It’s amazing to me how in this day and time, someone we don’t know and have never met can really affect your life.
A few days ago on Twitter, I saw mutiple people sending wishes towards a woman named Jennie, and from the tone of them, I knew something tragic had happened. It turns out her husband, still very young and in his prime, had suffered a fatal heart attack suddenly last weekend. Just reading her story, and seeing the video post on her blog of the “last dance” between her husband and daughter brought tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart.
Along with the emotions, it brought back memories. A few years back, my family also lost someone incredibly dear to us, my aunt. She was possibly one of the most amazing people I had ever met – someone who was always upbeat and sunny, someone who managed to overcome all trials in her life, and someone who always seemed to believe that things would work out.
Just like this man, she was taken from us far too young, and from a sudden heart attack. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her in some way, whether it’s in association with my family members, from looking at the last family picture we took, or just thinking in passing of something that reminds me of her.
It’s amazing how things change with an event like this. It feels like a piece of your heart, a piece of your being is missing, and you aren’t quite sure how to find it. It is just gone, gone into oblivion, and you are hopelessly searching to put your heart and self together again.
But time does pass. And no matter how hard it is to hear, time really does heal wounds. Sure, they can be opened again, and you will never forget this person or what they meant to you, but the pain changes. It becomes more bearable. And one day you realize that it doesn’t hurt like it once did, and that this person has just become a part of you in a different way, has been integrated in your life and soul. That you are a better person because of this individual. That no matter what, this person will never truly leave you.
On the first anniversary of my aunt’s death, my cousins (her children), my mom, and my aunt’s fiance put together a memorial for her. They passed out tulips to everyone, something that could grow every spring to remind us all of my aunt, right around her birthday. And every year, these tulips seem to sprout first, eager to burst into bloom and give us all a memory of someone so special.
Jennie, however, has her own way of asking people to help her and honor her husband.
This amazing woman was able to actually respond to those around her who wanted to help by putting up a blog post – a post in which she asked something simple from everyone.
She never got a chance to make her husband his favorite pie again – she kept thinking she could make it tomorrow. Now, in wake of this tragic change of course, she has asked everyone to make a peanut butter pie for their loved ones in honor of her husband, Mikey. She wants everyone to pass it along to their loved ones, and to “hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.”
I don’t know Jennie, and I never knew Mikey. I doubt I will ever meet her or her children. But this woman’s story has touched me, and I’m sure has touched so many others who have gone through their own losses.
In honor of Mikey (and Jennie), I will make my own peanut butter pie and share it with those important to me.
I hope you can do the same.