Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Molly

Hi all,

Many of you know that Molly has MS and ended up paralyzed from the neck down. She has made a wonderful recovery to the point where she is now. Again most of you know about her comeback.... and then her comeback from not being able to see. She is strong. And these thing were in just the last 2 years.

I thought I would share a little something I wrote about her 4 years ago (before the blindness and MS... It is long but if you want to know Molly, it's short...

This is the Molly not many know:

I would like to tell you about someone special in my life - Molly. While I am the type to stand out front, Molly is very content to stand back and watch me make the dozens and dozens of Living History speeches in the course of our 35 year marriage. She chooses to stand back in the shadows… and happy to stay there. Molly is great as a helper and partner in everything (and I mean everything) with one exception. If the problem involves my bleeding… count her out. I’ll give you some examples.

Once many years ago, I was shot in the chest with a 22 cal rifle bullet. We had been walking in the field out by our home. We heard gunshots off in the distance. At one point, I felt a sting and burning sensation on my chest. I was wearing a yellow tee-shirt. I looked down, thinking a bee had stung me. A small bright red dot quickly formed into a bright red shirt from the blood. I told Molly to head to the house. She kept watching me and I kept telling her to get me to the house and I would guide her forward ahead of me trying to not let her see the blood.. Once at the house, I raised my shirt. She took one look and set down. She could not stand to see me hurt .. especially if I was bleeding. I went into the bathroom and examined the hole directly over my heart. The ricocheted copper-jacketed bullet had penetrated my shirt and into my flesh. A small bleeding hole was all that could be seen but I could feel the hard metal object in the flesh, against a rib bone. I gathered my `tools’ and commenced to cutting. A razor blade was used to enlarge the entrance wound opening. With my son and daughter’s help the bullet was removed. Both of my kids (10 and 13) watched and helped as the procedure was done. Molly sat on the couch with her head in her hands. I lived, the kids learned, and Molly made a full recovery. ;-)

I remember one time when I walked out on our porch and my `bad’ knee gave way. I fell head first into a `nose dive’ off the 2 foot high entrance and straight into an air conditioner placed there the day before on the ground.. My head found the only sharp edge on the item and it commenced to carving a lasting memory on my noggin. The two inch gash was just up into my hairline above my right eye.

Anyone who has ever had a cut on the face knows they always look worse than they are. A head injury bleeds profusely regardless of the size of the cut. I had a pretty good sized gash and it poured out my life’s blood, covering my face, my bare chest, and down to my blue jean shorts. I don’t mind telling you that I knew this was trouble .. not the cut .. but Molly. I had to go through her to get into the house. Holding my bleeding head, I barely opened the door and called her name. I waited a few seconds and added, “Honey, please bring me a towel” and I added for good measure, “I’m okay but I’ve cut myself”.

As soon as the words departed my lips, I knew that last part was a mistake. She came straight to the door, opened it and looked at me. She turned ghostly white, turned around and said, “Oh, I have to sit down”. And that was how it went. I walked through the house to the bathroom dripping blood on the floor and cleaned myself up. I probably needed 3 or 4 stitches but I’m not one much for going to doctors. I prefer to do it myself.

I placed `butterflies’ (tape) to hold the wound closed. I finished up, including cleaning the bathroom due to all the blood. My next job was Molly. I went in and she was sitting on the couch, wringing her hands. I took her in my arms and told her I was okay. She squeezed my neck so tight that my head couldn’t bleed anymore if it wanted to. She apologized to me over and over about not being able to help .. and I felt sorry for her. She wanted to help but blood coming out of me – well, she just couldn’t handle it.

Now you need to understand. This phobia of hers about my bleeding is as real a fear as a person who is afraid of snakes .. or spiders .. or of heights. Molly was not a `wimp’ by any stretch of the imagination. I have seen this woman clean her babies’ and grandbabies’ dirty diapers when I had to leave the room gagging. She’ll clean green, gooey snot off of any child and she’ll hold my head when I am throwing-up with a bad case of the flu. Molly’s tough. Never doubt that.

