The Greater The Storm, The Brighter The Rainbow


Live Life Sunny

By Molly Mackenzie

Four Boys of Summer is a daily dose of sunshine, compassion, love, gratitude for family and all around positive vibes. This is the season to slow down, hit the pool or beach, relax, drink rainbow slushies and play with your favorite friends.  

I’m only speaking from this perspective because before starting 4BOS, I’ve witnessed another side of summer and survived a few dark storms along the way. I was 19, starting my second year of college, and remember it being a beautiful early fall day on my campus.  The sun was setting ending a carefree college day.  

My friends and I were hanging out and having fun talking in my room when I received a phone call that would change my life forever.  I was instantly transferred to a new realm of existence. The distraught voice on the phone said, “your dad was just killed in a car accident.” 

I immediately dropped to the ground, covered my face with a throw pillow and let out a primal and traumatizing scream. The next few days were spent in a comatose state surrounded by many friends and family trying to support us through my dad’s visitation and funeral service. 

Before this, my life was happy, oblivious, and shiny with no care in the world. My mom and dad were in love and enjoying the empty nest life with my older brother and I both away at college. 

They had big dreams for a new stage in life together, which I absolutely adored.  After the loss of a parent, the pain was unbearable and times were dark.  Living on earth seemed so harsh and unknowingly, people seemed cruel and insensitive.  Missing him was an understatement and I felt incredibly alone with a feeling that no one could relate.  

I was super close to my dad and I needed him back in my life. The sun was not shining even on the most beautiful day, and the family unit we once knew seemed diminished. When my dad passed away, so did my soul.

I lost my dad in early November with Thanksgiving just around the corner. My mom did her best and cooked a beautiful dinner, but the deep shock and disbelief that he was no longer with us robbed us from our holiday joy. 

We sat down at the table and it was painful to see his empty dining chair, the spot where he once sat eating and laughing.  This moment was so powerful because it was then that I made a memorable and conscious decision.  I decided I would try my best to live the most successful and positive life, and one day I would fill my dining chairs with as many family members as possible. 

I struggled for many years later and experienced all the grief stages, but with each passing day, the grief lifted slowly.  During one moment of anguish, I wanted to give up on my college degree and move home.  However, knowing dad was such an ambitious man, I needed to dig deep and make him proud.  

I ended up graduating college and immediately afterwards accepted a full time job.  I started to find my way in life again.

“We sat down at the table and it was painful to see his empty dining chair, the spot where he once sat eating and laughing.  This moment was so powerful because it was then that I made a memorable and conscious decision.  I decided I would try my best to live the most successful and positive life, and one day I would fill my dining chairs with as many family members as possible.”

Fast forward to 2003, I married my college boyfriend, my best friend and the love of my life who was there for me during those very turbulent times. Despite being one of the best days ever I wanted to sob hysterically because of one obvious and important person missing from the guest list. 

I “kept it together” with the loving support of my mom, brother and uncle (who were also grieving deeply) and I called on the unconditional strength of family to walk me down the aisle.  I felt so incredibly loved, but missing my dad more than ever, I was angry with him for not being there on my wedding day.

When my first son was born in 2009, life completely turned around into a positive direction.  I felt incredibly overjoyed with this full circle moment, my time to start over. We planned on naming him William (after my dad) where we continue to celebrate his life and memory. 

Then came my SECOND son, THIRD and almost two years ago we welcomed our FOURTH and final boy. 

We now occupy ALL the chairs at our dining table and there is always a special spot reserved in our hearts for other family members no longer with us. 

It feels beautiful and beyond successful to have our family complete.  I look forward to focusing this abundant positive energy on my newest creative adventure—4BOS.

You see, my dad passed away but his love is stronger than ever, living through me and my boys every day. I can feel him lifting me up even when the clouds roll in, and now it’s time to give back and inspire others. 

I dedicate 4BOS to my dad and thank him every day for giving me strength and a renewed and authentic perspective on life.

This very interactive journal helped me immensely after my dad passed away.
If your heart is broken and grief stricken, or you would like to gift this to a friend, I strongly
recommend for each individual healing path. 

Spread the word

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Really enjoyed reading this, Molly. Im sure your Dad would be so proud of you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Jade, Thank you so much for your support and I hope you and you beautiful family are doing well. I hope you see you again soon. XO

  2. This is a sad but beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. Someone once told me that with grief it never goes away it just gets different. So true when these anniversaries remind us of this. Also, congratulations on you site and it’s a wonderful way to honor your dad with the first post.

