Written by: Loren O’Donnell
My name is Loren and I am Molly's Father. What is it like for a father to lose the best part of his life, his pride and joy and the reason he lives?
My amazing girl Molly Ina. There were certainly hurdles and obstacles with Molly growing up as there are with everyone. Potty training was a ton of fun and finding academic motivation was a huge struggle. Molly was a free spirit and did things on her terms no matter how much guidance was given. Molly had many accomplishments some of which which include being a National Champion competitive cheerleader, the singing voice of an Angel, she lit up the stage when performing or her natural beauty and love for hair and makeup all are a part of Molly's high energy, hilarious sense of humor and amazing compassion for wanting to make every situation better then the way she found it. Molly loved to help others.
Molly and I had an incredible relationship. We were the Presidents of each other's fan clubs. We loved each other more then 100,000,00 Red M&M's. We bonded with going to the movies, sharing so many pepperoni pizza's and loved to go on Photo shoots. Molly loved to dress up and have us go find cool places for me to take her pictures. We both have a great sense of humor and would often laugh until we cried. I so loved being in Molly's company.
Then in-between 2013 and 2014 the darkness began. And life will never be the same again. All definitions on what makes a great Father became paramount and questioned. But the darkness came fast and furious. The pot, the pills, the huffing, the cocaine, the crack all crept in silently but with massive destruction and heartache.
Although this story is unique for each person, the details are oh so common. Molly passed away on April 8, 2016 from an overdose of Heroin, Cocaine and Oxycodone. A million times in my head, I've tried to piece together how this happened, how was I not able to beat this and save my Princess? I was Mr. fix all problems, Molly's go-to person to save her, bail her out of any problems. Molly could do no wrong in her Fathers eyes and he would always be there for her. No matter how many times I am told there was nothing I could do more for her, I cannot accept that. There had to have been something else.
Maybe being naïve to addiction, turning my eyes away in denial, thinking that I did plenty of drugs in the past and I turned out okay or perhaps believing in the lies I was being told regularly all contributed to my inability do save her until it was too late. I can't speak for any other parents who share this loss but I will never shake the guilt that I could have and should have done more.
Let it be known that for two and a half years I lived and breathed trying to reach Molly. Trying with everything I had to make her break away from the drugs. I lived through the theft, the lying, the felonies, the in and out of jail, in and out of detox, rehabs, her disappearing for 5 days after taking her grandparents car. The stress and anxiety just pounds you over and over again. I really did try my hardest but the Devil and it's darkness had come to take her and they did. No more was my sweet, loving, happy, talented princess. She was gone but towards the end, there where glimpses of hope.
Less then 24 hours before Molly overdosed, I picked her up in Summit from her IOP meeting. On the way home we were singing and laughing and the happiness we shared at that moment, held no signs of any addiction. This was April 7, 2016. Around 5:00pm on April 8, 2016 I get the call from Molly's Mother. Molly had overdosed. I actually told her that I had to work and to keep me updated. That lasted about 3 minutes as it hit me what was going on. I raced to the hospital and I swear when I walked in, someone already knew who I was and I was whisked to Molly. Forget what you see on television when it comes to trauma. I was hit by a tidal wave. There had to be 20 people working on Molly. And let me tell you, hearing the word "charging" when its your kid is just sickening. During the two plus hours of trying to revive her, I was by her side I think 4 times. I spoke to her, screamed for her to fight this, I stroked her hair but she was not inside of her body. I was psyched when being told they found a faint heartbeat but there was no neurological function. Let me add that during this two plus hour attempt to save Molly, the amount of people needed to speak with me was unreal. Sign this and that, make decisions on organ donation, cell research, using life saving means, detectives, surgeons, insurance, it all is a blur and at the time it took everything I had not to lose it. You feel like throwing up, crying and screaming all the same time. Talk about being numb.
Even one year later, the emotional roller coaster seems to be more intense. For months I was living in shock that Molly had died. But as more and more time goes by, reality is sinking in that I cannot see her anymore. And those emotions are just crushing.
I'm just trying to type up how I'm feeling about all of this. Earlier I beat myself up with feelings that I could and should have done more to save Molly. Well, In my defense, Molly was given many, many, many opportunities to fight her addiction. The fact of the matter is that she deep down did not want to stop taking drugs. Mix that in with her not being able to stop and the result was fatal. So along with holding on to so much sadness and guilt, there is also anger and disappointment.
Within this story, there comes a positive, a silver lining, a legacy that Molly leaves behind. With all of the horrors of her addiction and overdose, as it turns out Molly is an amazing poet. Molly penned 4 poems that relate to drug addiction, overdose and recovery. She asked me from jail to have as many people as possible hear these poems. So for the past 12 months, I have made it my mission to have Molly's request a reality. Her poetry has been shared nationwide. I've been told over and over that they are helping save peoples lives. That was what Molly wanted - to help others not travel down the deadly path she was stuck on.
