Today it has been five months since Molly was born and went to Heaven. As in previous months on the 17th, I want to share how our family continues to honor and cherish the memory of our daughter/baby sister. Sharing here is therapeutic for me. Writing about Molly and my feelings related to her helps me to validate that our baby girl was real and from the feedback we have received, it seems that many of you also appreciate these monthly milestone reflections related to our Molly Marie and her legacy.
Last month I shared the painting that hangs in our upstairs hallway in honor and memory of Molly. As you might recall the painting is called “Magnolias on Longwood.” This month I want tell you about the beautiful tribute that Molly’s Godparents (my sister Meg and our soon-to-be brother-in-law Bill), who are pictured above, have done in their Goddaughter’s honor and memory. As I shared when telling you about our painting, magnolias will always have a special place in my heart because they were blooming at the time that Molly was born and went to Heaven. However, magnolias actually were special to me and my family long before Molly came into our lives. There was a magnolia tree in front of the house that my parents, my sister and I lived in before I was born until we moved when I was four into the house my parents still live in today. For this reason, Meg and I have shared a nostalgia for magnolia trees since our childhood.
Anyway, sometime around the time Molly was born and we asked Meg and Bill to be her honorary Godparents (they weren’t actually able/allowed to be in the operating room when she was delivered and baptized), they decided that they wanted to buy a new tree for the backyard at their home. Meg suggested a magnolia, in part because we had one in front of our family’s first house and in part because it reminds all of us of our baby girl Molly. It wasn’t long before they started referring to the tree they intended to purchase and plant in their yard as “Molly’s Magnolia.”
Meg was determined that Molly’s Magnolia would be as close to the kind that we had in front of our childhood home and that is pictured in “Magnolias on Longwood” as possible. This proved to be a challenge, as apparently that particular type of magnolia is not the most common kind sold at greenhouses and nurseries these days. However, Molly’s Godparents were determined and on July 27 (exactly two months before their wedding day, later this month), not long after they planted the tree in their backyard, we gathered together at Meg and Bill’s to place an honorary stone, pictured here, that they had made in dedication to their Goddaughter.
Sean got to help his Aunt Meg carry the stone out to Molly’s Magnolia that day and place it in front of the tree. We all look forward to watching it grow and bloom each spring as we remember our baby girl. It means a lot to us to know the various ways our family and friends have chosen to honor the memory of Molly, who we realize was more than just our daughter and baby sister… She was and will always be a granddaughter, niece, cousin, Goddaughter and friend to her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, Godparents and friends.
Thank you for your continued support, encouragement, kind words, thoughts and prayers. Many of you have inquired lately as to how I am doing and I appreciate your care and concern. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about and miss our Molly-girl. However I am finding that as times goes by the pain does seem to soften a little, which makes learning to live with out my daughter more bearable. I have been attending the monthly perinatal bereavement support group at the hospital where I delivered Molly and find it very helpful to be able to talk with other parents who have lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth and/or neonatal death. I also find visiting Molly’s grave site regularly (sometimes by myself and other times with Sean and/or Bob) to be comforting, as it is a tangible way to connect with and “care for” our baby girl.
With Sean having started his second year of preschool (which he loves) this month our family is returning to a more predictable routine. Though we had a wonderful summer together with lots of fun adventures, the routine seems to be good for all of us now. I have returned to teaching a weekly group fitness class in our neighborhood on Thursday mornings and participating in exercise classes most other mornings during the week. Getting back into shape has been very therapeutic for me and also has given me something positive and healthy to focus on as I work through my grief. I am also working slowly, but surely to get our home back in order after months of not making it a priority.
Two families that we are close with, Bob’s brother and our sister-in-law and neighborhood friends of ours, have welcomed baby girls into their lives over the past six weeks. It has been a great joy to meet these two sweethearts and to celebrate their births with their parents and siblings. We are grateful that they were both born into this world healthy and look forward to getting to know them as they grow in the months and years to come. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel sad at times and wonder about what might have been if Molly had lived to meet and play with her new cousin and her new friend, however I try to focus on the good that has come from Molly’s brief life here on earth and do believe that she will forever be watching over these two baby girls and all of us who love her so much from Heaven.
Thank you for reading and remembering our baby girl Molly on this five month milestone since the day she was born and went to Heaven. May God bless you and your loved ones today and always.