“Molly” 6×6 oil on gessoboard $75 Buy Now SOLD
The beautiful little girl in this painting is the famous Molly. I’ve been hearing about her and her nine godmothers for years, but, a couple of days ago, I heard the story of Molly from her own mother, Karen, whom I’ve never met. I think Karen’s story is one that is hard to tell, and I’m so grateful to her for sharing it with me.
Karen had four daughters and became pregnant again (surprise!) at forty. She and her husband weren’t planning on having any more children, but Karen quickly adjusted to the idea. Perhaps this baby would be the boy her husband wanted.
Karen writes, “As the baby inside of me grew, my doctor recommended that I have amniocentesis, and, because of my age, I agreed; I thought everything would be fine, and I would be able to rest easy for the rest of my pregnancy. A few days after the test, my doctor called and said that my baby had Down Syndrome. The baby was also a girl, a blessing, really.”
You know that moment when everything changes? I can only imagine how shocking this news must have been for Karen.
“I was devastated,” she explains. “I immediately told my husband and my parents, thinking that I would receive the support and encouragement that I needed. Their immediate reaction was of shock and disappointment. They also felt extreme sadness for me. News of my baby with Downs spread quickly. My whole family became aware of this “tragedy” and the news also spread throughout the St. Dominic community [Karen’s home parish]…
I wanted this child more than anything. Yes, I was sad. I was grieving the loss of a child that I thought I was going to have.”
That line has been resonating with me– “grieving the loss of a child that I thought I was going to have.” I’m thinking of all the stories I’ve received so far, all the times in my own life and in others’ lives when we’ve had to redefine what something means after grieving the loss of what we expected. We craft and recraft our lives. Define and redefine.
Karen writes, “I had to make plans for a different journey, one that years later has proven to be truly a very special blessing full of joy and love beyond words. This baby was mine. I felt her heart beat, I felt her kick. I saw my belly grow. She was life– life that my husband and I created and was orchestrated by God. There was no choice for me. I would have this baby just as I had all my other children. No question!
That being said, as the weeks and then months went by, my husband and I grieved. Needless to say, it was a very difficult time for us. We were afraid– afraid of the future, afraid we were not capable of caring for this special child, afraid of what others might think…
Because of this difficult time, we turned to family and friends. I had made a group of friends through St. Dominic…There were ten of us, including me. Little did I know just how amazing this group of friends would prove to be! They saved me. Along with family, they gave me the support, encouragement and love that I needed. They also supported my husband and helped him to understand that “All will be well”.
I cried a flood. He cried a flood. My friends were there whenever we needed them. I thank God for them.
Fast forward– our baby was born, and she was this beautiful little girl. She did not have three heads, or scales, or an ugly tail.
She has had a beautiful, fun-filled, joyful, good life. She has blessed us all in ways I can’t describe. Her sisters adore her. My husband adores her. My family adores her. My friends adore her. I adore her. God is good!
Her name is Molly Quinn Eagan (her Dad’s name is Quinn). When Molly was baptized, it seemed fitting that I ask all nine friends who supported me during my pregnancy to be her godmothers. What a lucky little girl! And how lucky we are to have each other. We have since been labeled “The Godmothers”! and our bond has been cemented by Molly..I can’t imagine life without Molly. She has done more for my family than we have done for her. God certainly knew what He was doing. I thank Him for this precious gift He has given us. The good that has resulted from Molly’s life has been endless.”
And that’s Karen’s story. Grief so often becomes joy. Each story you send seems to convince me more. And, yes, I still need more stories 😉