daddy's message

To hear Brad's message from Molly's memorial service go to www.highviewchurch.com and click on sermons (right hand side of the page) the message is under "Dancing with Daddy".

mommy's letter

I couldn't get this to load as a slideshow, but it was playing with the song "Dancing with the Angels" by Monk and Neagle. That's truly how I picture her though. She never got to wear a pretty dress until she died, and now I can imagine her dancing with the angels in the prettiest pink dress I could find. It blessed me, and I'm sure it will bless you too. If you go to this website in a different window and play the song, you should be able to push play and come back to this window to read the letter. Sorry I couldn't get the real thing to load, but this should give you the general idea of how it played at her service.


My sweet girl.

You were the most amazing thing to have come and gone from my life. It happened so quickly; that I sometimes think it couldn’t have been true. That you could be gone from this life so quickly yet left a mark that traveled so far and wide.
From the beginning of your little life, you were changing the way people saw God. You gave people a reason to pray more and allowed them to see just how faithful our Savior is. The day you were born I witnessed a miracle, and in the 84 days to follow they never did stop. I always thought you looked like an angel, and now I know it to be true. You entered my life and turned it upside down. I can’t tell you how proud I am that God chose me to be your mommy.

You were a special little lady and it doesn’t matter that I had almost 3 whole months with you, I still wish I would have had more time. More time to tell you that I thought you were absolutely perfect. More time to kiss those sweet cheeks, and whisper in your ear that I love you. More time to snuggle and sing you to sleep. More time to touch your soft skin and rub my finger down your nose. More time to stare at you and tell you how beautiful you were. As much as I wanted it, Jesus decided that He needed more time with you instead. More time to let you truly live, dance and be free. More time to love you like I never could, even on my best day. More time to let you enjoy your brand new body and have no pain at all. I wasn’t able to give you that.

I will miss watching the way Owen would have taught you to throw a ball, or gone out of his way to protect his little sister from anything. I am saddened that I won’t get to see you jump up on your daddy’s lap, and have him tell you that dating was out of the question for at least 30 more years. I would have given anything to watch you walk down an aisle and then one day become a mommy yourself. There are so many things I wanted for you, but God had different plans…greater plans for you.

I love you my sweet baby, and miss you so much it hurts. When you left me I didn’t think I’d be able to breathe again, and here I am rejoicing that you are finally healthy and happy as can be. God is good Molly, and I can’t imagine you being snuggled up in the arms of anyone else. Thank you for the sweet blessing of your life. I will see you again soon, and you can just plan on me covering those precious cheeks with too many kisses to count. In the meantime, have fun dancing with the angels…

I love you baby,

What Molly's nurses had to say...

Nurses from Children’s Hospital NICU

Jen Waffle – Oh, sweet snuggly Molly…this child touched my heart – through her trusting gaze, her hint of a smile, her quietness when being held late at night in my arms while listening to her Jack Johnson CD. Or when I would unhook her fro her monitor and take her out to my work station, so I could hold her, smell the top of her sweet baby head, and talk to her, until she drifted off to sleep right in the middle of one of our late night conversations. She was a beautiful, sweet, wise soul. She is also one of those babies who will forever be in my heart. I am so thankful and feel so blessed that I got to meet her on her journey.

Sara Boyd – I remember Molly was usually very curious about anyone being in her room. She just wouldn’t settle into her nap is she knew anyone was still there. Now, if you were holding her, she would fall asleep in your arms. So, when Haley was in the room, Molly would be awake, alert and searching for her mom’s eyes. Now, if one of us nurses were there it was a different type of awareness – she knew us, knew we were there, but she wasn’t as engaged – she just shined when Haley was in the room.

Carolyn Penrose – When I think of Molly, I think of how she is a true reflection of the love of her mother, father and brother. Despite Molly’s struggles medically, it was evident that she knew how much her family adored her and that they treasured every moment with her and the miracle of her life and of her time here on earth. I feel truly blessed that I had the opportunity to care for Molly and her family and I admire their strength and courage. Haley was truly an amazing mother and was always eager to learn everything possible so she could care for Molly. Two weeks ago, I cared for Molly and she smiled at me for the first time. I just watched her in amazement and talked to her and cuddled her and I was awestruck, not because of her smile, but because I had one of those moments where you realized how incredibly lucky we all are for the life we have and the loved ones in our life and I stared at her in amazement wondering how a child who has been through so much in her short lifetime can find a reason to smile and I know that the reason is because she was surrounded by love. God touches our lives with people sometimes for only a moment and sometimes for a lifetime but we have to treasure each moment we have with those we love and Molly’s family truly treasured each moment with Molly. Her mother cared for every need and want and loved her with all her soul, her father adored her and treasured precious moments with his baby girl and little Owen was always there to play with Molly and kiss her in the swing and make us laugh even in a difficult situation. I will always pray for you and your family and that God grant you peace that even though her life was short, you made the difference in Molly’s life and made her days here on earth beautiful and full of love.

