Triumphs and Defeats

Friday, August 22, 2008

I absolutely love the Olympics. I always have. I love the spirit the Olympics brings. The coming together, the pride in country, the incredible athleticism. It is inspiring to say the least. I'm not sure which is more entertaining...sitting down and watching the Olympics, or watching Vic and I watch the Olympics. When Michael Phelps won his seventh gold medal by a fingertip, I'm pretty sure most of Park City could hear Vic screaming. Likewise, when Alicia Sacramone fell off the balance beam, then again stumbled on floor exercise, plenty of neighbors could hear me. (Did I swear?)

It got me thinking about their stories, their legacy.

Michael Phelps is INCREDIBLE. The most gold medals by any Olmpian? Truly Amazing. That is only part of his story. He was raised by a single mother. Where is his dad? He didn't win all gold medals in his first Olympics. He was diagnosed at a young age with ADHD. I don't know all the details, most of us only know what we see before us now--an athlete with stupendous ability. A champion. Eat, Sleep, Swim. That's his story, as far as I know. Again, it is incredible. What a legacy!

And what about Alicia? What will be the next chapter in her story? What about Nastia Luikin? How much did her parents sacrifice to leave Russia and come to America? What about women's volleyball champion Misty May who lost her mother in 2002 to cancer and spreads a little of her ashes on the court after each major win? Talk about stories.
To me, they are all champions.

And what of my story? Have I been defeated? Today marks three months since I said goodbye to the person I loved more purely, more intensely, than any other human being. My only child. And what kind of legacy am I creating? I think of the tragedy of that day. Seeing your child suffer and NOT BEING ABLE TO DO ANYTHING TO HELP HER is almost more than a heart can bear. The look in her eyes. Panic. They were locked on mine. It haunts me. I compare it to living through 9/11, and the recent earthquake in China where parents desperately looked for their children through the rubble. I am a tragedy survivor like them. What will be my story in the end? Will I fall off the beam? Will I win the gold medal?

As I watched these Olympic events unfold, and thought about the stories of our lives, I had a powerful thought. For me, it felt like inspiration. It has carried me through the past several days and empowered me. It was simply this:

"This is my story! The life I am living now is part of my story. I can't change it. Lucy died. Lucy DIED. That is part of my story. I couldn't help her, I couldn't save her. That is the story I am living now. But I choose to believe it was her time. I choose to believe it is all part of the plan. I choose to believe she is changing lives, saving lives. She is beautiful and talented and smart and she changed my life in more ways then I can even begin to describe. My husband is amazing. He is strong and good and loves being a father. He loves me. We love each other and have a good marriage. We will not be defeated. We will continue to learn from this and continue to have our hearts open and changed in deep and beautiful ways that most people may never experience or comprehend. We will go on. We will have more children, more joy, more experiences. We will do more than just be tragedy survivors. We won't just survive, we will thrive. We will write a beautiful and strong story. Lucy died. She is gone. I can accept and embrace this as my story and it can be a thing of beauty. Or I can deny my story and wish it weren't mine. This is my story! I am learning to embrace it. I want to create a legacy to be proud of despite our tragedy."

I count my every little triumph. Anything I do that requires me to be out of bed, and where I am enjoying life without being depressed is considered a triumph for me. Getting out of bed in the morning is a triumph. Going running. Functioning as Primary President. Cleaning my house. Teaching a voice lesson. Dancing my heart out. Going to an audition. Tomorrow I am running in a triathalon... Triumph! Here are a few more triumphs this summer:

Going to a Salt Lake Real Game with the Foote Family. Vic and I both love soccer (and together make a pretty mean team!) and we used to dream of Lucy playing the sport. Vic was convinced she would play in the world cup and took her to this same stadium to see Beckham play when Lucy was just a few weeks old. We cried a little at the game, but being there was a triumph for us.

