|Our daughters with Casey and our cat, Sammy|
Somehow when I think of healing, and acceptance, and working to "feed the good wolf" (see post "It's the One you Feed"), I think about my friend, Molly Smith. I first met her almost 22 years ago, just days after she was born. She would have fit neatly inside my two hands then - if I had been allowed to lift her out of her Plexiglas bassinet.
Molly was born too soon. It was weeks before her Mom and Dad could hold her, months before she could come home. The diagnosis of cerebral palsy came a year or so later. But it wasn't long after that that Molly began her career as a teacher - not of school, but of life. As one of her Mom's best friends, I have been privileged to have Molly in my life.
Molly greets each day and each person with a relentless optimism, and the certainty that though things can be challenging, very little of value is impossible. She excelled at her neighborhood high school (where she placed # 1 in her computer class, thank you very much); has skied down mountainsides and navigated boyfriend problems; hires and manages the young aides who assist her, attends a local college (never misses a class), and coordinates a busy social life via her omnipresent cell phone. (Good luck finding her home two nights in a week.) Ask her anytime "How ya doing, Molly?" and she will reply "I'm fabulous, thanks!" When the superintendent of her school system retired after more than 40 years as a teacher and administrator, he gave a farewell speech before a packed auditorium, in which he called Molly "the most inspiring person I've ever met". Molly's parents were in tears. Molly was mortified. (hey - what teenager wants the attention?)
|Molly, with brother Brenden and Dad, |
on the day Floyd joined the family.
Floyd may have tended more toward the "companionship" than the "service" in his later years (don't we all), but he truly seemed to "get" Molly...you know, the way some dogs just look you right in the eye and understand? His heart was gentle, kind and accepting. He and Molly were two "old souls" from the time they were born. Two old souls lucky enough to find each other.
When Floyd died, several years ago now, there was a hole in the family, and no desire to fill it. How could there be another Floyd? But gradually, as time passed, the tug of a good pet's companionship seemed tempting again. Molly's neighbor raised Labradoodles; might Molly want a puppy?
Well, at this writing, Molly's puppy is due to join the family right after Christmas. The only quandary: what to name him. Mary, the breeder, calls him Henry, and frankly can't imagine calling him anything else. Molly's heart is set on "Enzo", the hero of Garth Stein's book The Art of Racing in the Rain (Yes, you should read it). So...would it be Henry, or Enzo?
Molly's Mom, who's studying Italian, burst through the front door after class one night last week, and raced over to Molly. "Guess what?" she says, barely able to contain her excitement. "Enzo is Italian for...Henry!" Big smiles all around. Sometimes, things just turn out the way they were supposed to.
|Molly with her new Puppy, Enzo|
And Molly has found another old soul to teach.