Gina Gavin – My name for her was “sweet cheeks”. To me, with those beautiful cheeks, she was like a cherub here on earth. And al she wanted while she was here was to feel the hugs of those around her. She fed off of those hugs and cuddles. That was her sustenance. She probably stored them in her cheeks to take them up to heaven with her.

Linda Wood – While I only cared for Molly the weekend that she left for Omaha, what I will remember was that she was a touch little cookie with a lot of spunk.

Heather Fitzgerald – I will always remember Molly as one of my M&M’s. Now that only one M is at work, there is a void in my night. I loved those cheeks from the first moment I saw her. She was such an enthusiast about her pacifier. I think that is what continued to build up those cheeks…her muscles got bigger sucking. Molly’s gaze just put everything right with the world. She was such a great communicator. All she wanted was to stay awake when I was trying to rock her to sleep. We would sit, read, talk…night shift was a real treat because of Molly.

Karen St. Louis - About Little Miss Molly…it was always clear how much Molly was loved, her room was full of signs of love, hope and celebration – purple butterflies and music. One night, I went into Molly’s room to check on her. Haley and Owen were in there. Molly was asleep in her swing. Little Owen held his arm up in a “halt” gesture and gave me a loud “NO!” in the way only a 2 year old can. After several more “No’s”, and my attempts to persuade him that I was an OK person he hauled off and punched me in the leg. He was protecting his baby sister. Isn’t that what every little girl wants, a big brother to defend her and punch out anyone who might be coming around to pick on his little sister? Owen and I soon shook hands, and made up and became friends. He proceeded to kiss his baby sister on the head saying “My”. His way of say Molly’s name told me at once that not only was she Molly, she was HIS Molly. I have met few mothers who are able to fight and advocate for theirs baby’s the way Haley fought for Molly. The strength and love this family shares is amazing.

Jane Deacon – I always felt that Molly was ok with her fate. She seemed to be patiently waiting for the rest of us to catch up. She was patient and enjoyed the love of everyone that came into her life, be it family, friends or those of us blessed at University, Children’s and Omaha. Molly seemed not to want her family to suffer or linger in sadness.

Genette – There’s an African tradition from my husband’s home country of Senegal, West Africa. A child is not officially named until three months of age at a very important baby naming ceremony. The reason for this is that the people in this part of the world believe that the baby has to show their personality first, and then an appropriate name will be given. If we held this same custom for Molly, I think her name would have been something that embraced the character of a dedicated, fierce, female soldier! The baby naming ceremony is very important. It lasts all day with music, feasts, dancing, very raucous and joyful! So, Molly, today for me your name is Molly, Xare-Kat-Yi, little soldier. Love always, Genette

Michelle Kaufman – There was a calm and a peace about Molly that seemed to surpass all understanding. For as broken as her body was, Molly was as whole as I could ever hope to be. One early Sunday morning I was caring for Molly and…I was feeling frustrated. In the middle of my grump she had been kicking and moving around. Out of nowhere her hand lay on my arm, and as I paused I noticed that she had stopped kicking. When I looked up, Molly had a wise smirk on her face. I laughed out loud thinking to myself, did she just tell me to calm down? Molly, Haley, Brad and Owen and the entire family have been a blessing to my life and they will hold a special place in my heart. This is a place in my heart where God can illuminate suffering into treasured experiences and magical moments. Growing up I was taught that there is one reason that God puts us on this earth…and that is to love. Molly loved us well and she was loved fully and whole.

Nurse from University NICU –

Hi, my name is Angie and this is Tracy and we are nurses that took care of Molly. I first took care of Molly when she was just a couple days old. From the first time I took care of her, I pretty much fell in love with this little girl. She had the most mellow, easy going personality, and her cheeks were pretty cute too! Molly had a lot going on in the first few days and she hardly seemed to notice. The only thing she wanted was to be held. When you would hold her, she would just melt into your arms. Molly and I had many adventures during our time together. We often would go to radiology, which required a trip down to the basement. Most babies hate being taken on adventures. Not Molly, she loved them! They have this warmer on the radiology table called the bear hugger and let me tell you, as long as Molly was on the bear hugger, she couldn’t care less what else was going on! There were many times I would come into work and Molly was being rocked by the nurses while her own CD’s were playing in the background. Or, I would find her on rounds with the doctors, or charting with the nurses. All in all, she was one very special girl (oh, did I mention the cheeks?). Haley and Brad were incredible through this whole process. Working in the NICU, we come across families that are faced with difficult situations. I have never seen a family deal with a difficult situation in the way that Haley and Brad did. Sitting and listening to Haley explain what she was going through and how she was processing all the information was the most unbelievable experience. I feel very lucky that I was able to take care of Molly for the 6 wks she was with us in the NICU, and I am very happy to have met such a wonderful family. I know that we all will miss Molly very much. I have a poem to end on and hopefully I can get through it…

The poem is called “Letter to Mom” (even though it’s a letter to both Mom and Dad. It’s by Joy Curnutt.
Mom, please don’t feel guilty
It was just my time to go.
I see you are still feeling sad
And the tears just seem to flow.
We all come to earth for our lifetime,
And for some, it’s not so many years.
I don’t want you to keep crying
You are shedding so many tears.

