Looking Forward and Holding On

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 9:42 AM



Our fabulous brother-in-law in Albuquerque, Jason Payne, whom I adore, sent a very thoughtful email to Vic this morning. He knows this is a difficult week. His words were simple and sweet, and a great reminder:

"I took these photos of you and Molly at Peggy's wedding.  I hope you see what I see in the photos- embrace the journey, hold tight during the bumps."

I'll also use this to remind Vic that even though he has to reach across the aisle on the airplane,  I still need to hold onto him during turbulence. {We may have gotten into a little tiff over this last time we flew}. 

I won't lie, things have been rough between us the past few months. Things had become very strained, very distant, and we were both harboring personal hurts and wounds. I was focusing on the negative and reinforcing harmful thoughts about "not getting what I need." --And other destructive behavior. But we seem to have turned a corner, and we are both looking forward with great hope and optimism. I am excited for our future. For us. For our unique love and relationship.

Marriage is scary and difficult. And marriage after losing a child, your first and only child, puts you on very shaky footing. The statistic that 80% of couples who lose a child separate or divorce kept circulating through my head. In the past, what I'd focus on is that the 20% of couples who DO stay together, have something far more unique, with a depth of love and understanding of life that few marriages experience. I was bound to be in that 20%--and I think we are. But over the past few months, we let doubt and despair creep in and threaten to throw us off course.

Through a series of conversations with Vic, prayers, discussions with close friends, appointments with therapists, we both feel we are back on the right track. It was nothing major--just a focus that lost its proper place; a slowness to consider each other, understand each other and forgive each other's imperfections. You know how you sometimes get lazy and let the human inclinations toward SELF take priority? Of course things won't be "perfect", and never have been, but we both feel a huge change of heart and a turn-around. I want to make Vic happy. I want to delight in seeing him thrive and succeed in all areas of his life. I want to support him and encourage, build him up instead of tear him down.

And we're on our way.

If we can survive losing our daughter, we can survive anything.

Looking Forward
Holding On
Embrace the Journey
Hold Tight During the Bumps

Yesterday marked three years since the life-changing accident. Tomorrow marks 39 years since Vic entered mortality. Sunday marks three years since Vic honorably let me, Lucy's mother, hold our precious daughter in my arms as we handed her body over to the surgeons to harvest her organs and say goodbye. Next weekend marks seven years of marriage. And there are a million other 'marks' in between. I hope I can have the strength and honesty and courage to face each of this meaningful days with love, humility, and faith. Letting things in, the good and bad, to change and shape and teach me.


"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

Elizabeth Kobler-Ros

 I want to be truly beautiful someday.

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32 Loving Lines

  1. Beautiful pictures Molly. Beautiful words. Thinking of you and your family this week.

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  2. Molly,
    You're truly an inspiration to me and thank you once again for bearing your soul for all to see and learn from. I didn't know those statistics before and they are quite daunting but I know that if we all hold on we'll all be ok. Thank you for sharing even your intimate feelings you'll never now how much they help so many stuggling people.
    Love Amy

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  3. I love it... beautiful... it brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine the strain it must put on you but I have always felt that you two would make it. I love you both. Can't wait to see you this weekend.

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  4. "Beautiful people do not just happen." Such a true statement. And I think you are one of the most beautiful people I know. Glad you have been able to 'hold on'.

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  5. I truly love the photos and your message of hope.

    I can't help but think of you in your sorrow missing Miss Lucy and her passing... the same day we celebrate our grand daughters arrival on earth. I have always felt a stabbing pain in my heart for you both.

    ToOdLeS.

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  6. You ARE beautiful, and you and the Vicster have something rare and powerful. I'm glad Wes, Liam and I have become so close to your family, and I'm glad that we feel close enough to cry together in the middle of Basin Rec. Lucy is such a constant in my life, especially this time of year. I'll be here for you and Vic as long as you'll let me. Love, Rach

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  7. If I believed in reincarnation, I would hope to come back just like you.

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  8. Just a little note to say that because I found your blog through a friends, friends, friend I try every day to hold my kids a little tighter, be more patient, more loving and try to make every moment count. I have struggled and struggled with PPD since our first child was born 8 years ago and when we had our son two years ago it was back with a vengence. Reading your blog and story about your sweet Lucy snapped me out of it quite a bit and I use your story as a constant reminder to myself to move forward with as much joy as possible and with the thought that any one day could be our last or our loved ones last. Hang in there- marriage is hard enough without having to add such a loss into the mix. Families are forever, trials are just temporary, relationships are eternal. Thank you for being so real and sharing your feelings and thoughts! XOXO Chantelle

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  9. Thank You so much Molly. This makes me want to be a better wife. I truly feel that you are such and angel on earth. I am uplifted everytime I read your blog. I believe that it is no accident that you have had to go thru the trials that have been yours, that Heavenly Father knew that you could be a voice for him. I know that you, Vic and Peter will all be with Miss Lucy someday. She is looking down and telling the angels around her "Thats my Mommy" with pride and Love. God Bless You and your family!

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  10. You ARE so very beautiful Molly. You have been through so much. I'm so sorry things have been rough in your marriage - and SO thankful that things are looking brighter. Jason & I sure look up to you guys as a couple.
    Thinking about you, your beautiful daughter, and your amazing family.
    Love you.

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  11. Thank you for bearing your soul. For I have gained much hope in following u. After 13 years I have figured out marriage is challenging even under normal daily stress. I am not surprised to hear the stats. But my heart smiles at the hope that u can endure together. How much greater will be ur joy when embracing Lucy once again if u do it together.

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  12. I teared up just looking at those photos.