She has stood beside (not behind) me when I fought shoplifters in a mall and chased a kidnapper down a street who had stolen an infant. She has nursed me with 105 degree temperature and emptied my `bed pan’ when I was bed ridden. Molly never left my side while I lay in a `morphine induced’ comma in a hospital for 14 days. I take that back, I did wake up one time and she was gone. When she walked back into the room, (in my drugged state) I accused her of `running around’ on me. I made her cry. She told me she had been trapped in an elevator. I didn’t believe her. Morphine had a way of making a person act like a fool. And she forgave me… Later, I found that her elevator episode was the talk of the hospital in Austin Texas.

Another time she stood beside me when I was confined to a wheelchair for almost two years. She was there when I tried to get through the doors of our bank in my chair and there was a two inch concrete lip that I couldn’t get over. I became very anger and turned over in my chair (I wouldn’t let anyone help me – too much pride). I fell to the sidewalk, picked up the chair and threw it into the road. I crawled to my car and pulled up in to my passenger’s seat. Molly walked out into the street retrieved my chair and put it in the back. As we drove away, she reached over and patted me on the leg. I knew everything was going to be okay. The bank president came out as we drove away. Two days later Molly got a call from the bank. The concrete lip had been repaired to allow a wheelchair to enter.

She was braver than me when my surgeon told us that I never would walk again. And she stood tall and backed my decision to have surgery on my broken neck even though the chances were slim that I would live through it and even if I did, I ran a high percentage of being paralyzed from the neck down. Molly knew I would choose death over being bedridden for the rest of my life. She told me she would back anything I wanted to do. She was my strength and courage.

She stood tall beside me when we buried a child that no one else knew about for better than 10 years. It was a boy, a son who left us too early. A doctor would have said this was a miscarriage. The child was formed well enough that you could see his little finger nails and eyelashes. No, it was a death of a person .. a child .. our son.. His name IS James Mark Wilson. I took him into our wooded area and gave him a Christian burial.

Once we almost lost our Grandson, JD due to a Bronchitis blockage in his trachea. His breathing had stopped and I had to clear the blockage and breathe for him. I was working on JD while Molly drove the car toward the hospital, 12 miles away. I was busy doing what I had to do with JD and didn’t need to worry about traffic and stop signs and the like. Molly drove and I could not have asked or desired anyone else who could have done better. I have worked in the back of ambulances for many years with a professional driver at the wheel. Molly could have driven as well and safely as any run I had ever made. And it was her grandson dying in the back. I was awarded a `heroes’ award by the state of Texas and she got nothing. But I couldn’t have done it without her. She was the hero..

If I had been half the husband that Molly has been a wife to me, well I wouldn’t worry about getting into Heaven. God will judge me harshly for many things I have done in my life. But I don’t worry about Molly. I know God takes care of people like her. Molly has wisdom about her due to her life before she met me. She had a great Mom and Dad but her troubles started when she married her first husband during her senior year in high school. It is not for me to say the details but I laugh at people who claim they have had hard lives. Molly could teach them about hardships. With an abusive husband who was usually drunk, she cared for her two kids and protected them from the harms of the world. Sometimes, it cost her scars. Sometimes, she was pushed into deep water – Molly doesn’t swim. Between abuse, fear, and hot checks by husband, Molly lived in a `survive today’ world. Her life during that time would make a true `tear jerker’ movie but you’ll never hear her complain or talk about it. That was what was and this is now. But I will add for my own amusement I finally had the chance to whip his butt when we caught him sneaking up to our home. When it was over, Molly just smiled … and gave me a hug. Payback is a wonderful thing no matter how it comes about or by whom.

I have always been one to chase dreams. Many I found and some, I’m still looking for. Molly has always backed my decisions and chased the dreams with me. In many ways we still are and always will. To the top of the Rockies in Colorado to the bottom of a volcano in New Mexico, we continue. From tornados to floods to hurricanes, we continue. From her family’s homeland in Tennessee to my family’s homeland in Mississippi, we continue. From a 3-story home to living like `settlers’ in a tent at a pioneer village, we continue. From teaching the Kickapoo Indians in Texas to working with the Lakota Youth Council in South Dakota, still we continue. Life is an adventure but all adventures don’t have happy endings. I was working in a Pioneer Village and fell.