Playing Rock Band with friends. Talk about defeat. Vic has no rhythm and is totally tone deaf. I have learned to accept this as part of our story. Love you, honey. My talent makes up for it and turns this into a triumph.

Visiting with a dear friend Katie Quinn whom I haven't seen in TWELVE YEARS. What a beautiful woman and what a beautiful story she is creating after the death of her brother and mother. Our visit was satisfying and filling.

Seeing old and wonderful friends at Carly's wedding and thouroughly enjoying myself! Blue-eyed beauties.

This is my story. I can be empowered by my story, or defeated. I hope I will triumph.


  1. Molly,
    We don't know one another, but I have followed your blog for months. I must post a comment and let you know that YOU indeed are a champion. You have touched my life through your words(and so many others). I truly beleive Lucy has found her voice through YOU! May God bless you and your family as you TRIUMPH!!

  2. Wow, you truely are a tower of strength. This is Denine from Angels among us (Tanner's mom). Thanks so much for your blog today, it has made me stronger. God bless you.

  3. Honestly I hope some day to meet you and Vic (and beautiful Lucia in the next life). I love you guys. I want to do and be better because of your family.

  4. You and your husband are indeed gold medalists in my eyes. What a beautiful couple. I hope you have a wonderful, triumphant day today.

  5. will. none of us question it one bit!

  6. you are beautiful! inside and out. I think writing this post, and many of the others you have written is a triumph. There is no doubt in my mind that you are creating an amazing story for yourself that Lucy and our Heavenly Father is SO proud of. I am amazed by your strength! Thank you:)

  7. Molly-

    I worked with Vic for a couple of months at National Life, and I shared some laughs and some apple juice with you and Lucy at the front desk there one afternoon. I have quietly followed your blog and love your family from afar. I started as a trauma social worker at Primary Children's just after Lucy's accident, and I was so afraid that week that I'd be called on to be there with your family. I was scared that I'd cry. Now I wish I had been called. Thank you for your blog. My love to all of you.

  8. Molly,
    You are a champion! I have no doubt that you will triumph. In such a short time since Lucy's death, you have inspired countless people. Speaking for myself, you have inspired me to be better, to do better, to love more. I was in Park City this week. I happened to drive past the spot you took the picture of the rainbow. It felt like hallowed ground to me, and I said a prayer in my heart for your family. I want you to know that knowing of you, Vic, and Lucy's story has really touched my heart, and I think of you often. I was visiting my aunt and uncle in Park City, and it turns out they know you. (Mark & Terri Lisonbee) They have been inspired by you and touched by Lucy as well. Thank you for your posts, and your triumphant attitude. You really are touching countless lives.

  9. I love this idea of writing a story with how we live our lives. I love reading your(and Vic and Lucy's) story on your blog. I love to read of your triumphs and emotions and strength. I love that your story is available for us each to be uplifted. Thanks for sharing. God Bless you both.

  10. Molly,
    Reading this was like drinking in an energy drink for me. Thanks. I loved it. May we all be triumphant in the stories of our life, no matter what twists the plot may take.


  11. Mollly-
    Your story has touched so many already, and for me personally it has influenced my life for the better. I have heard about your story from 3 different people. You have been such an amazing example to me, and you don't even know me. I believe that your story will continue to do that to countless people upon the earth. I love how you exclaimed that you will thrive, not just survive. Thank you for being you.
    I know you will be reunited with Lucy again. I have no doubt, it is just a matter of time. Lucy is beautiful. That picture of her reveals her beautiful spirit.
    I can't imagine what you have lived through and endured thus far. I am so sorry for your pain and loss. No words can adequately describe my pain for you.
    It is so wonderful to see you turn to the Lord during this time, and throughout your story. You are loved, Lucy is loved.

