Today I'm grateful for:
- my loved ones being safe and sound at home in their beds
- the heartwarming compassion of strangers
- wonderful memories
You may remember back here, when I mentioned a gorgeous blog friend of mine, Jen Perillo. Jen's blog is one of the first foodie blogs I ever began following and her work and her character have been an inspiration to me. Jen has been so kind in sharing lots of great tips with me regarding our upcoming holiday in New York as well, for which I'm very grateful too - she lives in Brooklyn, so I now have some local foodie knowledge under my belt for the trip.
A couple of weeks ago, when planning for my Best of the Blogs radio segment, I thought it would be nice to have an American theme for my pre-recorded reviews, to go to air while I'm over there. One of the first blogs I thought of was Jen's, so I emailed and asked if I could interview her. In true Jen style, she replied that she was more than happy to oblige.
When I hadn't heard back from her for a few days, I thought I'd send a follow-up email, just as a reminder. The reply I received was one that resulted in tears streaming down my face as I read, "Jen, I don't know if you saw from twitter or facebook, but my husband died suddenly two days ago. I'm sorry I can't take care of this stuff right now. xo Jennifer Perillo"
I then went straight to her blog to make some sense of it all and found a post called One Last Dance, which is a video of her husband Mikey dancing with their gorgeous little girl. Such a beautiful and irreplaceable memory captured forever in time.
I hadn't been on Twitter for a couple of days, so I rushed over there too, only to find Jen's tweet, "He's gone...and my heart is shattered into a million pieces". Heartbreaking!
It reminded me once more of how fleeting and precious life truly is. I lost my Dad some years ago now, but have wonderful memories of him in my mind. I try to think on these every other day, so I don't forget what his face looked like, or how he felt when I hugged him, or how his eyes sparkled when he laughed. I don't have any memories of one last dance with him, as my Dad wasn't a dancer, but I do have memories of holding his hand, many a warm embrace, and loving smiles. I'm happy that Mikey's little girl has videos of her Dad.
I didn't have the blogosphere to help me through my loss back then. But I've seen the love and support of many a blogger come my way throughout my breast cancer journey, which I'm forever grateful for. And now to see the compassion of bloggers the world over, going out to Jen Perillo and her family for their loss of Mikey, is truly heartwarming. Non-bloggers would consider it a compassionate response from strangers, but we in-the-know recognise that there is something really special about bloggers; something that connects our hearts through cyberspace - so when one is joyful, we're all joyful for them and when one hurts, we all hurt.
This is to say, we're hurting for you Jen. We're so sorry for your loss and you are in our thoughts and prayers. Sending you love and hugs through cyberspace my friend xo
Today, I popped over to Jen's blog again, just to check up on her and found a post called For Mikey. Jen writes:
"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".
I'm a little too late for the Friday Pie Day, but the closest I've made to pie lately was my Apple Strudel from last week, which is actually one of my hubby's favourites. I'd like to share it here today for Mikey, Jen and their family...
What are you grateful for? You can join other bloggers being grateful over at Maxabella loves...
Easy Apple Strudel
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
4 apples (whatever is in season)
1/2 cup organic raw sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder + 1/2 teaspoon extra sugar, combined
- Preheat oven to 200°C.Peel and cube the apples. Place in a saucepan, mix with sugar and water and stew over medium heat on stove top until softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Place the thawed pastry on a greased baking tray. Spoon the stewed apple down the middle of the pastry, leaving a gap at each end.
- Fold the pastry and seal the long and short edges by pressing them together lightly. Place on greased baking tray fold-side down.
- Brush the top of the pastry with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked and golden. Serve with ice cream.Enjoy!