525,600 Minutes

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The devastation in Haiti has left us all stunned and in shock but no one more so than the Hightower family here in Washington state. Their beloved 22 year old daughter Molly didn't survive it. She was spending a year - or 525,600 minutes - in Haiti working with abandoned and special needs children for “Friends of the Orphans.” I didn't know Molly but reading and hearing about this incredible young woman and her dreams has been both inspirational and heartbreaking. She seems like the cute kid next door and I don't think she was a little saint-in-the-making but her story has hit a chord with me that keeps reverberating.

The name of Molly's blog is 525,600 Minutes, inspired by the lyrics of Seasons Of Love from the Broadway show Rent and it recounts her time in Haiti from her arrival in June 2009 ending with her last post on December 30th. In the final post on January 15th her family confirmed, after 3 agonizing days of waiting, they had learned that Molly had not survived the earthquake. Molly posted less than two dozen times so I thought I'd sit down a while and skim through her blog in an hour. Didn't happen. I got sucked in and found myself re-reading each post before going to the next. Her daily experiences are too much for me to imagine... the endless, grinding poverty, the hopeless, helpess children...the pictures of those little dark faces that were in her life one day and gone the next are gut-wrenching.  As her family said in their post "...hope that you will learn from Molly's writings what drove her to leave a life full of family, friends, hot water, clean water, plentiful food and peppermint frappuccinos, to a life of cold showers, bug bites, rice and beans everyday, and hot muggy days. Its very simple, THE CHILDREN."

What has insprired me most in young Molly's story is her not only her obvious dedication to help those children that drove her to leave family, friends & frappucinos. It's her mindset as to how she decided she could achieve her goal... one minute at time. 525,600 minutes... one year. I can't imagine that she thought she could change the lives of every abandoned child in Haiti but she could try to make things a little better...one minute at a time... and commit to the challenge to make those minutes turn into days and weeks. I admire and envy the self-discipline it takes to make that kind of committment.

Molly's dream was one of determination- that when faced with what seems an insurmountable challenge,  to break it down and take it one step- one minute at a time. You can make a difference.

My condolences to the Hightower family at the loss of their beloved Molly. Read more about her family's tribute to her and their plans to carry on her dream of helping the special needs orphans and people of Haiti.

11 Comments:

Andrew's Mom said...

What a beautiful post - I'm going to check out her blog.

Anonymous said...
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