  12. Hi Molly and Vic,

    I too have quietly followed your blog since your tragedy and have cried more hours than I can count in front of my computer for your precious family. Vic and I were acquaintences for many years in the singles ward in Los Angeles and my heart has ached for you and I've said many prayers on your behalf. I think of you often. I especially enjoyed your thoughts today, about your "story". In an experience, though incomparable to your level of pain, I once dealt with my own seemingly insurmountable pain associated with a long-term relationship I was forced to end due to pornography addiction. As the loneliness, pain, faith, misery, and prayers swirled around me as I went through this, I had the exact same feelings that you described here so articulately. I couldn't believe that this was my story. But this was my story. When the denial wore off I could not help but accept this as my very unexpected and heart-breaking story, and I heard a talk at church that instructed: "You are a canvas; make your life a masterpiece." This small sentence provided a pivotal experience for me. I repeated it to myself countless times. Make your life a masterpiece. Every day and every action was a choice to move forward or backslide in the snow. Your trial is much greater than mine was, but what a story you're writing or "canvas" you're creating in choosing not to draw stick-figures. You're making your life a masterpiece.

    Jessica (Raychek) Fuhriman

  13. I was watching a show when a mother who lost her 4 year old son came on. Someone asked her how she survived everyday. She said, "Always blessings, never losses." That is what she thought about everyday. Never was she sad for what she lost, but she remembered what her son blessed her with. Your blog reminded me of that today and I thank you for that.

  14. Molly--I think your life is the definition of turning lemons into lemonade. I can't imagine a greater sorrow to bear than losing your only child, but you are truly finding your way and building your story piece by piece. I don't think this event will define your life, but I think it will refine it. You have great perspective, to be able to cry one minute and laugh the next. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad...I think this is what it means to endure it well.

  15. I've commented on your blog once before, shortly after the loss of your preciou little angel. I am overcome with grief for you and your dear husband. Every post I read causes the tears to flow, and yet by the end of each post, I am inspired and uplifted by your faith and courage. This one is no excetion. I love how you said you choose to believe this was her time and part of the plan. As soon as I read that, my tears stopped. (of course they're going again now) I believe you are right. I am so glad that you will be reunited with Lucy one day. I know you will be.

  16. Molly- I am so blessed to be your friend. You inspire me. I am so grateful the way you continue to teach me. This was another beautiful post. Not only will you thrive despite your tragedy, you are and will be a blessing to others for the rest of your life. It's just your nature. And that's something to be proud of. You already are fondly known as a woman of God, full of grace. (I know I use that word a lot to describe you, but I have yet to find a word that I think describes you better :)). I'm so sorry that your heart is broken and that you and Vic have had to go through this. I ache for you. And I pray for you daily. And so does Ellie.

  17. I love my wife and my daughter. I am so blessed. I am so grateful for blogs and the capacity they give us to connect with and share with others.

    The thing that I always think about when I watch the Olympics is what it will be like to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I cannot help but think the sense of triumph; victory and mastery that the gold medal-ists feel will be just a tiny part of what it will feel like for us. And surely the cheering crowds at the Olympics will be small in comparison. I know our arrival there will be because of another's triumph. But all the same we must keep the faith and endure to the end. His triumph makes us a "favorite" to "win". All the same there is much to over come. It will be an amazing victory!

  18. Molly, your words touch me so much. I am amazed at your strength. I had to laugh at Vic's lack of talent in the music department. I am home in Utah again now, and I would love to see you sometime. Email me!

  19. A Triathalon! You are amazing. I was in Park City this weekend for the homeshow you and your little Lucy didn't leave my thoughts today, I saw some triathaloners with there little numbers on there arms. I thought of you and how amazing you are. (not to leave Vic out he is obviously the sweetest guy around I loved his comment on this post.)

