My friend Molly died last week. Every day in America an average of 6,760 people die. They die and we go on about our daily lives because death seems to be a natural part of life. On Thursday, Feb. 25, Molly breathed her last breath at 7 a.m. For the first time in 96 years, she had ceased to breathe and with that last breath Molly went home to be with the Lord.
There probably will never be a book written about Molly. She was a nurse and she had lived a good and wonderful life. She had started out as a British Subject and for a number of reasons unbeknownst to me, Molly came to our shores and became an American citizen.
I knew her through my church and enjoyed watching this delightful lady walk into the church with her gracious ways and her wonderful attitude and smile. She had a great wit and Molly was smart. She did not suffer fools to be sure. For years Molly conducted a ministry to the patients at the convalescent facility in Oakhurst. Molly would go each week and take flowers to the patients as well as sit with them and talk to them.
There came a time when Molly was older than many of the patients and yet she continued to do that weekly ministry. When she reached her 90th birthday, she realized it was time to allow somebody else to handle that ministry and she stepped away after another lady in our church agreed to take on that effort.
She quietly supported her church and a few charities in her own way and she enjoyed working each week with the ladies of the church in sewing items for the annual Martha’s Market Christmas Boutique.
Molly gave in to the realities of growing older and she began to use a walker. Her body was aging but not her mind or her attitude. On the Sunday before she died, Molly attended church and joined in on the fellowship hour afterwards. There was a Luau planned for Sunday, Feb. 21 to celebrate the pastor’s 65th birthday. Molly sat at a table with seven others, four of whom are wonderful children ranging in age from 6 to 12. The kids usually sat near Molly because they liked her and she enjoyed their company.
As she got out of the car, something happened and she was down and her friend who had driven her home called for an ambulance and Molly went to the hospital. She did not recover and her life here ended Thursday of last week.
I was serving as a substitute teacher in Mariposa when the text came that Molly had died. I shared my loss with the students and shared with them that a 96-year-old lady they had never met could still teach them a lesson or two.
Live life to the fullest and enjoy each day. Don’t gripe about your aches and pains because everyone has their own set. Enjoy one another and see the joy of life in children. Get smart and stay smart. Be charitable in a quiet way. Help others. Get older but don’t let your zest for living age.
That evening Carol and I talked about Molly and part of the discussion was the reminder of the realization that we never know when we will take our last breath and we don’t know when our friends or family members will take theirs. I made some phone calls that evening and the next day to say hello to folks I hadn’t contacted in a few months. I decided that I wanted to remind them that we need to cherish those around us because we don’t know when they won’t be around us.
The four kids at Molly’s table during the pastor’s birthday celebration didn’t have a clue that their friend wouldn’t be back in church again. They are young and much of their memories of Molly will evaporate with age, but I wager they will always remember that sharing time with an elderly friend is an awesome experience.
Take time this week to reach out and call that person you have been meaning to call. Send that note or drive over and greet them.
On that fateful Sunday, I happened to be the one to get her plate filled at the buffet line and when I checked on her later if she had had enough food she and we teased a little, and at the very end of the teasing she smiled her great smile and said to me, “You know I love you.” Little did I suspect those would be the last words from her that I would ever hear.
I said earlier there would probably never be a book written about her. We need books written about people such as Molly. Maybe we just need more Mollys.