The first time I spoke to the artist and free spirit Molly McIlree on the phone she was very dismissive if not rude. She told me that I was a wicked young woman disrupting an old lady’s life. I was 59 years “young” at the time and she was 100 years old.
I had already written to her and sent her some carefully chosen photographs of myself taken throughout my childhood, teens and later years as well a photograph of my son. Later she told me that when she received them with my letter she had put them in a basin and poured some hot water on them and crumpled them into tiny pieces and threw them in the bin. That first time I spoke to her I was shocked by her coldness and the harshness of her voice. It was my worst nightmare. How could this woman I had been searching for since I was 19 years old be my mother?
I was still reeling from the shock when I decided on an impulse to ring her one more time. Before she had a chance to speak I told her that I realized that she had no feelings for me and that all I wanted from her was to know the name of my father. This request had the strangest effect that I could never have imagined. “Would you like to come and visit me?” she asked. that reply was like manna from heaven to me. Of course I said that I would and she told me that I could come on one condition and that was that I introduce myself as Rosemary and say that I was a friend of hers.
“Don’t call me mother” she said “Call Me Molly – I haven’t been your mother”. Molly was a mother that no-one could have dreamed up in their wildest imagination. Charismatic, charming, daunting.flirtatious,highly intelligent. A woman who was riding her exercise bike in her eighties skipping in her nineties and entertaining her long lost daughter by cooking a delicious meal and talking about her incredible life travelling the world V.I.P. style all the way. She had lived in a mansion with a very wealthy man who referred to her as his beloved Molly but officially she was his “travelling companion. We talked non stop for 7 hours and found out that we had a lot in common.
The idea for this blog was to write about someone who had changed my life. She certainly did that big time. When she was 102 years old she fell and became bedridden. So I left my home, my mortgage business and my partner of more than 20 years and went to live with her in Dublin. I had found her on the internet and she was delighted to get her first email address when she was 103 years old. She was greatly impressed by the internet and saw it as a possibility for her to become world famous. She told me that her ambition was to become more famous than Einstein – one of her heroes.
I always had a different way of thinking to most of the people I met. It was when I got to know my mother that I realized where my weirdness had originated. As Justin Verrengia often says -“Here’s to the weird ones”. That’s one of the many things I love about Empower Network it’s a place where the weird ones thrive.
If you are a little bit weird or even if you are not, you will find that you will not only be accepted but welcomed with open arms into this very diverse community.