  20. Hi Molly,
    It was so nice to finally meet you at the ward party last night. Now I feel like I can comment on your blog! I just wanted to tell you again how impressed I am by you and Vic. You are so inspiring to so many people. Like we talked about last night, don't ever feel like you have to be superhuman because so many people read your blog. Just be yourself- you are wonderful as you are. Thanks for sharing your insights- your blog makes me laugh and cry!
    Jessica (Chudleigh) Stevens

  21. Molly, I always feel like your words reach to the depth of my soul. I have to be honest and admit that when I check out my friends blogs I very rarely read the posts, rather in my hurried days I tend to just glance at the pictures. Your blog however has become a source of inspiration for me. When I see a new post I can't wait to read about how you guys are doing and be deeply touched down to the center of my heart by the examples you are to me. You have a gift, a real gift Molly and I know you are helping countless others by putting your feelings, struggles and triumphs into words. Cody and I think of you and Vic every single day. We love you and continue to pray for comfort and healing as you accept this part of "your story."

  22. Molly, you, Vic, and Lucy have an incredible story. It has been and is being recorded in the realms above. Isn't it wonderful that your story also is Lucy's story! Your family legacy of faith will bless the lives of others for years to come. Lucy will yet be a big sister and as you share her story with your future posterity Lucy will be able in a way to lift, help, and to strengthen them as well. I believe that you are inspired. Your perspective suggests so. Carry on! Carry on! Carry on! This is really just the beginning.

  23. Molly,

    You and your family have been in my prayers since I first heard of Lucy's accident. My heart has ached for you and knowing that I couldn't possibly understand the grief that you're going through, I've silently cried for you. You truly are touching many lives, and I hope you realize someday what a gift you are offering and what a widespread effect Lucy has had on the world.
    I also love the Olympics and the stories of the athletes. One of my favorites is also of Michael Phelps. At the Athens Olympics he qualified with another relay team that was expected to win Gold, but gave up his spot to veteran teammate, Ian Crocker, who he thought deserved to race in his last chance for Olympic Gold. The team did win gold, and Phelps has gone on to be the most successful Olympian, with 8 golds coming AFTER his sacrifice. I hope for you many more magnificent triumphs. You guys are amazing and have a team of peers and angels cheering you on.
    Much love, Tiffany Forsgren

  24. You guys are awesome. We love you!

  25. Molly,
    I, like many others who comment on your blog, have never met you. I don't even remember how I found your blog, but I am thankful that I did. Your "story" inspires me daily. I have 2 little one's of my own and I can't imagine the pain you have felt. But thank you so much for sharing your testimony and faith for so many of us "blog stalkers" to read. You have a "cheering section" larger than you may ever know. I know that the Lord hears us and weeps with us. I think that you and Vic are creating a wonderful story together and I am sure that Lucy is so proud of both of you.
    Thank you so much for opening your life up to so many of us.
    You truly are a blessing.

  26. Today I went to my first dance class of my life; I felt like a failure as dance is not my forte by any stretch of the imagination.

    I got home and went to change my schedule so that I wasn't enrolled in the class anymore when, right before I did, something softly whispered to come read your blog. I hadn't come to visit the page for a few days.

    What an inspiration it was for me today; it's not comparable to your struggle, no, but it gave me more hope than I could've asked for.

    You, my dear, with your sweet story, are touching so many hearts - as so many people have already said - and changing so many lives. In dance classes and congregations. Outloud and softly. In big and small ways.

  27. I cannot log onto your blog without crying my eyes out! You are such an inspiration to others. You are an incredible writer and are able to convey your feelings with such grace and dignity. You are a champion and I applaud you for sharing your story with us and for getting up each morning.. You truly deserve a gold medal. I am sure your sweet daughter is so proud of her parents!

    Janet from Las Vegas

  28. Molly,
    I have tears in my eyes. You are creating a story that I cannot stop reading. Your story is making my story better. Truly, I look forward every week to reading your amazing, incredible story.

  29. Molly,

    You are continually amazing me. You make me want to be better, live better and love better. You and your family are never far my thoughts.

  30. That's such a cute picture at the bottom with the girls from Y.A.'s! You all look fantastic! I wish I could have been there!

  31. oh...and Shenelle and I LOVE ROCK BAND!!!! We just played it for the first time last month and fell IN LOVE!


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