitol Grille and her dessert peanut butter chess pie with banana ice cream was just featured in Nashville Lifestyles magazine–have you tried it? I have yet to but it just about sounds like the recipe for Heaven. (Or at least MY version of Heaven, which is about everything peanut butter, chocolate and/or banana, all the time.)

    I don’t know Jennie at all, but that is just so terribly sad and tragic and I can’t even imagine what she’s going through right now.

    • Beth replied: — August 13th, 2011 @ 5:42 am

      Well, I must meet her, and I must eat that pie. Chess pie (done right) is my biggest weakness. Combine that with peanut butter and chocolate (my next biggest weaknesses) and I am a goner. Yes, that definitely sounds like heaven to me too!

  10. 10

    Susanne — August 12, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

    It broke my heart as I read about this late this afternoon on several of the blogs I follow. I’ve been so busy lately between my own blogging, baking, filling orders, and regular 9-5 job, I’ve been putting my own husband’s request for something made with peanut butter and chocolate (his favorite). This definitely puts things in perspective and makes me realize sometimes I need to slow down and pay attention to my love ones. I will be making a peanut butter pie in Jennie’s husband’s memory and for my own husband this weekend. Thanks for sharing the post, Beth :)

    • Beth replied: — August 13th, 2011 @ 5:46 am

      I know, it’s so easy to get caught up in it all. Lately I’ve been trying to make myself slow down. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done I’d like to do, and I finally just realized that I’ve got to just let some of it go. Sure, the house is a little more cluttered than I’d like and lots of emails are going unanswered, but I’m okay with that. Enjoy your peanut butter pie AND your husband this weekend!

  11. 11

    Susan in the Boonies — August 13, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    My husband almost died 3 months ago from a heart attack. He is only 56. His weight is fine, his blood pressure is fine,and his cholesterol is fine. Unfortunately, he has a family history of heart disease. But we had not one single clue apart from the fact that he had overweight relatives who had died in their 50′s and 60′s from heart disease, but surely, that wouldn’t happen to MY husband. He was active and fit!

    If you have any family history of heart disease, go see your doctor, and HAVE A STRESS TEST. My husband ended up giving himself his own stress test, when he went outside to chop wood, and broke out in a sweat, with some pressure on his chest. Thank God I called an ambulance. Thank God we went to St. Thomas. Thank God for the doctors there who used all their skills and artistry to save my husband’s life in bypass surgery.

    • Beth replied: — August 13th, 2011 @ 7:59 am

      Oh Susan, my heart is in my throat after reading this. Thank goodness he is okay and thank you for sharing your story!

  12. 12

    Barefeet In The Kitchen — August 13, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    Beautiful post. My boys and I made a pie yesterday as well. Praying peace and comfort for Jennie and her family.

  13. 13

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  14. 14

    gretchen — August 16, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    just read alicia’s comment… ditto ditto ditto! :)

  15. 15

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