Where’s Molly?

Do you remember these popular books of the 1990s?  Waldo, an individual adventurer, is “lost” in the midst of chaotic surroundings.  I used to enjoy trying to discover which red-and-white striped image was the trademark hat of Waldo.  Today, however, I am not sure that I would enjoy this search.  Today, this elusive question makes me consider that perhaps Waldo does not enjoy this anonymity but rather is overwhelmed by it.  This is, at least, how I feel.

Life has been speeding by these past two weeks and I feel as though I have become lost in the fray.  Where’s Molly?  or more appropriately, Who’s Molly?  This morning I will officially say good-bye to my mom at a memorial service.  The role of Molly the Daughter is now retired.

This morning at 3:11AM Maebrynn Grace was born and the role of Molly the Grandmother began.  Somehow the adage, “You’re only as old as you feel” seems a stretch right now.  I feel 35 — yet the mirror, and the new title, tell me otherwise.

It is a day full of conflicting emotions, and yet no matter how I respond it will not be appropriate.  I should cry for my mother – somehow that will make others feel better.  But the truth of the matter is that I believe my mother is in a far better place – free from pain, sickness, and worry.  That sounds wonderful to me – not sad.  A new baby has been welcomed into this world – my baby has given birth to a baby – and I should be filled with joy and excitement.  No one seems to understand my hesitant stance.  I feel as though others judge my reserved demeanor as insensitive and uncaring.

My daughter was hospitalized last Wednesday with toxemia; relatives starting arriving on Friday to help clean out Mom’s apartment.  I have spent the past three days sorting and packing and pitching and reminiscing and preserving.  The role of Molly the Organizer has been in full gear – but that will come to an abrupt halt this evening as everyone returns to their hometown and I somehow must try to return to a normal routine of Molly the Teacher.

I had enjoyed some dream time last week by surfing the net for a Parisian vacation retreat.  I actually found one – and it was available for dates that work in my summer schedule.  Molly the World Traveler was alive and well and looking forward to a relaxing get-away that would include writing in literary cafes and absorbing beautiful works of art in the Musee d’Orsay.

But over the weekend the car engine light appeared and the mechanic said that the cost of repairs far outweighs the value of my PT Cruiser.  So Molly the Pragmatic decides to put Paris on hold in favor of a working vehicle.

Molly the Mother has tried to help manage the drama that is an inevitable part of a high school senior, but emotions are raw and patience is at a premium.  Just making sure that there is enough toilet paper in the house and milk in the frig is a challenge.

So as I get dressed in my black dress to head out and greet a newborn and say a final good-bye, I question if I really know who Molly the Person really is.


  • bermudaonion

    Oh Molly, I'm so sorry you're having to go through all of this all at one time. I know your emotions must be conflicting and on edge. I am confident that things will get better and you will rise above the fray.

  • Lisa

    Oh, Molly, what a roller coaster of emotions you have been on. You are so right that your mother is in a better place. But it's still hard to lose a parent, especially a mother.

    I hope your daughter is doing better and congratulations on the new baby. You will soon enough find that the idea of being a grandma has grown on you and I'm sure you'll be great at it!

  • Lu @ Regular Rumination

    Molly… this was some seriously beautiful writing. I'm so sorry that life is not easy right now, but I hope you get to go on that Parisian vacation soon. Congratulations on being a grandmother. And I know it's hard, but you have to grieve the way you will grieve. No one should pressure you to grieve any other way… they should understand. I'm sending lots of love your way.

  • Liz

    Oh, my dear Molly:) I would say that you're all these beautiful contradictions and more! I have really enjoyed our time with you and look forward to more adventures in the future. Here's to living these beautiful lives we've been given, right?:)

  • Anonymous

    What a whirlwind of emotions and duties all smashed together into such a short period of time! Your head, heart and body must be spinning. Do you wonder what your score would be on one of those "stress" level tests – you know the ones where you check off life events and then determine if you are calm, stressed or in orbit? LOL

    It's a lot to take in and process at one time. I'm thrilled that your new grandbaby is here. I'm sorry about your Mom, but I do think she is in a better place and totally understand your feelings in that regard.

    Having been through the wringer myself, I can tell you that this too shall pass. You'll get your balance again and feel like Molly, the woman, the reader, the blogger, the person. Life will settle down and one day you'll take a deep breath and think, OK, I'm OK now. 🙂


  • Beth F

    Molly the person will continue to change and grow and it's okay to not quite know her through the transitions.

