We met Tommy and Rachel through a mutual friend. Tommy wanted to talk with us about his sister, a vision he had, and about our Molly. Tommy had a story he had carried for many years about his oldest sister, Grace. He too was a survivor of a murdered family member.
Grace, like Molly, was murdered. Taken too young. Tommy and Rachel had a vision to share Grace’s story and share not only the question “who did it?” but to share that Murder Matters – to the victim, their family, and their communities.
Who they were matters.
Who they might have become matters.
How we struggle with their loss matters.
Tommy wanted to help us in some way. He walked around our home in search of a project. He discovered our Molly Bish Foundation office had an odor. We recently had a storm and water had leaked into this space. Tommy felt it was not healthy and had seen the room over-filled with furniture, boxes and containers. I had just retired from 25 years of teaching, our children had moved, and all our Molly Bish Foundation items were brought back to the home office. It was an overwhelming task!
Tommy was a visionary though and he knew what needed to be done. All I knew was this: To remove the rug, all that was on top would have to be removed, sorted, and organized.
In talking to Tommy I shared how tired I was; taking care of my husband since his stroke, teaching, and running the Foundation had begun to take a toll.
Tommy was ambitious and his smile was contagious. So we began.
Tommy orchestrated volunteers from the Sheriffs community program. His friend gave us a dumpster. We had spent 18 years looking for Molly, sharing her story, developing a foundation in her name, and working on legislation in hopes of making this world a better and safer place for children.
All that we had done was reflected in everything that filled this space. Now it was time to go through each box, each container. We had desk supplies, papers, file cabinets, Foundation equipment, cameras, film, fingerprinting supplies, and programs from speaking engagements. We also had containers filled with Molly Ride T-shirts. It was all so overwhelming!
I had to remember: one box, one container, at a time. Much we were able to toss but it was all a part of Molly to me. Sometimes I found a drawing, a picture of Molly, and I had to stop. This is how I lived without my baby for all these years.
I began to realize Tommy was giving me a way to release myself from all that had weighed me down. I had become Magi Bish, “Mother of Missing Lifeguard.” I had lost myself – Magi Bish.
I was finding ME. This was the beginning of a new chapter.
Tommy was a gift to me. Each day, he came and worked. We talked, we cried, we shared, we laughed. We became like brother and sister.
The room was a new hope, clean and ordered. Tommy gave a home to all that we kept. He installed new cupboards along the long wall, top and bottom. We housed our awards, pictures, and treasured memories. We were able to even store my teaching supplies.
As if that wasn’t enough, Tommy learned I did crafts and he then put up more cupboards for a designated craft area for the many crafts I enjoyed but had no time to do. He created an exercise area as well.
Tommy’s vision was coming alive. He was giving me back things I had loved but had no time for. I felt light in the clean and organized space. Tommy changed my life box by box, container by container, and cupboard by cupboard. Who would have thought sharing our stories of Grace and Molly would provide time to find me again?
Tommy and Rachel have given us the most unique gifts by creating Murder Matters. Every time I go into our MBF office I am happy, and a picture of Molly smiles at me.