I've known Molly for about seven years. We met through a pen-pal organization online. We became friends, but I've never actually met her. I did call her once out of the blue just to surprise her. It was fun and quite enjoyable, hearing her gasp and laugh and yell "Monica!" in disbelief over the phone line. She was not one to hide emotion. It made my day; and I think it made hers, too. Over the years I've often thought of planning a short visit to "Moonshine Road" in Pennsylvania, where she lives, to have a girls' weekend and really get to know each other better. Molly died on Thanksgiving Day.
Molly loved her son. And she loved her cats. And her garden, from which emerged some fine, down-home Pennsylvania cookin'. I could almost smell her creations when she described them in letters. She loved to cook and camp and was a great organizer, always in charge of some event or another, like the yearly dinners to make money for the Jonestown fire department. Such a kind soul, she was.
She had her share—maybe more—of heartache, suffering many physical and emotional illnesses, struggles of one kind or another. Through our letters, we allowed each other to rant and rave and cry, to be human, to be ourselves. And she loved my poetry. She trusted me with her most personal demons, and though I cried over her letters many times, I always looked forward to them, because they gave me an opportunity to pray with her and for her, to encourage her, to help her know God, laugh with her, to think about and examine the angels and demons in my own life, and let Molly know she was a person of worth, that I considered her a gift in my life.
No, we never met, but she called me "friend", and my life has been richer for the knowing of Molly. Her unexpected passing has left a void in my life. And much sadness. But there are no "I wish I would have..." moments—except for, maybe, having a chance to answer her last letter—no being sorry I did not respond to her or become more involved. There are no thoughts of "if only...". We do not know the day nor the hour (Matthew 25:13), and I am thankful I did not hesitate to engage her, to get to know her, to express love and friendship.
Eternal repose and blessed memory, my friend. May you now know the peace you craved during your life on earth.
I had a friend once. Her name was Molly.
Our daily bread
Is not food alone
But that which nourishes the soul.
It is the very manna that falls from heaven
And seasons our lives, filling the hungry
With the sweetness of an embrace,
The richness of a kind gesture,
A hearty smile.
It is the cool, clear water
Flowing from the heart no longer a rock,
Quenching our thirst for love,
Giving us purpose
And a reason to believe.