    1. Traci, Thank you so much for the support and always being such a wonderful listener and great friend. I appreciate this so much. XO, Molly

  3. This really touched my heart, Molly! You have shared your story with me before, but not in such detail. With every positive or negative experience we grow so much! Your boys are so lucky to have you, my beautiful friend!! Your website is great!! Congrats on this accomplishment!!

    1. Julia, Thank you so much. You are so right and I’ve definitely grown up a lot over the years. Crazy to think we met in our 20’s!! Miss you, friend. XO

  4. Molly this is beautifully written. Your father would love this. He was a beautiful kind person. Every memory I have him is good. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You are the best and I really appreciate your encouragement. It’s been very therapeutic to share his memory after all this time. Big hugs to you and your family! XO

  5. I love your heart Molly. So glad everyone can catch of glimpse of it here. Your heart is so big, and I love that you are sharing your story to help others. Your Dad has such a wonderful legacy brought alive by you and how you raise your boys. Proud of you friend! Love you Xoxo

    1. Thanks for always being there for me and knowing me so well. Love you to pieces and I miss you so much. Love, Mol

  6. Thank you for sharing this blog Molly! Your dad had such a kind smile! My dad has also passed, he died on Easter after a short battle with cancer, at age 62, while I was 8 months pregnant with Nina. I can’t imagine losing him as suddenly or as young as you did. It’s tough for our kids not to know them isn’t it. You can talk abut him with me anytime!

    1. Jen, I’m so sorry too and thank you so much for your very kind words. I think the kids not knowing him will always be a tough spot in my heart. Thanks again for sharing and I hope to run into you soon. XO -Molly

  7. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with such intimate emotions. You’re strength and courage is inspiring. May you always feel and remember your father’s love through the love and embrace of your own children. 💙💙💙💙

    1. Cristina, You are the best and I’m so thankful to have you as a friend. We never miss a deep conversation when we are together. Love You! -Molly

  8. I love this post and really enjoyed hearing about your dad! I’m so excited about your blog and what a great first real raw post! I’m guessing this was hard to write and harder to read but it really draws you in. Great job Molly!!! I love it! I had no idea that William was named after your dad- I love that 😍 he’s definitely looking at you right now so Incredibly proud of you!

    1. Sarah, Thank you, my friend! Love you and so incredibly thankful to have you in my life. XO

  9. So beautiful!!

    1. Larry, You are such a great for reading my story. I really appreciate it. -Molly

  10. Molly! This is so beautiful and I love you so much! I didn’t know your dad, but anyone that knows you sees a light shining from you. I know your dad would be so proud!! I am so excited to follow along on your journey with your beautiful family!

    1. Jill, Love you too and thank you for ALWAYS for being such a great friend. I miss you!

  11. Beatiful words and truth Molly. Thank you for sharing. Your dad would be so proud of the incredible mum, woman and friend you are. We are so lucky to have you. Congrats in the website too – so beautiful. I am so in awe of how you do so much and am thrilled you found an outlet for your passion for creativity.

    1. Andrea, You are so kind and your words mean so much. I am so lucky to know you and your gorgeous family. XO

  12. Molly, what a beautiful post. Thank you for always bringing beauty and a dose of sunshine. Your story is heartbreaking and simultaneously heart warming. May you enjoy the joy and happiness with your lovely boys and thank you for spreading the good vibes.

    1. Aww, so beautiful to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind words. You are always such a joy to be around. Love, Mol

  13. Beautiful tribute, Molly! Xo

    1. Hi Kristin, Thank you so much for you friendship and supporting my post. I hope all of you travels went well. Love, Mol

  14. Oh Miss Molly! I remember that fateful day so clearly. Don and I loved your Dad! He and Mom were our Tokyo family. We shared a very special bond of love and friendship. It pains me as well to think he was taken from us way too soon. But, you are living up to his admirable legacy. I’m so happy for your good fortune in life. Your wonderful husband and adorable four boys are truly a treasure. Thank you for sharing your memory of Dad. He should never be forgotten.
    Big hugs!

    1. Hi Connie, I really appreciate your kind words and you are the first person to comment on my new site. Such an honor. 😉
      You and your family have always meant so much to us. Sending you so much love. -Molly

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