Thursday, March 6, 2014

On pain and pie. . .

I'm sure it's scientific.  The crust is all carbs and fat and the inside is always something amazing and associated with some childhood memory like cinnamon and grandma's house or fresh tart cherries from the neighbor's tree.

I remember when David died and one evening shortly thereafter I cried to my husband Why are there so many pies here. People keep showing up and saying they're sorry and giving us pie.

Last month, when my grandmother was in the hospital, my uncle ran out for a quick lunch and passed over pie for dessert so he could get back and be with the family.  That night he arrived home to find a fresh apple pie on the counter waiting for him (in small towns, breaking and entering and leaving pie happens, you know).  And in his last night in his mother's home, after they'd buried her and gone through her things and packed away what they could, he dug out from the very back of the fridge, a single piece of pie.

I know. Sweets are awesome and can trigger the feel good chemicals in our bodies.  I understand with my brain that this makes sense.  And I understand with my heart that pie won't make things better, but that also, in some small way, it is an act of love.

It's a time waster, pie. It's pesky and temperamental - crust ingredients must be just so cold before and just so hot in the oven to come out right.  The insides are never as good if they come from a can, so they mean peeling and slicing or carefully pitting apples or peaches or cherries and carefully folding them with just the right amount of sugar.  And the baking.  The baking must be just right. There's a fine line between a perfectly golden crust and one that's gone tough and dry. I'm bad at pie most days because I'm bad at patience, I guess.

Yesterday, a friend told me some rough stuff.  I'm the worst and handling bad news. I clam up and say everything will be okay and tell jokes and act sarcastic and then run away. By the time I got home, I was overwhelmed with a nonsensical desire to make him a pie.  Apple. Cherry. Apricot or peach. Who knows.

My heart hurts for my friend - and yet he's amazing and inspiring and all of those hyperbole words that probably aren't all that hyperbolic when aimed toward the right people. And knowing what I know of him, he probably makes a killer pie.

Anyhow, my hope for my friend is that he has more time to spend as he wishes. And more pie and other acts of love.

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