Just before the Confirmation Retreat started yesterday (see previous post), I received a phone call about Molly Summers. I had given her First Communion less than a year ago, while at the same Mass also Baptizing her little brother (at least I remember it being a brother?) Molly is a special child, who also happens to be special needs. I cannot remember what exactly the diagnosis was, but she was bound in a wheelchair and was not very communicative, but her mom was insistent that she receive communion, which I fully supported. I know it sounds clicheish, but it was one of the most touching things that I have done as a priest. I tried to say at the end, through my own emotions, that Molly is a special child and a unique gift to the world from God. I knew this because I also have a niece who is special needs. Tristyn has ACC (Agenesis of the Corpus Colosum) in which the center point of the brain (which allows the left and the right halves of the brain to communicate) didn't form. In my dealings with Tristyn, which Molly's mom shared, they both taught all whom they came into contact with how to love. They have an implicit trust and awareness that God is there to protect, guide and nourish them, for they cannot do it themselves. Yes, it is not easy on the family, but the family is enriched by the gifts that these two girls are for them.
Sadly, God asked for his gift of Molly back early Sunday morning. As the family awoke, they found Molly unresponsive. After trying CPR and transporting her to the hospital, they knew. Please pray for Molly, for her parents and siblings, and for all who knew her. As I mentioned at the Mass where she received her First Communion, children like Molly and Tristyn are called by the world 'burdens.'
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Children like these two are blessings who teach the rest of us how to live each day to its fullest.
Molly, the world is darker for not having you in it. Please take our needs with you as you join Jesus in his Heavenly Home. Be freed from the confines of the wheelchair that held you, run and stretch your legs, and prepare a place beside you for those of us who are behind who love you and miss you.