In that fall, I tore a muscle in my right shoulder. My left one was also torn in the same injury but would have to wait. After surgery, I didn’t think I could `clean’ myself in the bathroom and told Molly I probably would have to shower each time to maintain to decent hygiene. She didn’t bat an eye when she offered to help me; with paper or shower. I didn’t let her BUT SHE WOULD HAVE.

I live in constant pain and try hard to hide it from her. But sometimes it is a little more than I can hide. Every so often she will see I am having a problem with pain in my many joints. I have seen the tears in her eyes… and that hurts my heart more than the physical pain I feel. She always smiles toward me and remorsefully says, “I’m sorry”. Molly is truly a good person.

She has, on her own, stood her ground for what she believes. She has put her life in serious danger to protect the ones she loves. And yes Molly fights for those who she doesn’t even know. And you’ll never hear her talk about it. Her generosity is as large as her heart. She used to carry our kids down to Wal-Mart every year to have each of our children pick a child from the `Angel Tree’ to buy a Christmas gift for. She taught our kids to have a heart toward those who do not have. And I swear there were times she spent more money on gifts for others than our own home. Our kids NEVER complained. And today our kids have passed on those values to our grandkids.

I remember Molly talking to a relative who thought he had a bad life. He had played the game of being a tough guy with the drugs, booze, and problems with the law. He had lived on the street and he wasn’t welcomed back into his family’s life. He ranted and raved about what a tough life he had had. He said no one had lived his kind of life; no one understood. I remember Molly just smiled and the two walked off to talk. Later the boy went home to his parents; changed. I have never asked Molly what she had said to him. And even if I did ask, she would probably just smile and give me a hug.

Molly is my partner in life and I cannot say that loud enough. She is a teacher who has a unique way of reading people. Her heart bleeds for those who are willing to learn and has very little patience for those with closed minds ... but she doesn’t give up on anyone. I have seen her fight to help people who never knew she was in there for them. Molly is one that does not take credit unless thrust upon her. She has the awards and certificates, and letters to prove it. But no one will see them … it’s not her way.

She was `awarded’ one of her Indian names because of her demeanor. Her adult name is `Peace Maker’. She had earned that name many times over. Her second name is `Many Horses’ and is a spiritual name. That name is in honor of her Cherokee ancestor who was bought for seven horses. I would pay many more than seven horses for Molly any day.

Molly has always been my `partner in life’. The Mountain men used to have an expression that I think fits Molly and how I feel about her. They would say about a good partner who they trusted absolutely and without question, “You will do to ride the river with”. That’s how I feel about her. Given any situation, I have no doubt Molly will stand beside me. With gun, knife or tomahawk, she would be there. I guess I should add she has won Texas State competitions with all three of the weapons I mentioned.

I’m sure you wonder how I can feel so strongly about her if she can’t even help me if I’m bleeding. Well, if my life was truly in danger…… she would be there. This I know, because that very thing happened … many times.

I took on a radical group (I won’t use the name but YOU know them) in my front yard. When it got heated, I looked around and there stood Molly with a shotgun. Then there was the shoot-out when our car was being broken into. Molly stood beside me through the whole thing. Then there was the time our community had had a series of burglaries. Because of a phone call, we knew they WERE coming to our house. We loaded the guns and waited - side by side … but that’s another story for another day.


  1. What a great testimonial to a great lady! No wonder I thought Molly was a special person.....she IS!!!

    You two are a great team. Thanks so much for sharing.......and I can't wait for the burglar story!!! Hehe

  2. Well, I know now that I can't read your posts at work - I am literally sobbing. Between the two of you, you've done some living, and yet, you are two of the most positive people I have met (well, met online). Hopefully our paths with cross one day in person. Molly is a lucky lady to have you in her life, and I can tell that you feel you are lucky to have her. There are happy endings, after all.