Friday, April 27, 2012

What did I find in my Chase for Molly?

It is truly difficult to put into words how I feel after this experience.  I do know I can share some thoughts, experiences, observations and overall conclusions.  We usually take a cruise for relaxation… we did relax, we saw new places and sites and if you have been following my blogs you have seen the history behind the Titanic which many of you already know.  I think many of us base our conclusions and opinions on major disasters at arms’ length.  We learn more about them through books, movies and pictures.  It is hard to emotionally connect to a tragedy other than feeling sadness that it happened.  But after I had a chance to see its history in person I look at Titanic so differently maybe more emotionally.  It was real, it actually happened; it had an impact on so many people. 

In my first blogs I wrote about my hope to define my fascination of Titanic.  I experienced so many facets on this journey about Titanic from the building of it, the launching of it, the homelands of where the passengers were from, and the actual journey, but nothing came close to a deeper understanding my fascination.  I do know that it was a terrible disaster that changed so many lives then and now.  There are so many theories and opinions of what went wrong and what could have been different, who was to blame, what decisions could have been different, who survived and should of survived, what was the last song that was playing before she went down, what were passengers wearing at the time of the sinking, why were there not enough lifeboats, why was it women and children first, were the gates locked for third class passengers preventing their survival… the list goes on and on… but what I think brings the whole Titanic disaster fascination closer to understanding are the human stories.  There were many passengers on this cruise that were descendants of passengers on the Titanic.   The stories they shared made Titanic seem still alive.  There were no questions or doubts to their stories they were just stories about people living their lives and looking forward to new lives in America.   I guess if there is any fascination with Titanic it is the human stories.  The poor lost souls who never knew what they were about to experience would continue to touch people hearts and lives 100 years later.  I think I would like to keep my fascination alive out of respect to all that perished and survived.  I believe I can live out my fascination by what I learned from these stories …life is so very precious and we should never take it for granted.  In living our lives, we should go forward with our dreams and never look back.    

I did have two opportunities to share Margaret’s story with the passengers on the cruise.  It was a special experience for me and I believe for all who attended.  I wanted everyone to know that she was a survivor of the Titanic and a survivor in life.  She was not what we see in movies but she was real.  She was a strong and courageous woman always looking out to help others.  I felt everyone had a better understanding of what a true human being she was and not just a name.  I felt very honored to portray her and share her story. 

Now the question is what did I find Chasing Molly on this journey?   I started on this journey knowing a little bit about her spirit but I think I came back with some of it within me.  Taking this journey I traveled to one of her favorite cities, New York City, and felt how she must have loved the charm and pace of such a fascinating city, paid my respects at her resting place and felt closer to her.  But following the path of Titanic 100 years later made a difference in my understanding of her spirit.  I believe it hit me when we arrived at the actual site of the sinking of Titanic.  It was so very dark, the water was calm, and I could only picture her in the lifeboat taking charge and moving forward with staying alive.  All around her was panic and sadness but she pushed forward to help others… something she had been doing all of her life.  I know in her heart she felt she was doing what was right.  She never questioned if what she was doing was the right thing.  I believe I can take away from that moment not to question if it is right but to just do what needs to be done- to move on with life and help others and be who you are. 

I hope since the 100 anniversary has passed that we do not walk away from it.  If anything, there was good that came out of the disaster. 

That evening of April 14-15, 2012 we came together in a spirit of remembrance to give thanks for the lives of 1,503 men, women and children lost to the freezing Atlantic waters one hundred years ago, when the Titanic met its end under the stars at that exact spot.  In the presence of relatives and descendants of those who were on board, we mourned their loss and took comfort in the developments of safety at sea which followed.
Darkness was on the face of the deep.  We remembered the families torn apart by this tragedy.  Mothers separated from their children.  Husbands pulled from their loved ones as calamity struck.  And we remember with pride the acts of courage, the inspiring selflessness and sacrifice of those who gave their lives that others might live.

We should continue to recognize it by taking the lessons learned and live our lives with strength and courage and never give up on our dreams no matter what. 
So I will keep my fascination of Titanic close to my heart and continue to look back at this experience as an opportunity of a life time.  Chasing Molly will never end for me.  She is someone to look up to as a woman of her time, as a woman of all time… and perhaps practice a little of what she did in her life in mine.

Thank you for reading my blogs.  I hope you have enjoyed them, learned a little bit more about the mystery of Titanic and maybe taken away some of my experience as food for thought. 

Janet Kalstrom 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Janet,
    Thank you so much for you blog with pictures,for taking us along with on this truely breathtaking cruise. You braved the swelling seas, the tipsy walks through the ship, the cold outside air to pay respects to those who went down with the ship, who were never recovered. Surely their spirits thank you and bless you. The photos from Belfast made Titanic's life as big as she was. I really appreciate your efforts and sharing the trip with us, I felt the elation and the saddness along with you. The pictures were especially helpful to tell the story of the trip. I have a feeling that it will feel good to get home to Denver and get back to working at Molly's house, you will have so much more to tell the visitors now. Thanks again, Janet, very much.
    Nancy in Denver