My heart is filled with joy. I am happy. Truly. I cannot speak for Meighan, but I know that she’s in a similar place because we talk about the happiness in our lives almost daily. Our daily “gut check” so to speak. But I have to be honest and admit that it was a tough journey to become truly happy again after Molly passed away six years ago. She was only five years old when cancer took her from us, and on August 22nd Molly celebrated her angel birthday by turning twelve.
Over the past six years, Meighan and I have battled through our grief. It has been a painful journey, at times nightmarish, but we have learned so much about each other and ourselves that I feel that we were destined to have to endure that pain because of the “life lessons” that we have learned and are still learning. It takes time to heal. The ol’ cliché, “time heals all wounds” is very true, and this summer Meighan and I rediscovered our happiness and it has been glorious.
Our family spent a month in NH visiting friends and getting prepped for the Molly Surf Celebration. We camped in our pop up camper for a month. 30 days! After our extended vacation in Hampton, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect, and I truly believe that Molly lead us back to NH this summer. There was a reason why we needed to spend a month with our pals on the Seacoast, and I feel in my heart that we needed that time to further heal. We needed to surround ourselves with our pals, the ones that blanketed us with so much love and support when Meighan and I were facing our worst nightmare, and over the course of our trip we became happy. During our time in NH, Meighan and I grew closer together and we ignited a fire within ourselves that we haven’t experienced in years. I came to realize that the horror of losing a child to cancer has transitioned into a very spiritual experience because there has been a tremendous amount of good that has surfaced from Molly’s death.
The “good” that has come from Molly’s death is The Molly Fund. 100% of the proceeds generated from each Molly Fund fundraiser, every Molly Surf Celebration event, goes directly to funding The Molly Fund so that we can continue to help families that have children battling cancer at Children’s Hospital - Boston. Since 2009, we have raised close to $300,000 for the foundation. The Molly Fund has benefitted over 50 families that have needed a financial helping hand in order to cover their household bills and living expenses. In many instances, The Molly Fund has helped folks make mortgage payments, cover utility bills, and the foundation simply helps folks keep their heads above water while their child is receiving cancer treatments at CH-B. Meighan and I have never met any of the families that the Molly Fund has helped, but a few weeks before this year’s Molly Surf Celebration that changed
One afternoon I was running around Hampton knocking out a few errands, and I happened to pop into Pioneers Board Shop. There was a customer standing at the front counter, talking to Steve O’Hara, and after a few minutes she introduced herself to me. Her child is battling cancer, and this mother explained to me that her family has benefitted from The Molly Fund. We hugged tightly. I cried. And we talked a little about her child. In retrospect, this wasn’t a random coincidence that this mother and I connected. There was a reason why I needed to meet this woman, and it all became clear to me the moment I walked out of Pioneers. For the past six years, our focus with The Molly Fund was to pay it forward. We waned to lend a hand, raise a few bucks, and help out some families. But after meeting this mother, I instantly realized that we HAVE TO work harder in order to take The Molly Fund to the next level. There are so many parents that need our help, and I feel it in my heart that my purpose on this Earth is to help grow The Molly Fund so we are able to help more families. More families need our help! Fasten your seatbelts. It is time to hit the gas!
For those of you that are not in “the know,” The Molly Surf Celebration is a FUNraising event. Molly’s spirit was on the beach with us on Saturday August 1st during the fifth annual Molly Surf Celebration. I felt Molly’s presence. Meighan experienced the same sensation throughout the day, and we were both overwhelmed with love. We enjoyed the largest turnout to date, and we easily had over 80 groms and their families on the beach participating in the Molly event. It was an incredible experience to see and feel the happiness that radiated from each and every family that joined us on the beach for a day celebrating surfing, community, and love.
The focal point of the Molly Surf Celebration is getting the groms STOKED! The event is an absolute grom FROTHFEST, and the focus is centered on having an incredible amount of fun. We throw down a “surf contest” for the kids, we eat pizza on the beach with our families, and we hold a costume contest for all of the kids. The trophies for the costume contest winners are 10 FEET TALL!!! It is an amazing day! EVERY grom that participates in The Molly Surf Celebration goes home with a trophy, and the highlight of my day is when I have the opportunity to hand a trophy to each kid at the end of the event. The smile on a four year olds face, when you hand them their trophy, their very first Molly Surf Celebration trophy, is phenomenal. Pure joy!
At some point during the event, I jumped into the water to catch a few waves myself, because there are ALWAYS little waves and sunshine during the Molly event, and I watched a handful of my friends push their little kids into waves. I sat in the lineup watching the groms riding the small waves straight to the beach and I couldn’t stop smiling. I realized that I have to find it within myself to harness that happiness on a daily basis because it’s so…powerful. The spirit of The Molly Surf Celebration is POWERFUL!
The 2015 Molly Surf Celebration was amazing for sure. So many people reached out to me the week following the event to let me know that they were still AMPING from the Molly event. But it is a lot of work, and it really does take an army to make the magic happen. Meighan and I are so fortunate to have so many close friends that rallied and volunteered their time to help ensure that the event was a success. The Nichols family runs point on the “surf contest” aspect of the event each year and we would be completely lost without their help. Thank you! We thank all of our pals that volunteered during the event. Huge thanks to Flatbread Pizza in Hampton for donating 30+ pizzas during the day, and many thanks to all of you folks that spent the day with us the beach, with your children, because it’s your involvement that certainly sparks the magic of The Molly Surf Celebration.
We look forward to seeing everyone next summer. Please save the date because the event will always be the first Saturday in August. All of the groms better get their costumes dialed early because the bar has been raised and we’re seeing more unbelievable costumes each year. Thanks again for the tremendous support. The Molly Fund is a blessing. We are going to take the foundation to the next level, so FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS!
With love, Buck & Meg