Blogging is a weird thing. Tweet with someone two or three times, and you feel as if you know them. Friend them on facebook, and you're all of a sudden meeting for lunch. Or dinner. Or a weekend in the country.
Friendships are forged fairly quickly out in the ether. Maybe it's because we aren't sizing each other up to see what the other is wearing. Or maybe it's because it's safe to show who you are behind the anonymity of a keyboard and screen. Whatever it is, it's a real thing. Folks who don't hang out on the Hinternets don't understand it, I don't think. But some of the dearest people I know I have met through my website and blog.
One of the first questions I ever got was from a lady named Linda. She wrote to me after having found my site, and she had a lot of questions about working in a commercial kitchen and running a pastry station. She had just become the pastry chef at a country club, and now she was trying to figure out how to make it work. We wrote back and forth for a long time, and then we became facebook friends. And then she came to visit for a weekend. Her kids and husband made her call them every 14 minutes just to let them know that she hadn't gone to spend the weekend with an ax murderer.
She has visited a few times since then, and we've been up to see her for lunch on our way to stay with Cousin Ken. Linda left the country club awhile back and recently she has been busily and happily getting ready to open her own bakery. Which will be The Bomb. The Beloved and I have been planning to go up for the opening, and we couldn't be more excited for her.
Then, a couple of days ago, I was checking out her facebook page and saw all these comments about "praying for you," and "get well soon," and "we love you," and stuff like that. So, I wrote up there something along the lines of "What the Hell?!" And then I didn't hear anything. Her phone never works, so I messaged one of the "I'm praying for you," people to find out what was happening. She said that Linda was "coming along," and that I should contact her husband. So, I messaged the Attractive Bob, and he shot back that Linda had had a massive heart attack and had almost died. She needed Huge surgery and a couple of new valves and bypasses and other Scary Cardiac Stuff.
Well, shit. And this after just hearing about Jennie's heart-wrenching loss. So now, my pie is in honor and memory of two people, one whom I never knew, but whose wife I'd tweeted with before. And my dear friend who just barely dodged the same bullet on what was possibly the same day.
Life is short, friends are dear, and family is irreplaceable. Jennie asked that anyone who wanted to help her in her healing to make her husband Mikey's favorite dessert--a peanut butter pie. I had already committed to doing so before I got the news about Linda.
So this evening, The Beloved and I will enjoy slices of peanut butter pie after a dinner of his favorite foods. And we will think of Mikey and of Jennie and of their beautiful girls. And we will also be very grateful that Linda is still with us. And we will enjoy our meal and be oh-so-grateful for each and every moment that we have together.
But Linda, if you're reading this, know that we won't be sharing this pie with you. You just had a heart attack, for God's sake!
PS I used Jennie's recipe (see link above) but added about 3/4 teaspoons of fine sea salt to the peanut butter filling as well as adding a thin /layer of chocolate/peanut butter ganache on top. And I also made my own chocolate cookies for the crust.
PPS Go hug your loved ones right now.