    You have so much going on you are probably working on automatic. You'll find a moment in the coming weeks to take it all in and face the future as the new you.

  • Michele at Reader's Respite

    Oh Molly, everything changes so fast, doesn't it? Joy and tears. And it all becomes overwhelming so fast. I'm learning, with age, that despite the cliche, things do indeed happen for a reason. I think I'm learning to "let go," and it's starting to feel freer. Deep breath, face one day at a time, and know what will be, will be. You're an amazing person and the pieces will indeed fall into place.

  • Staci

    I wish I could give you a hug Molly. You put your emotions so well into words. I can feel your pain but also how you don't feel comfortable enough to just be you. I agree with you that your mom is in a better place..there's no need for sadness. Be MOLLY and embrace your life!

  • Catherine Ensley

    But you certainly do know who you are. If you didn't, you wouldn't be able to express your conflicting emotions about your various roles so eloquently. This post, in addition to what is happening in your life on this day, is simply amazing.

    If people are judging your responses as wrong (and how many are, really?), don't worry about it. You know what you're feeling inside, and whatever you show to others IS appropriate. It's more appropriate than hiding your true feelings, IMO.

    It will get better; life will settle down again. It's no wonder that you're feeling the things that you are. Take a deep breath and ride it out. Hugs, Molly.

  • Sandy Nawrot

    I feel I am in your skin when I read this. I mean, not really because my oldest is 13, but just in general, you are being pulled in so many different directions. And I know that you will handle it all with grace, in the Molly way. But if I could just whisper something for your back-burner…please let Molly the woman have her time too. I am Sandy the frugal but I really REALLY wish you would find a way (have a garage sale, a bake sale, something) to go to France. You need this in the worst way. Now more than ever before.

  • Nise'

    Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully. Allow yourself to have days to just be what you are right then and plan to have it change in the next hour or two. Thoughts and prayer are with you and your family.

  • Beth

    You are definitely someone who inspires me. To speak so honestly during a difficult time is amazing. My heart goes out to you and your family and I believe that as long as you continue to be so honest with yourself you will be just fine. Better than fine.

    My thoughts are with you.

  • Jenners

    You are all of those Mollys and none of them exclusively. You're going through quite an intense time. I could see why a Parisian escape would be needed!

  • Kathleen

    I agree with Jenners. You are all of these Mollys. I hope things will settle down for you soon and you will get a break from the life altering events. I'll be thinking about you and praying for you and your family.

  • Alyce

    That much change, all at one time, is enough to overwhelm anyone and cause them to pause and re-examine. I hope that things fall into place easily for you as you face this reorganized life.

  • Wendy

    Oh Molly – I hear the pain in your words. You have experienced the highest of highs (a new granddaughter) and the lowest of lows (losing someone you loved) all in the space of a few days. No wonder you feel out of step and a bit lost in your skin. Give yourself some time, my friend…you're still in there. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for easier (and less stressful) days ahead. *hugs*

  • Belle Wong

    Molly, you've been going through so much, all at the same time. Lots of different transitions – most people would find it challenging to cope with just one of the experiences you've gone through. Right now you're feeling lost, but give yourself time and a lot of love, too. You're doing wonderfully, and yes, you will find yourself again. Sending you a big cyberhug.

  • Silke

    Wow, Molly, your life is beyond full at the moment with the "big stuff." No wonder you feel you are getting lost in the fray! I will keep you in my thoughts and I know that you'll find back to yourself, to Molly the Person! Much love, Silke

    Oh, and congrats on the little grand daughter!! She is so sweet!

  • Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

    I see so many of my favorite bloggers have already been by to voice their words of consolation and congratulations. These help so much, I think. And I add my words to the congregation assembled here, words offering encouragement and comfort and strength. You know what they are.

    I'd love to share Paris with you and I'd love to hear your thoughts about New York. Let's try to do this by e-mail, if that's okay. Here's mine: debnance at gmail dot com.

  • Bree

    I am so sorry about the death of your mother. I agree with your thoughts that she is in a better place and in death she released the suffering she had to endure. My grandmother went through the same process. Hurry up, no wait, she's ok, hurry up, no wait, a vicious cycle.

    Congratulations on being a grandmother. That's exciting news and hopefully there will be some bond connecting the baby and great grandmother in the future.

    Yippee to France. I want to go too. You're online classes look interesting too.

    Eventually life will settle down again and you will find Molly the Person.

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