So the days continue to go by and life goes on. But it goes on without my amazing daughter, my Princess Molly.
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The following four poems were written by my daughter Molly. We lost her on April 8, 2016 from a heroin overdose. It was her wish and now my mission to share these poems with as many people as I can. May they possibly help someone who is in need, help someone think twice before getting involved with these deadly drugs and help someone fight a little harder with recovery. I would like to ask to whoever reads these, please share them far and wide. Thank you. Molly's Dad
When The Devil Knocks
Don't do drugs; I know how you think.
"It's just one line. It's just one drink."
But sooner or later you'll start to sink
To a deep dark place where the sun doesn't shine
And all the time you think you're fine
But the Devil keeps getting inside your head
Waking you up, dragging you out of bed
Saying, "Get up, start your day. Your habit must be fed."
And no matter how bad you want to stay asleep
Your using has increased, way too steep
And you may never find inner peace
With the Devil dragging you back out to the streets.
He'll help you lie. He'll help you steal.
He'll help you forget what it's like to feel
Remorse or guilt toward the people you've used.
You're not the only one who feels abused.
It affects you and all the people you love.
They all just want to see you live above
The influence that brought you to hell and back.
Who knows if you'll ever be back on track?
Once you're hooked, there's no second guess,
You've already turned into a fucking mess.
So maybe when the Devil knocks on your door,
Tell him you've got other plans in store.
You don't need him telling you what to do.
All you need is faith.
The rest is up to you.
-Molly Ina O'Donnell
White blankets and white walls
The ceilings are white as well as the halls.
This isn't how I should be living my life.
I'm not even allowed to use a knife.
I should be out there living my dream,
but my life is on hold. I'm trying to get clean.
It seems so impossible, staying sober.
It's hard to say that the high life is over.
No more heroin and no more crack.
It's time to take my old life back.
I was once happy, fun and free.
I recently believed that that could never be.
I had given up. I threw my hands in the air.
I said, "Why me god? this just isn't fair."
He's testing me.", making me stronger,
pushing me to fight just a little bit longer.
I'm destined to do greater things,
to help other addicts and give them their wings,
to teach them to fly without getting high,
to teach them to live and how to forgive.
There's more to life than everything white.
There's a difference between brightness and seeing the light. 💜
-Molly Ina O'Donnell
So here's a story of a girl who was an addict.
I won't sugar coat it. It's all very tragic.
She left her parents and became nomadic.
Always moving around, never static.
Selling, tricking, lying and stealing
Never worried about her own or anyone's feelings.
All the time she was wheeling and dealing,
She didn't realize that she needed healing.
One day, her friend asked her on their way to cop
If tomorrow or the next day, maybe they should stop.
Stop shooting dope and smoking crack rocks?
Give up the high life? Surely she would not.
She loved the high and she loved having fun,
Not realizing the harm it caused everyone,
But mostly the harm she was causing herself,
And that one day she would just be a picture on a shelf,
And that picture would display a pretty girl
Who once has everything she needed in the world.
She had talent, friends, and a loving family,
But none of them could restore her back to sanity.
Her beautiful life had turned into a calamity,
And her poor mom and dad were left with a tragedy.
She was found in her car shortly after she overdose,
Just laying there limp, completely comatose.
They did all they could to try to revive her,
But it was too late. This one wasn't a survivor.
An innocent life taken far too soon
By the drugs she had taken that cold afternoon.
-Molly Ina O'Donnell
The night was cold and the air was still
a handwritten note on the windowsill
read, "tell mom and dad that I apologize
for stealing, cheating and telling them lies.
I couldn't say it and look them in the eyes.
I'm also not good at saying goodbyes.
I can't believe I've acted so dumb.
I should have listened to everyone.
this life I've been living is not very fun.
so goodbye cruel world. it looks like I'm done.
I will never again see the sun."
next to the letter was a young girl
who once had everything she needed in this world.
she had too much trouble finding her place.
she'd rather be drifting off in space.
but she didn't have enough money to float forever
and she didn't like the road that was ahead of her.
she was headed down the highway to hell.
she was cursed by heroin's spell.
she couldn't live another day
knowing that her habit wasn't going away
so she found a way to end her life,
to put an end to all the pain and strife.
she wouldn't live like a junkie anymore
so she found her solution through heavens doors.
rather than dance with the devil on the ground,
she disappeared to a place she would never be found,
with the other lost souls, safe and sound.
-Molly Ina O'Donnell