Life is precious.
And I, for one, know how easy it is to get caught up in the chaos of life and forget about what is really important.
Last week, I was reminded about how precious life really is.
A friend of mine, Jennifer Perillo, lost her husband suddenly last Sunday. Jennie is someone that I’ve met through the wonderful world of Twitter and got to meet in real life a few weeks ago. She is a warm, witty, genuine person that I hope to know for a very long time. Jennie wrote a beautiful post about her husband, Mikey, and requested,
“For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.”
So I did.
I scrambled for the ingredients and gathered a handful of peanuts and mindlessly began to chop.
I was so wrapped up in my thoughts, my fears, my sadness.
I had to improvise with a ready-made crust and my inner voice screamed loudly in my mind “THAT’s not good enough.”
I decided to abandon all good intentions for making a creamy peanut butter pie.
Then like a bolt of lightning surging through my body, I realized that what Jennie was asking us to do was love the ones we’re with.
Not to make the perfect creamy peanut butter pie. But to love all who surround you… with all of your heart. Today. This very moment.
I moved on.
I melted dark chocolate instead of semisweet. I used a pre-made chocolate cookie crust instead of a homemade one. I embraced the improvisions.
And I pondered how life isn’t perfect. How I’m not perfect. How those I love aren’t perfect. But how loving them…fully loving them warts and all…is somehow perfect, especially when faced with the possibility of not having them.
I scooped the peanut butter out of the jar and measured it. It was sticky and messy and unruly and difficult to measure perfectly. Yet it was intoxicatingly pea-nutty…the very essence of the creamy peanut butter pie that I was making.
Instantly I became aware of my unintentional irritation that I was experiencing and focused on the beauty of the sticky, unruly peanut butter.
And I thought of the people that I love that can be that way.
Sticky. Unruly. Difficult. Probably characteristics that only I notice because I’m that close to them. Intertwined with them. I would desperately miss that imperfection if it was void of my life.
So, I focused on the beauty rather than the irritation.
I moved on through the recipe and as I worked I thought and prayed for Jennie and her girls.
I prayed for them to be held in the comfort of those who want to help them and comfort them and wrap their arms around them in an acknowledging embrace of their pain.
I poured the creamy, soft, peanut butter filling in to the pie shell and made a promise to myself to be more present in my life.
To love out loud.
Warts and all.
I chuckled to myself when I realized that I had extra pie filling after substituting a pre-made pie crust for a homemade one.
How ironic yet serendipitous.
I poured the extra filling into 3 little individual bowls,
for my three
little individual “love the ones your with”...and I promised to myself to hug them tight.
Sending much love and many prayers, not to mention 8 second hugs to Jennie and her girls.
And wishing for all of you, to love the ones your with…