Molly: Little Girl Lost
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
— Jane Howard (1935-1996), “Families” (1978)
We were on the family heritage trip, or as most people call it – vacation. From state to state and town to town, we visited distant relatives who, until that time, I never knew existed. We walked through long forgotten cemeteries with dirt crusted on weathered, worn tombstones of loved ones I had never met. My only friend and comfort clung to my side; Molly. An old rag doll she was, with yellow hair of yarn and a perfectly rounded face accented with just a touch of red on her minute lips. Yes, the trip to me, a mere eight year old, seemed to be a bore, but with Molly, everything seemed brighter. Hotel after hotel we stayed in rooms of all shapes and sizes, some with musty odors you would find in an old funeral home. With stains on the carpet and a loud air conditioner in the background, for two weeks, these were what I called home. I had slept with Molly in my grasp every night since I was two. Each time we checked out of a hotel, I made sure to pack her, until one night. While opening my pink “Going to Grandma’s” suitcase, I soon found an empty space where Molly should have been.
I burst into tears the moment my eyes couldn’t spot her in the jungle of clothes. She was gone, deserted in a lonely hotel room miles away from my weary embrace. My mom tried to comfort me with clichés such as, “It will be okay” and “I’m sure Molly is fine,” but to a girl who had her one and only confidant disappear, these words meant nothing.
The rest of the trip, I was lost and alone. With a look of pure sadness on my face, I was ready to erupt into an explosion of tears at any moment. However, what I didn’t know was that my dear grandpa was working his magic behind the scenes of my epic play. He had called the hotel we stayed at that fateful night in search of an answer to my prayers. It turned out that the maid, who had cleaned the room, had found my treasure while vacuuming under the unmade, standard, tan bed and had kept it safe for me. After much begging, the unyielding manager finally agreed to ship my Molly back, as long as, my grandpa paid the outrageous shipping fee. She was on her way home.
I’ll never forget the day when my mom whispered in my tiny ears, “I have a surprise for you.” She gently handed me a small, brown package with distinctive dents and tears from its long journey. When I opened it, I saw her. In her pink, floral printed dress, she almost looked as if she had missed me as much as I had missed her. My face lit up like a child on Christmas morning. I held Molly as if I would never let her go, but, in the corner of my eye, I noticed my mom’s face. Her look was of sheer delight and comfort that her baby wasn’t hurting anymore. A look worth getting up in the morning for. She was happy because I was happy. That is what I believe.
I believe my family is sad when I’m sad, happy when I’m happy, and cries when I cry. I know that they would do anything for me, whether it be big or something as small as retrieving my lost doll. I realize now, that Molly wasn’t the only girl lost on that trip, I, too, was lost, but I know my family will always find me. I believe in my family.
Howard, Jane. “Families.” Great Inspirational Quotes 24 Sep. 2008.
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