The elderly woman, along in the hospital room, moaned with pain. A rosary hung from her bony fingers. A young doctor from Australia entered the ward and looked sympathetically at his patient. The staff nurse, accompanying him on his rounds, busily scribbled notes.
“How are you today?” the doctor asked, noticing that the lips of the old woman were silently moving as she fingered her prayer beads. “I am sorry if we are interrupting your prayers.”
The old woman opened her eyes and stared past the doctor as her mind returned to her Irish home. It was as if she had been reborn. The date was December 1, 1848, the day her mother had given her the rosary beads as a lasting symbol of her forgiveness.
“Please,” she pleaded now as her eyes swept over the doctor and the nurse. “Please listen to my story so I can die in peace.”
The tone of her voice and the nature of her request stopped the doctor and nurse in their tracks.
It was quite time, so they both nodded and brought over chairs, to sit beside the bed. The old woman looked at them and, with all the strength she could summon, proudly announced, “My name is Molly. Molly O’Brien,” and begin to tell her tale.