By Lora Parisien Begin
Tunis, Tunisia 1990…
“Some months ago, on a particularly cold, gray and moody day, I was cocooned in my sleeping bag, drinking bowls of hot tea and attempting to exorcise the chill that had invaded my bones when someone rapped on my door. It was Molly. She was alone and not expected. She had just returned from a vacation in Morocco. Without exiting my sleeping bag, I waddled, she followed, into the kitchen where I put on another pot of tea. That was when I took notice of her feet. Her toes were unnaturally purple as they peered out from flimsy blue flip flops. I was enveloped head to toe in down, with just a blow hole for sipping tea and communicating. She had naked feet and near frost bite.
“Why are you wearing those?”
Smiling as ever she said, “I traded my Reeboks…and most of the stuff I had on me at the time, for a rug in Marrakesh! One more treasure for the genie room I am creating! Purple toes are definitely worth it.”
Molly, even with her purple toes, always manages to knock the gray out of any day.
That was Molly: fearless adventurer, beauty, eternal optimist, and wife, daughter, friend, Peace Corps Volunteer. Molly, away from the Ohio of her youth, was the picture of a successful Peace Corps Volunteer: integrated, thriving, resourceful, very active—and quite possibly the most-easy going person in all of Tunisia. Her co-volunteers adored and admired her. Her students loved her and were inspired by her. Her community embraced her. Losing someone like Molly, someone so luminous, someone so good, is very difficult to bear. But I do know this, at the time Molly left, she was most certainly on the joyride of her life. She loved her newly-adopted country, Tunisia. She loved living.
And everyone who ever met her, loved her.
Molly, you will always always be missed.
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