Dear Friends and Family,
When Mollie was here physically, I could have stayed by her side and never tired of holding her hand. It was as if I had laser-focused energy that was inexhaustible. There were three of us providing her caregiving and team tagging to make sure she was never alone and that all her needs were attended. We were: Mollie’s husband, David Fiddler, her sister, Shannon, and me – her Mom/Mommy. Before Mollie’s spirit separated from her body and went to heaven, my batteries were inexhaustible. After that moment of departure, my batteries shut down. They stopped. Dead. For days, I sat and stared with tears flowing – as salt water into the oceans. How could I possibly plan her funeral and celebration of life.
Before Mollie died, she said she wanted a funeral mass – preferably at St. Jude Church – where she spent her teenage years as part of their youth group. She had directed some beautiful Easter pageants there. Then she told me that she wanted her reception to be in a venue where her friends could gather. She said: “Mom, my friends will come, and they will want to have a space where they can express themselves.”
So, there I was with “dead batteries.” How could I help make that happen? The answer clearly was that when Mollie left us, she stayed in “director’s mode.” I felt her nudges telling me whom to contact. I asked her godparents, Rusty Browne Bianchii and Jerry Bianchi to take care of the church. My cousin, Roxanne Ballard said: “God help the priest who would refuse Mollie’s red-headed godmother.” Mollie had already asked her sister, Shannon, to do her eulogy. I knew that I didn’t need to own that; Shannon would honor her sister. I also knew we should have slide shows, videos, photos. There was no question that Matthew Vire should take charge of that and the program for the day. Mollie knew that Matthew would make it happen. Matthew made this effort his vocation for weeks. His love and devotion to Mollie were worthy of holding up to the light and saying: “Love looks like this.” Thank you, Matthew, for everything you did to honor Mollie. I personally never gave it a second thought. I knew that if Matthew was in the driver’s seat, and I could stay in “batteries not recharged yet” mode.
Then, I called Carol Oz Bloom, and the very sound of her voice made me know that all would be handled. What comfort she provided! She got in touch with Dan Koetting and Eileen Kearney at the University of Denver – Colorado to secure the black box theater as a venue for Mollie’s reception. Then, my lovely cousin Rox and her husband, Robert Ballard, took care of the wine and coordinating the caterer. Other wonderful friends helped set up the room – Heather Burns Anderson, Craig Skinner, Chris Finn, and many more including lighting people.
They built it, and they came. They came in frigid temperatures and biggest snow storm of the year. Some couldn’t come because flights were cancelled and passes were closed, but others came, and oh my God, all of them honored Mollie. The day was perfection – including the eulogy she requested from her sister, Shannon, the expression from her friends, family, and their children. It made one pretty happy to be alive and know that the most important thing at every moment of the day was the love connection with each other.
Mollie’s Celebration of Life was directed by her. Her friends and family listened and honored her on her birthday 12-17-16. Well done, friends and family — very well done!
The words: “thank you” sound so inadequate, but those are the words that we have available for expression in this realm. So, I humbly say: thank you to all of you who loved and honored my darling daughter, Mollie. Abundant blessings!
Annell (aka Mollie’s Mom)