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.