Jul 31, 2009
I just picked up a batch of new stickers, so if you struck out in the last few days, now's your chance to get some. Both logos, the Shaka and the Fist are available, and we're now offering them in a really good electric blue. In another few days, we'll be adding some big ones too.
Jul 28, 2009
Yesterday, Jennifer Birch ran the San Francisco Half-marathon for Molly, and generated some money for the Molly Fund in the process. Her run was trackable here, but it seems it now only has an end-point from the race. Anyway, here's a recap of her experience:
Like so many people, I never had the privilege to meet Molly in person. However, having hung on Buck’s every word through the CarePages site, I feel like I know her. I have a feeling I would have been lucky to have known her.
Yesterday, I ran the San Francisco half-marathon in her honor, as well to help raise awareness and donations for The Molly Fund. I have been training for this race for a while, well before we got the news about Molly’s cancer back in February, but something about this day, this race, felt right to run it for Molly, as if she was my intent all along.
Like most runners, I have my routines and well-honed quirks. Prior to race day, I try to plan as best I can for the best possible outcome but inevitably, something will come up to remind you that it’s not really all about you. Molly graced me with a few of these moments yesterday that I would like to share here.
I planned in advance to stay with a friend in the city the night before to make it easier on everyone when it came to getting me to the start line early. I forgot to bring along food, so I asked my friend if she had some bread and peanut butter for the morning. “Oh yeah, it’s in the fridge, help yourself tomorrow.” The first thing I saw the next morning, when up at dawn, alone, quietly trying to fix my fuel-up, was a jar of almond butter emblazoned with the brand name “MOLLIE” staring back at me when I opened the fridge. Even with the spelling misnomer, I smiled and thought to myself “This is going to be a good day. Let’s do this.”
Later, after I was dropped off at the start area in Golden Gate Park, I was looking over the lake, taking in the beauty, trying to calm my nerves a bit, possibly mumbling to myself…a flock of birds lifted up out of the lake and flew directly over me in perfect formation. I looked at the sky in awe, smiled and said a quick “Thanks” to Molly for the reminder that she was around, watching over me.
The next part was the best and the hardest. At some point a few days earlier when I created my music playlist for this race, I had a song on there I listened to during training that I was just not sure of. As I thought it over, I decided to keep it – it’s a bit sad, but the words and imagery are beautiful and made me think of how I was running for Molly. I always set my playlist to shuffle so I never know what order the songs will come. This song arrived at a moment that I thought maybe I might skip it to get on to something faster to help me through a tough spot. I thought about it for a few seconds and decided, “Nope. I’ll just take a moment during this part of the run and reflect on the reason I am running today: for Molly”… The words of the song came… “I will race you to the waterside..” and at that very moment, I emerged from a tunnel in the park, and looked to my left at the most beautiful waterfall I think I have ever seen. I have been in this park a lot and I have never seen this waterfall before right then. It took a lot to maintain my composure at that moment. I am afraid, actually, that I really didn’t for a good few minutes. Luckily, with the Molly sign I had pinned to my back, I think people understood that I had more than just an individual purpose that day. Thank you, Molly, for that reminder and for giving me wings to finish my race.
Jul 25, 2009
I got up early, before the sun had risen, and went surfing this morning. I saw the sunrise and it was beautiful - only lasting for a few brief minutes before disappearing behind the clouds. Mat paddled out a few minutes later and I mentioned the sunrise. Mat said that he took a photo of it....
I think of Molly often - a zillion times throughout the day - but seeing the sunrise this morning made me think of the wonder and beauty of Heaven. Heaven is glorious, and I immediately had a vision of Molly and I felt myself smile.
A little while ago I was pushing Kieran on the swing, and Kieran asked me if we could go to Heaven today and see Molly because he misses her. Mommy and I miss her too, buddy. We miss her so much that just the mention of her name makes me cry sometimes.
I have been surfing a lot these last few weeks and spending many sessions sharing waves with my friends - good friends as well as guys and gals that I only know from spending time in the water. Condolences are appreciated, but you don't need to express your sympathy because it's not needed...I can see the pain you feel for us in your eyes and I thank you for your good thoughts.
I can't begin to describe to you what it feels like to lose a child. We have all experienced loss, we have all grieved for someone whom we have loved and lost, but losing a child is having to endure far worse than any pain imaginable. I feel as though I have lost a part of myself. There is an emptiness inside of me that paralyzes me from time to time, and it strikes at any given moment and I begin to cry. I have shed tears for my friends that have died, for my mother and mother in-law, and for my grandparents when they passed away, but the tears that I cry for Molly cripple me. But I am healing because I can sense that I'm getting stronger.
Chris, a surfer who I don't know well, and I were walking out of the water today and he mentioned that his daughter's name was "Molly." I know that I am gaining strength because I didn't crumple to my knees when he mentioned that to me. All I said was, "Molly is a beautiful name."
Molly, much like this mornings sunrise, is beautiful. I love you, baby, and we all miss you....
Jul 24, 2009
It's been a long week of rebuilding, but the site is finally ready. Things have moved pretty quickly in the last few weeks, we had set out to start this project a while ago and it didn't get too far. Spending time with Buck, Meighan, and Molly at CHB early in July brought home how important this was to do, and how we needed to find more ways to support the Rowlee family. We pretty much built the site that weekend, and it was thrown together. A week later, we received the heartbreaking news that Molly had passed away and already it was time to update the site. Rather than change what was there, it made more sense to do it right, and that's what is launching now.
It's been an amazing community of friends that has powered the Rowlees through this experience, and hopefully this can be a place to continue that support. There are two main areas still being built out - community message boards where you can leave messages or discuss anything relevant, and a photo section. I'm hoping people can contribute photos to help populate it, and I'll post some updates on how to do that soon.
While Buck, Meighan, and Kieran have had a long journey already, this is just the beginning. The hope is to build the Little Miss Molly Foundation into something larger. The fundraising here has started as a means to help the Rowlees cover their significant bills, but this will evolve into a way to support other families facing the same challenges. The dust hasn't even settled, and Buck is already focused on how to give back the same level of support that he's received, and the need he's seen first hand from other families struggling to pay the daily parking at the hospital or to cover the gas expense to get there. Future events are already being planned, and we're hoping all of you can be a part of that.
We're figuring this out as we go, so if you've got any input, don't hold back. Buck now has access to this blog area, and will have the ability to post messages here. The CarePages are incredibly well-written, but it's time to close that chapter and start a new one. If you haven't read the CarePage updates, you really should. Sign up is quick, and it will make you re-evaluate everything that is important in your life, guaranteed.