    I feel like marriage gets very... challenging (that's a nicer word than "insane") once you have children. You and Vic have a child AND you've lost a child, which makes it a feat of Olympic-like proportions in my book, and you deserve approximately 3943 gold stars for your commitment to making it work. I really believe that as long as you're devoted to the growth of the relationship, rough patches only make you a stronger couple. 20% is a staggering figure. You should be incredibly proud of yourselves.

    Also, I feel you on the turbulence thing. I'm convinced I'm seconds away from death every time there's a a slight vibration. Maybe next time you should tell Vic that you're either going to grab him or the handsome stranger sitting next to you. ;)

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  13. This is a beautiful post. I'm glad things are looking up. Hold tight during these milestones... I'm thinking of you.

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  14. Molly,

    You are great. And I'm sure Vic is great. I can't even imagine living what you've been through and to still be standing and progressing the way you and Vic have. I appreciate your honesty and openness.

    So I may be coming to Park City this summer for a college girls reunion and if I come I really, really want to go to lunch, hang out, whatever with you. Just a guess, but I think we could talk and talk and talk and talk...

    Hugs to you.

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  15. You dear sweet thing. You ARE truly beautiful. You are more honest than any 10 people I know, and you express yourself in such a lovely manner that I lust after it. I've got your family milestones marked on my calendar (is that creepy?...you feel like family!) and knew this tough week was coming and special prayers are being spoken by so many...

    It's tough to hear that you and Vic have struggled, but it's not surprising, having heard the statistics when my dear friend's little girl passed away 25 years ago. They made it, and are still married and very happy. They have three daughters (Jayne, in heaven, and Kate and Mary-Claire here with them). It was a long road but they, like you and Vic, had their faith, in God and in each other.

    My heart is with you guys as are my prayers. Love, Jan

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  16. Your honesty, humility, integrity and beauty take my breath away. Oh dear Molly, you are such a beautiful person already. I pray in earnest for the beauty you hope to feel and attain. I pray deeply for the hand of a loving God to hold your as you and Vic walk these memory stones. I pray that Peter remains a light of hope and joy. And I beseech God on your behalf for perfect healing, compete understanding and a release from the pain of losing your perfect little cherub. Yes indeed beautiful Molly, you take my breath away!

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  17. It was so great to see you the other day, even though is was stupidly brief.
    Your honesty is amazing.
    May you and your beautiful family be blessed with whatever you need to survive this pain.

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  18. I'm so sorry for the pain this time can bring. I didn't realize it all happened around Vic's birthday! You know the Lord knows what He's doing, but it will be nice to someday know why things happened the way they did!

    I'm so sorry for the struggles you and Vic have been experiencing. I understand! I am actually going to school to get my Family Life Studies degree, and hope to one day become a marriage and family educator, and possibly a counselor. In no way am I either of these things yet, but in one of my classes about marriage, we had to read a book called "The Seven Principles for Making Marriages Work" by John Gottman. While Dr. Gottman can come across a little conceited sometimes, the book itself and the principles in it are fantastic! I was so surprised at how much I actually gained from the book, and how much sense most of the ideas really made! I know you said you have been getting help from many sources, but if you get a chance, check out this book. It's not just a book for struggling marriages either. It can help make even good marriages better!

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers this week, and happy birthday Vic!

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  19. Beautiful post, Molly. Will be thinking of you all this week.

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  20. What an amazing post. Your openness and honesty is refreshing. Even though I have never met you, I will be thinking of you and your family this week.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  21. Thanks for sharing your beautiful words, they really touched me today.

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  22. Love you Molly! Good luck running tomorrow. I'll be thinkin of you. You do such a great job putting your thoughts into words. I love reading your blog bc I feel like you are right next to me talking. I miss running with you. Happy birthday Vic.

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  23. You don't know me. I found your blog through my cute neighbor, Julie Burton (who is as cute as a bug's ear). I just want you to know how amazing you are. You think and speak eloquently, and I am so impressed that you can share intimate details about your life with such honesty. Although I haven't lost a child, I feel like I can relate to you in so many ways...which in turn I can say to myself it is okay not to have a perfect relationship with your husband...it is hard work and scary. I just want you to know that you are constantly in my thoughts, especially when I am holding my naughty pants son. I can't imagine what your family has experienced. You are such a strong example. I think your family is beautiful. I pray that you will have comfort.

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  24. sitting here not knowing what to say but feeling like I MUST say something all that comes to mind is THANK YOU!!! I do not "know you" but I feel a kinship for you that I don't think i've felt before w/ someone from a blog.. thank you for your honesty and for your willingness to share things so tender... the 28th of this month will mark 11 years of day I held our son (and my husband so honorably let ME hold him too.. good guys!) for the last time.. his ogans could not be harvested due to all of his health issues/medications to save his life etc. BUT I remember so vividly the pain as I handed him off.. the aching arms (litery) I had after... I also have obsessed on the 80% statistic.. we have done counseling also and the things we've learned have really "saved" us.. thank you again and here's to being one of the 20% I stand in solidarity with you and vic! keep it up sister!!!

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  25. Vic and Molly, we've been thinking about you and praying for you daily.
    Sometimes just moving is a good thing, moving forward is all the better. We love you all.

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  26. You are beautiful Molly. You already are.

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  27. You continue to inspire me and countless others by sharing your special thoughts and feelings. Lucy's life is a gift and blessing that has touched so many because you are so open, honest and willing to share. We've been thinking of you this week and today and send lots of love your way.

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  28. We have been thinking about you this week. How has it been three years already. We love you guys! Goodnight Lucy.

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  29. I am having some major marriage trouble at the moment. I don't know if it will turn out as well as yours. I haven't told anyone and I wonder if anyone I know reads your blog. Well whatever. Marriage is really, really hard.

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  30. Thanks for sharing Molly. Marriage IS hard. It's nice to hear when other families, who seem to have it all together, are struggling just like the rest of us.

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