Thursday night, June 19, little 7 day old Molly Ann Mutz, daughter of Rebecca (Rainey) and Jake Mutz went to be with her Creator. Thursday morning, I sent an email out to share her moving story with you through the eyes of FamilyLife’s President and, more importantly, Molly’s grandpa, Dennis Rainey. If you had a chance to read that heart wrenching story, I thought you might want to read Dennis’ follow up journal entry to us this morning as he reflected on Molly’s short life, the power of God to move in the midst of the pain and that without a relationship with Christ, something like this would be impossible to accept or handle. So, here’s Dennis’ reflection.
As we left the hospital, thunderstorms had blown up over the mountains resulting in a dazzling sunset splashing platinum gold shafts of light all over the Rockies. The light behind the clouds was brilliant. It was as though the sun was declaring, Magnificent Molly is home! What a homecoming it must have been-saying good bye and letting her leave this earthly home was one tough assignment for a young mother and father and a couple of families that had become hopelessly attached to this fragile little girl.
The Scriptures declare, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” That verse challenged our faith all day long, but it was nonetheless a day ordered by God’s sovereign hand of love and mercy.
Jake and Rebecca spent nearly all morning with Molly. As we arrived, Beth, Molly’s nurse and an angel herself, told us that Molly’s vital signs were slipping. Her little heart was racing at over 170 beats per minute and she was receiving 100 per cent pure oxygen, yet, her oxygen saturation level in her blood stream was down to 80. She was losing color. The nurse told us that it was Molly’s way of telling her parents, “it’s time for me to leave you and go home to heaven.” I am weeping as I write these words, none of us wanted Molly to leave.
Around noon, Rebecca and Jake honored all of us as grandparents by giving us the honor and privilege of holding Molly and gave us a moment to say good bye. None of us expected we’d get that treat. We didn’t want to rob them of one moment with their precious daughter.
Barbara got to be first. It was quite a maneuver to make sure all the wires and tubes that were supporting Molly’s life didn’t get tangled, but finally there she was in her arms, Mimi’s granddaughter. Barbara kept saying how much of an honor it was to hold this little princess of the King. She held her close and cooed words of love and admiration over her beautiful face. Smiles and tears mingled.
Jake’s parents soaked all of her they could in and when it was Bill’s turn, he stroked her face, tenderly whispered his love for her and shared his favorite Scriptures with her. Pam beamed as she gently rocked Molly and sang “Jesus Loves Me” to her. Both Bill and Pam just held her, kissing her face, holding her little hands and weeping as they said good bye.
As Molly was placed in my arms she felt so warm, just like every other newborn. I tried to sing to her and I doubt that she recognized “Jesus Loves Me” as I choked out the words through tears.
Jake who was video-taping, asked me, “Papa, why don’t you tell Molly a story, one of your ‘Speck People’ stories?” I have to tell you that ‘speck stories’ are adventure stories of tiny little people and equally tiny little creatures who live in a make believe microscopic world, facing any number of challenges that demand courage and faith. Our kids were enthralled with these tiny people stories and now I am telling them to my grandkids. The stories always take the Speck People to the very edge of danger—and then I close, by saying, “And you’ll have to wait until tomorrow night to hear the rest of the story.” My grandkids love these ‘continue’ stories. (honestly, I’m not all that good at it—I just make it all up as I go.)
So here’s Jake asking me to tell a story—and I respond to Jake, “You aren’t going to ask me to do that, after I’ve just blubbered my way through a simple song like “Jesus Loves Me”, are you?” Jake was joined by Rebecca in saying a resounding yes-they wouldn’t let me off the hook.
So Rebecca and Barbara surround me as I held little Molly, looked into her face and began my story. A Speck grandfather and his Speck granddaughter went fishing for tiny speck fish. My story was less than 60 seconds long and I looked up into Rebecca’s face and she had the biggest grin, dimples and all. She was loving the moment. As I concluded my story, I told Molly, “the Speck grandfather and granddaughter took their fish and ate them, and then they encountered something that you would never expect or believe—and—you will have to wait until I get to heaven to hear the rest of the story!” At this point I was sobbing, but I got the words out—and Rebecca and Jake started laughing. I will never forget the look pure joy on this young mom’s face.
Rebecca’s laughter has always been contagious and I too began to really laugh. One other detail of importance is that all of us had been gingerly holding Molly, afraid that the stress of handling her might be more than her little body could handle. Jake and I looked at the heart and oxygen monitor to see if our hearty laughter had stressed her system, but the opposite was happening-they were going up! Her oxygen saturation which had been at 80 shot up to 92, then 94, 97, 98, 99—we just kept laughing and her oxygen level went to 100 per cent, which it hadn’t been in 24 hours. All four of us cheered with raised arms like at a football game. It was a moment of sheer delight and mystery. A small thing, perhaps? Yes, no doubt. But in the valley of the shadow of death, God gave us laughter.
Christians are the ONLY people who can laugh in the midst of such a crisis without despair-we KNOW where we are headed. Heaven is certain because of what Jesus Christ did for us through His death for our sins. Because He lives we who believe have the hope of life after death. If a person places faith in Christ for forgiveness of his sins, surrenders his life to Him, then he can be certain of heaven too. It’s the ultimate reason why death is different for a true follower of Christ. And it’s why we could laugh as our beloved Molly was about to leave us.
Laughter stopped and the tears flowed again as I was told it was time for me to say good bye. Rebecca was now holding Molly. Barbara and I knelt beside her as I read her my good bye letter:
I just met you-I feel cheated.
I don’t want to say good bye.
I know I’ll likely see you in a couple of decades or so-in light of eternity, it won’t be long, really.
Still I don’t want to say good bye.
You will always be My Molly, my granddaughter.
I’m really sad that I won’t be getting to spoil you
with a doll,
or go sneak chocolate,
or take you on ice cream dates,
and eat chocolate pie and pudding.
Laughing all the time at what your mommy and daddy would say if they knew what we were doing.
I don’t want to say good bye.
Your 7 days sure brought a lot of joy to your mom and dad’s face-
I’ve watched them drink you in with their eyes, kiss you from head to foot, stroke and caress you.
Your parents loved you well-God couldn’t have given you better parents. Courageous parents.
They have loved you with a sacrificial love that only a very few little girls like you ever get to experience.
Because it hurts their hearts so much,
Oh, how I really don’t want to say good bye.
And so, Sweet Molly until that day in heaven
When we will celebrate the Greatness of our God together,
(then we will go sneak chocolate and go on an ice cream date)
I MUST say good bye.
Good bye Molly Ann.
I love you,
Molly Ann Mutz
June 13, 2008-June 19, 2008
We cannot Lord, Thy purpose see
But all is well that’s done by Thee.