In her seven days of life, my granddaughter reminded us why death is different for those who follow Christ.
By Dennis Rainey
Editor’s note: In June of 2008, as Dennis and Barbara Rainey’s new granddaughter, Molly Ann Mutz, fought for her life, Dennis updated friends and co-workers with several e-mails. Molly was the daughter of the Raineys’ daughter, Rebecca, and her husband, Jake Mutz. The following excerpts from these e-mails speak of the pain and incomprehensible victory of those seven days of Molly’s life.
Thursday, June 19: Dawn in Colorado
The sun is coming out here in Colorado, and the Son will soon be welcoming home Rebecca and Jake’s daughter, Molly. A gift, entrusted to them for seven days, to be ushered home, undoubtedly by a band of the gentlest and mightiest angels dispatched from the throne of God to carry her into the presence of the Savior.
What has been tough is about to get much tougher.
Our days here have been so full of the presence of God. Honoring Him for Molly Ann.
Friday morning she is born … she doesn’t cry because she is suffering from congestive heart failure. Her mom holds her only for seconds before she is whisked away to be placed on life support. We think her problem is a heart murmur. Oh, how I wish that was all she had. She is rushed by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital here in Aurora. We arrive that evening to hear Jake say she is going to need brain surgery.
Saturday is a day of testing, in more ways than one … She has x-rays, ultra-sounds, and MRIs. The radiologist makes a copy for Jake and me from her textbook about the Vein of Galen. I go online and find out that Molly is up against a serious abnormality in the middle of her brain that is very rare and very destructive.
Around 4 p.m. we are seated in a private room with a neurologist, cardiologist, neonatologist, and nurse giving us the news that over 50 percent of Molly’s brain is permanently damaged and that the damage affects both halves of the brain. After 10-15-20 dangerous surgeries, she might be able to have a few functions as a human being. Later I talk to a friend who has been a neurologist for 30 years and he puts it in perspective: “In cases like Molly where there is so much brain damage, I have never seen a good outcome through surgery.” In other words, it would take a miracle for Molly to live.
On Sunday Jake’s parents, Bill and Pam Mutz, arrive along with some of their family. Our other children begin to arrive from around the country. Rebecca and Jake want to introduce their new daughter to each family member. Many come and kneel at Rebecca’s feet and just sob. When a family is being a family it is powerful. Worshipful. God-honoring.
Jake and Rebecca spend a good bit of Sunday and Monday praying, talking, seeking second opinions trying to decide what is God’s will for Molly. What is the loving thing to do? On Monday we surround Molly and have a baby dedication, read Scripture, pray and sing a couple of songs. More than a dozen of us weep our way through the familiar hymn:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
On Monday night, Bill and Pam and Barbara and I witness the unimaginable … we sit in a hospital room as Jake holds Molly … listening for over two hours as Jake and Rebecca process their choices. God is God, but it’s impossible to not feel, This just shouldn’t be. What a choice for a young couple to have to make. They decide to not pursue the several very dangerous and complex brain surgeries and remove life support later in the week.
I don’t know what happened to Tuesday ... But I do know that if love could heal, Molly would be well. Instead, we can all see Molly’s little chest pounding, her heart beating faster and faster, trying to keep up with what she needs to live.
Wednesday is an incredible day ... Videoing, picture taking, making a mold of Molly’s hands, Rebecca and Jake holding Molly, who is still tethered by life support tubes. Rebecca and the moms giving Molly her first and only bath. This is not what this young mother expected.
Ask me to show you my Bible and I’ll show you her footprints all over Psalm 127 and 128 … and her handprint on my life verse, Psalm 112:1-2, which reads, “Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
Molly’s life may have been short in terms of days, but her life has been mighty. Mighty Molly Mutz.
Wednesday closes with this email at midnight from Jake, on the close of the last full day that Molly will likely live:
I just got done holding Molly chest-to-chest for the last 3.5 hours! Heavenly! I could feel her
beating heart on my bare chest! 2569 kisses later I relinquished her to Mom.
She is an angel!!!! Now Rebecca is experiencing this delight! I just looked over at Bec & she nodded, as if to say, “I WILL be sleeping here with my Sweet Pea for the next 12 hours!”