Molly Jane LaRoche, our fifth grandchild, was born on May 2, 2015, to Deborah and Dan in Charleston, SC. I’ve written a letter to each of the grandchildren that I’ve shared with others. Here’s my letter to Molly.
Dear Molly Jane:
You surprised us by arriving a few days early, on the first Saturday in May. That’s when the horses run for the roses in the Kentucky Derby. There’s always a lump in our throats when they sing “My Old Kentucky Home” because that’s where Gamma and I met, where your Aunt Carrie was born, and the day of your mother’s annual Derby Day party complete with big hats on the women.
Your run for the finish line started well enough, but in the back stretch things got tough, resulting in an emergency c-section. Your Daddy used the word “violent” to describe it. We wanted to hang a blanket of roses around your Mamma’s neck just like they do at Churchill Downs. You entered the world a little bruised and absolutely beautiful!
That’s just how it is in this world. You’ll find it to be a beautiful, wonder-filled place where you will be surrounded with love that is beyond your ability to comprehend, but it can also be a painful place with unexpected hurts along the way. I assure you that the parents who brought you to the finish line and the family that welcomed your arrival with tears of joy will be loving you and cheering for you all along the way.
You were a surprise to all of us (including the doctors) from the very beginning, a sure sign that “every good gift comes from God.” So, we look forward to the wonderful surprises you will bring to us in the years ahead.
Your big sister, Mattie, came into the family by a different way, biologically born from another mother and claimed by your family as a wonderful gift of God’s love. You can look forward to lots of laughter and fun together because your family really knows how to enjoy life in the Low Country with your Daddy’s family at Hickory Hill and in the Sunshine State with your cousins in Florida. You’ll also discover a network in the Harnish and LaRoche families that stretches from coast to coast, all of whom are thrilled that you are here.
I’d tell you that there is a long family history to your name, but the truth is that when your Daddy saw what your Mamma went through to get you into this world, he transferred all “naming rights” to her and Molly is a name she has always loved. Perhaps you will begin a new tradition and pass it down to generations in the future.
The most important thing we want you to know is that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ and nothing will ever separate you from the love we have for you.
So, welcome to our world! Wherever the race takes you, I hope you will always run for the roses.