Try a Medium on for size….

Precious Mama is the easiest person to love. She is kind, she is funny, she is generous, she is faithful, she has the biggest heart of any one that I know. My precious Mama is also the easiest person to make fun of. Her sweet spirit and huge heart make her have this child-like innocence and faith. It’s hard to describe. I mean she’s been a politician’s wife, she’s had a kid with cancer, a kid with a traumatic brain injury, adopted a child, lost a child, had a sibling with addiction issues, but nothing has broken her sweet spirit.

Like all of us, Mama has been searching for solace and peace from many different sources as we have slopped through the mud and muck down this endless grief pit.  One way she has dealt with it has been to wash clothes. If you are feeling behind in your laundry, just give her a ring. (Actually call me and I’ll tell her, she loses her cell phone more than anyone I know.) For a while her voracity in reading was redirected toward magazines. At first, she couldn’t concentrate long enough to read so she found comfort in flipping pages of glossy magazines. Another thing that gave my sweet Mom comfort? Jack Daniels and cocaine. Just kidding! Any of you who know my mom are probably choking on your own JD and Coke, or are laughing. Seriously, she started watching The Long Island Medium. Their DVR is chock full of episodes. I couldn’t stand to watch them with her. I truly felt like it was all bull, and that Mediums were Voodoo hippies who swindled people out of money. Once again, this lens of grief through which I view the world has given me a different perspective.


One Saturday this fall, my friend Jen called and asked me to go to the Tomato Festival with her. (Atlanta people, think a smaller-scale Inman Park Festival.) So, I went with the promise I’d be home for Auburn’s kickoff. As we began to walk around the festival, a booth caught my eye. It looked like it was a booth advertising a spa. When I got closer (by closer I mean straight up to the sign, they don’t call me Helen Ray for nothing) I saw that the sign said “Medium Readings.” The lady behind the table asked if I was interested in Medium readings. In true, no-filter, word vomit fashion, I said, “Uh, no. My mom is obsessed with the Long Island Medium, but I think it’s all bull.”

The lady laughed and said, “I understand that, but if your name is Emily, you should think about staying.”

I froze a little and probably had a chunk of vomit rise ever so slightly. “Why do you say that?”

“Well Bonni {the medium} and I have had the name on our mind, but we don’t know why.” The lady said it nonchalantly, and then I had to admit I was a little interested. I didn’t tell her my name, but told her I might be interested. She pointed to two ladies behind her sitting in foldable chairs. “Bonni’s just finishing with a client, come back in about 10 minutes.” I did not give the lady my name, but said I’d return. I told Jen she had every right to judge me and think I was crazy. We walked around a minute, determined a meeting point, and I returned to have my Voodoo read.

When I walked back to the folding chairs, I did not find a gypsy woman with many beads, flowy kaftan, and incense burning. I found a normal girl, around my age, who seemed like the type of person I’d be friends with. I was still reluctant to give any information, afterall, I wasn’t going to be swindled by this crock of you know what. She asked if I was interested in a psychic or medium reading. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Whatever. I don’t care.” She asked if she could hold my hand ot see if she could get a medium reading. She said she might have to hold them the whole time. Again, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Whatever.” She held both of my hands in hers for a brief moment and then dropped them. I immediately thought she had seen into my black hole of a heart and was gong to put a hex on me. Instead, she warmly said, “Oh I don’t need to hold your hands. This is very strong.”

I won’t and can’t recount every detail. But, yall, this lady was LEGIT. If I had been able to tell MC Hammer about this 25 years ago, I’m sure he would have dedicated 2 Legit 2 Quit to this story. She knew that Molly was adopted. She knew that she had spent time in Kenya. She knew that she had twin girls (2 twins as Molly used to call them), she knew that I was teaching in an inner city school (I checked to make sure I wasn’t wearing a school t-shirt), here’s the kicker….. she knew that I had Molly’s “ornamental lights” in my classroom! When she first started talking, I freaked out and told her to stop. Then, this eerie peace fell over me, and I allowed her to continue.

She spoke to me for 15 minutes, but it felt like hours. Time stopped. She told me about what Molly does in heaven. It might not be true, but it made just enough sense to make me think it is. She told me that I needed to stop feeling guilty that I have no desire to serve in Kenya like Molly did. She told me that Molly guided me to my school because I was doing the same thing she did in Kenya. She told me that my time there was short, because I was going to tell her story. She told me that I was going to tell her story and that my mom was going to help. She said it will be the thing that helps my mom the most. She said almost verbatim what sweet Woodrow Hudson said at Molly’s funeral when he said, “Tell her story, tell it again and again, because nobody can tell it like you. You’re her sister.” Ironically enough, it was in my classroom, under the glow of Molly’s lamps, that someone told me to start with a blog, and chase after my dream. It was under the glow of those lamps that I shed so many tears as the semester unfolded and I could feel my heart being pulled away from the students i loved so much. The lamps are packed in my car today…. awaiting a new classroom in Georgia and eventually the MollyROCK office. Her ornamental lamps are unplugged, but now I’m choosing to follow the light she places in front of my steps from within. I never thought I’d leave Nashville. I never thought I’d leave inner-city teaching. I never thought I’d trust someone in the same profession as that Long Island Medium lady. But then again, if I kept saying “never,” I couldn’t make Molly’s story be “forever.” The Radical Open Conversation and Kindess shown to me by the Medium on a hot September day in Nashville will forever be a part of the MollyROCK story!


Keep MollyROCK in your daily life. Maybe it’s with a Voodoo princess, the Psychic Friends Network, Cesar Milano, your children, your bank teller, your hairdresser, your mailman.

More than meat loves salt,



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