I haven’t really left you
Even though it may seem so.
I have just gone to my heavenly home,
And I’m closer then you know.

Just believe that when you say my name,
I’m right next to you.
I know you long to see me,
But there’s nothing I can do.

But I’m still sending you messages
And hope you understand.
That when out time comes to “cross over”,
I’ll be there to take your hand.


in the days following

Many people have asked the question...How are you doing?  I truthfully don't even know how to fully answer that question.  I feel like it would take too long to actually break it down for people how we're really doing.  I don't mind answering, but I never feel like I've said enough.  It sort of comes out as all or nothing.  So I decided to try and figure it out this way in hopes that you'll see how our family is handling all that's happened.
We are taking things day by day, which I'm pretty sure is how we've tried to do everything when it came to Molly.  There are days when we are great and can talk about the joy she brought to us, and even the hard times we dealt with.  Then, of course there are days when we (or I) have a more difficult time dealing with that empty feeling that loss can't help but carry with it.  I have broken down at the most random times, because of something someone said or a picture that came to mind.  It's nobody's fault, because I absolutely love talking about her and hearing others talk about her.  It's just one of those things that you never really understand, and it will come at a time when you're least expecting it.  I've had a hard time putting together the blog of the service just because it's so much.  I was reading all the notes the nurses wrote about her, and it breaks my heart because they truly do have the most accurate words to describe who Molly was.  I was trying to download some of the slideshows and that was also more than I could handle at one point.  I just miss her.  We all just miss her.  I have been amazed at how many people were affected by the life of Molly Ann Hovis, and it has made me so incredibly proud.  
Brad and I talk about her often, and about how widespread the story of her life goes.  It's such a bittersweet thing for us.  Nobody can ever prepare you for the pain that comes with the loss of a child.  We always knew it was a possibility, and from the beginning didn't know if we'd get any time at all with her.  I guess that's where the sweet part of it comes in...we got that time with her.  We were able to spend 85 days loving on her, and we feel so incredibly blessed to have had that.  Even though it hurts because she's not here, it's a wonderful thing that God has done to give us as much peace as we've had.  Through our entire journey with her, that's how it was.  I never doubted that God was doing what was right by our family or Molly.  I continue to think that.  He took her because it was right for Molly.  I don't think many people actually got to see the things she had to go through, but it was difficult as a mom to watch her baby have to suffer through.  She did it well though...another reason I was so proud of her.
So, we continue to grieve, but it has come with different faces.  There are days when it's a sad or painful memory, and there are days when it's a happy laugh out loud memory.  It all hurts, but in different ways.  Owen has truly been the most amazing thing God gave us to get us through this.  He makes me happy all over, and I truly can't love on him or kiss him enough.  He is going to have to get used to his mommy being in his face for a while, because he has been so good for my spirits.  Brad has always been strong.  From the day we found out about Molly's disease, he held on to the trust in God he's always had.  It's one of the reasons I was able to make it through this okay.  
I will just say one more thing...if you don't know about the the kind of peace I talk about, then I pray for you even as I write this that you know it one day.  It can ONLY come from God, because he truly is the One who has brought us through all of this.  I would be more than happy to talk to you about where you can get it, because it's a supernatural God thing and I continue to get up every day with joy in my life because of it.  All that said, just to tell you that we're okay.  We're making it, and we're so so grateful for your prayers throughout.  God has heard your cries for our family, and has responded in a way that has made it okay for us to live our lives with the sweet memory of our precious Molly.  I promise to get the service blog up as soon as I can.  Keep checking back.  Love you all.      


still going

I will be posting stuff from Molly's service for those who couldn't be there. It's been one of those things that I haven't had a chance to do, but would really like to. Thanks for keeping up with us and know that we love and appreciate your continued prayers. Talk soon...


