Finding Hope - Molly and Chris
Molly and Chris are Bostonians with a wonderful life in a historic, vibrant area. Life was good. They decided to expand their love by starting a family. Little did they know what challenges that would present. After too many disappointments they decided to stop trying; take a vacation, and move on with their lives. As often happens, that's when the miracle occurred.
In her sixth month, Molly learned that the baby had a congenital heart condition. Unfortunately no human is allowed to write their own script. Nature and circumstance does that for us. Molly and Chris had a choice. They opted for courage, strength and action rather than regret and despair. We can't control all the circumstances of life but we can control our response.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Faith isn't a cure but it helps. Chris and Molly put their faith in the wisdom of their medical team. They accepted prayers and spiritual guidance from all, especially Molly's aunt and uncle. Hope not only survived her birth and early surgery, but has thrived. She has given hope to every doctor, friend and associate who knows her story.
With renewed strength Molly and her husband decided to try again. There second conception (Mireya) was successful but in an unheard of circumstance the same heart abnormality occurred at the six month mark. They were only the third parents in the English speaking world to have two children with this disease having no genetic markers before conception. At least they knew more than before, but that didn't make the concern or need for prayer any less.
Through these trials, what has impressive Molly's Aunt Liz and Uncle Dave the most is her strength and resolve. Chris and Molly have maintained a solid, supportive relationship. Molly never blamed God nor asked Why me? It's hard when folks complement her strength or suggest that God sends special children to strong couples. Molly knows that God neither caused her girls' condition nor does she expect that her family deserves a miracle any more than another family. She knows the day to day struggle that others don't see. A small segment of her face book post says it all:
Reya is 2.5 and 10 months post-op from surgery #3 but has had three caths and 2 vocal cord procedures since. Hope is almost 4.5 and almost 4.5 years post-op from her only surgery, with one on the horizon at some undetermined time. So many people have commented how brave and strong we were during these times - you just have to be. There’s no choice.
But the aftermath is where it really gets hard. People innocently ask how you are doing? I have a hard time answering this question because sometimes I don’t know. Outwardly, on paper, we’re good. Hope and Reya look normal, they act normal, and we strive to treat them normally. But the reality is, we are left here picking up the pieces. It’s hard to explain.
Recovering from being strong because it takes a lot of energy to be strong, which you don’t realize at the time. I probably suffer from PTSD. I know Hope does. Silly things trigger me, like the sound of an automatic paper towel dispenser (they’re installed in every inpatient room) or the smell of Castile soap. I see an ambulance and get chills, and can’t go to certain parts of the Boston area, like the Fresh Pond Rotary, without thinking of Reya’s first December in and out of the hospital every few days… (for more information about Hope, Mireya or CHD go to Molly's Facebook Page
Molly and Chris have accepted their new normal of parenthood and have aggressively taken steps to educate themselves and others about the issue. They are active in fundraising and awareness programs and will participate in any professional study that will help her children and others. Attached is a link to a video about their family and Molly's dedication to marathon running. She finds her spiritual center while running.
Since I did not interview Molly or Chris, it would be inaccurate of this author to definitively state that this story has brought the parents closer to God or changed their faith. The faith and understanding in this story to date lies with Aunt Liz and Uncle Dave, who are members of Hope and have a strong and active faith. They also have faith in the prayer warriors who have been there through every request.
Every believer can see the Hand of God in this story. It may be in the skill of the surgeons; the progress in helping these children or bringing folks a bit closer to faith. As intensely involved as Chris and Molly are in the lives of their children, they may be too close to see it now. Daily life is too exhausting to contemplate life's lessons.
Every life has a purpose and whether you have a long or short time on this planet, whether you have a relatively smooth or challenging journey, you mean something; you are part of God's plan. Molly and Chris have already left their footprints on the hearts of many. Hope and Mireya have done the same.
A final Face book quote from Molly "We go back to normal life but still have to juggle our medical life, in tandem. Heart family life is forever. Sometimes it is all consuming, sometimes it coexists with normal life, but it never goes away and never will."
Let us all pray that they will be comforted by not only the miracle of their lives but the positive, learning effect this has had on their community at large. Pray for the continued strength of this wonderful family.
- Jim Randazzo
Finding Hope within a Community of Faith
Never give up on God even when it seems hopeless