The past, the present and the future of “Kind of Heart”

Writer, storyteller, cat lover, Mustang resident, mother, wife, daughter, grandmother, Christian… there’s a million words that could describe Molly Lemmons, but when her dad was asked to write a letter to her for school when she was 11 years old, he only wrote one thing to Lemmons—“Dear Little Belle, I hope you’ll always be as bright and as pure as the driven snow. Love, Daddy.”
At the time, Lemmons didn’t understand and didn’t appreciate what was written to her. But later, when reading love notes her father had sent to her mother, she came to understand and appreciate the quote more than she ever would have thought.
“As I grew older, it meant the world to me,” she said.
“You’re as bright and pure as the driven now” is a quote her daddy used to also say to her mom, and she knew he wanted his “Little Belle” to be just as pure as her mom was.
Sure enough, Lemmons was raised by example rather than a “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude and she remained just as pure.
“I had a lot to live up to,” she said.
That was just one story Lemmons shared when discussing her past, which is what she focused on in her previous columns for Mustang News called “Kind of Heart” from 1994-1997.
Lemmons, 79 of Mustang, wrote a nostalgia column every week about her childhood growing up in the 1940s and 1950s.
“My column all came about when one day I was working at Mustang Elementary. I was on playground duty and I was watching those darling little children that had keys around their necks and talked about their loneliness and their mothers. I got to thinking about my childhood and how blessed I had been so I decided to write about it and I began to tell the children the stories about it,” Lemmons explained. “On the playground, I would sit down with them and they’d say ‘tell us about this,’ and it just grew and grew. I put some of them together and took them up to the Mustang News to see if it’d be something worth publishing.
“Every week I had a column about growing up. I was working in the library and it came to where every Thursday when the paper would come out the children would come to the library to read my column.”
Lemmons would tell about watching her parents together her whole life, her mother always being at the door waiting for her when she came home from school and “always something smelling good coming from the kitchen;” Then she always had to tell about her day at supper time.
“Those were the happiest years of my life when I was a child because we giggled, and told stories, and everything was just so pleasant,” Lemmons said. “Mother didn’t allow any griping at the table. Those were the times for family.”
Lemmons said she told stories about her childhood because she feels like families in the 1990s and families today are very different than when she was young.
“Not that one way is right and one way is wrong, but I think one way is better,” Lemmons said. “If you can have it the best way—children really need to have their mother close by at all times. I don’t think I could have survived if my mother hadn’t been there.”
At the end of every column, she had what she called a “Magnet Message” that was a prayer and a scripture separate from the column that had to do with what she wrote about that day. The Magnet Message’s purpose was to be cut out and hung on the refrigerator.
Lemmons started her column as “an emotional need” and to let her parents know how much she appreciated them, but she said when the Crouts sold the paper, she decided it was time to discontinue her columns.
“I realized when I got older I had never really thanked my parents. I always thought everybody had that kind of childhood but when I started in the school system, I saw that I was very rare and very unusual. I thought it was important to tell the other side of what it used to be like—how can you ever compare anything if you don’t know?” Lemmons said.
After leaving Mustang News, Lemmons picked out 90 of her favorite columns and had them published in a book after a publisher approached her about it. She titled her book the same as her column, “Kind of Heart,” and it was published in 2000. It has since been republished three times and is still in publication.
Lemmons has published five more books and now is a professional storyteller. She often uses her “Kind of Heart” book to tell stories, while also adding more stories to it as she goes along.
She also teaches writing classes on how to write life’s memories from the heart, in which she uses another one of her books, “Cease the Flashback,” to teach her classes.
“You don’t think about heart writing, it just flows from the heart. It’s honest, it’s sincere, it’s open,” Lemmons said.
Another book she titled, “As Bright and as Pure as the Driven Snow” and it’s about sexual purity before marriage and includes worksheets. It has been used in church purity lessons.
Her other two books include “Passing of Paradise” and “Hold My Hand My Precious Child.”
Lemmons continues to write, teach classes, attend church, swim and more.
She has two children: Lucinda of Mustang, 52, and Roger of Edmond, 50, and two grandchildren who are almost 14 and 16.
She writes everything down for them and keeps it in a Memory Jar, which she said she wishes her mother would’ve done for her. Lemmons said she think it’s incredibly important for people to write down things for the next generation or two. Even just everyday things.
Lemmons is a cat lover and she has three cats, but soon will only have two.
She lost her husband last spring and is now having to move. She will be leaving her Mustang home of 49 years and moving to Spanish Cove Retirement Village in Yukon as soon as the house sells.
Lemmons will be bringing two of her cats with her to Spanish Cove, but one of her cats is older and blind, as well as being an outdoor cat, so she cannot take him.
She’s said it’ll be difficult to not have one of her babies and she won’t just abandon him so she needs to figure out somewhere for him to go. She said it’s also been difficult to go through all of her things because she can’t take everything but she just doesn’t want to get rid of anything because of the memories attached to it all.
Although it’s been difficult, Lemmons said she’s looking forward to living at Spanish Cove because she hasn’t heard anything but positive things about the residents, staff and apartments there.
See Page 9B for Lemmon’s “Remembering… Kind of Heart” column in our Back to School section.

2 Comments

  1. Gay Neal on July 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Molly Lou writes about a day when values were valued. I love to read her books and stories, they bring back so many memories of my parents and my childhood. We didn’t have the “things” families have today, and we didn’t have disposable money. But we had close ties to each other and with our church family. I treasure those times. Thanks for jogging my memory, Molly Lou!

  2. Barbara Wagner on July 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    MollyLou: Thank you for sharing your life with the public! We can be so thankful for our
    life growing-up! I grew-up in the 50’s and 60’s in northcentral Kansas. We had a get-
    together with cousins last week. It was so neat to share ‘precious memories’! Your
    memories are precious! I am so thankful for Sally introducing me to you & teaching me
    how to share our memories in scrapbooks! Jesus bless you in your ‘new’ home!
    Barbara

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