goodbye baby

I have no words that can fully explain the depth of my sorrow. I will do my best, but I truly have no desire to write about the death of my little girl. She went into surgery last night and never made it out. I can honestly say that I was not expecting this outcome. Call me naive, call me whatever you want but I thought this was her shot at having a full and healthy life. From the beginning God had different plans for my precious Molly, and I know that He did not take her away in order to hurt me. He is faithful and he has been so gracious to us. We were able to have almost 3 months with her, when there were people who told us we would get no time at all. Although her days were numbered and few, I have to realize that so are mine. This is not home for us, and I am continually reminding myself that Molly is home. She is with a daddy who has given her a brand new body. There are no more tubes and no more surgeries in heaven, just the healing hands of our loving Savior.
We had a perfect day with her yesterday before she left us, and I have no one to thank but God for that time. We thought she would be rushed into surgery as soon as we got there, and he granted us 5-6 hours alone with her. I will never forget those moments I had snuggling with her, kissing her precious face, talking with her, and watching her watch me. She had just recently started making noises and smiling, and I am so blessed to have heard that sweet sweet sound and to see those tiny lips curl up at her mommy. I weep as I write this because my heart has been broken. I have lost a piece of myself with the loss of my baby. I have never felt pain like I feel right now, and I know that the peace of God is the only thing that can ever make it go away. Little Miss Molly was a gift straight from the hands of our Maker, and while she was here she turned my life upside down. I would have done anything it took to get her home and to see her get well. I was ready, but instead God took her pain away and made it so that she didn't have to just survive. She gets to LIVE and to DANCE and BE FREE of the cords that entangled her here. I always thought she looked like my PaPa, and today I imagine him holding her in his arms and stealing all her smiles and sounds. I miss her and don't exactly know what to do without her. I am praising God for the blessing she was not only to me and our family, but to people who didn't even know her. That's amazing to me. We will move forward but not without the wonderful memories of our baby Molly. I cry because this sweet girl is no longer with me, and at the same time rejoice because who better for her to be with than Jesus! Brad has been such a great husband and rock to lean on. He is helping me to see just how much grace we were given. Owen is refreshing and has been able to make me smile in the midst of all my tears. My parents and Brad's parents have been such a support and have truly been an example of what sacrificial love is. We also have some pretty incredible family and friends who have done nothing but serve as an encouragement to us throughout the entire span of Molly's life and now through her death. We are extremely blessed. My little girl was a miracle.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We love and appreciate you all. We will be celebrating her life on Friday at 4:00pm. It will be held at the Tivoli downtown in the room - Turnhalle. Anybody is welcome to come. I would love to hear how she touched your life. We've also had many people as how they can help and the Colorado Baptist General Convention has set up a fund for Molly to help offset medical bills and funeral expenses. If that's something that you feel led to do, then you can donate through mail or online. The address for the CBGC is 7393 South Alton Way Centennial, CO 80112-2302 Phone: 303-771-2480 or go to http://www.saturatecolorado.com/ and the e-give button is at the bottom right hand side of the page. If this isn't something you feel led to do, then please know that we are so incredibly grateful for your prayer support.


time for transplant

So, in the middle of the night we got the call from Omaha. There was a possibility that there would be organs available, so we needed to get to the hospital ASAP. As ready as I thought I would be for that call, I never imagined that it would come a week and a half after she was listed. So I got started packing, and I can't even explain all the different emotions I felt. I know that she needs this to save her life, but it could also be the very thing that takes her life. I kept telling Brad that I wasn't ready and didn't think I'd be able to do this. We prayed and he was finally able to uncurl me and convince me that we had no other choice. Once we got to the hospital they had to make sure she was free of any infection, and they gave us the go ahead. It didn't take long at all to get from the hospital in Denver to the hospital in Omaha. When we got here, we had some good time to spend holding her while we waited for the organs to get here.
Molly is in surgery right now, it will take about 8 hours for the entire transplant (pancreas, liver, and small bowel). One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was hand my daughter to a nurse I didn't know who was going to take her to a place that nobody can promise she'll make it out of. It feels so selfish to want to hold on to her and never let anybody take her away from me, even if I know it's for her own good. That's my baby and I hate that I can't protect her from all the scary things she's going to experience. She's too little to know what's going on, but I'm not. I know the risks involved, and it's not an easy thing making the decision to place your child in a position like this. The only comfort we have right now, is knowing that God is in control. There are things that have taken place so far that have completely amazed me. I stand in awe at how
Sovereign our Lord is, and will always give Him glory for the things we've been able to walk through. I don't know how this is all going to turn out, but I will continue to praise Him for the life that was taken so that my little girl could have an opportunity at really living. I will be forever grateful to the family who gave us something as precious as this. What a miracle that they can even do something like this.
I will do my best to keep everyone updated. I will be here for about 6 months with Molly for rehab after all this is over, and I'll continue to let you know how she's doing. Please pray that she makes it out of surgery okay, stays infection free, and that her body doesn't reject the organs. We love and appreciate you all. Thank you for standing by us in this, and for being a constant support and encouragement.