One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”.
The post below is the story for May 10, 2015. My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal. On May 10th I am going to repost this with a different angle. I am going to post on “My Mom and the “Moms of Friends”.
Patricia Kenney is my mom
My Mom-Patricia Lynch Kenney
My mom was born in 1926 and passed away in 2012 at the age of 85. She was a nurse, a wife for 39 years, and a loving mother to six children. She was a grandmother to another 14. I am the oldest child and have two brothers and three sisters.
My mom’s name was Patricia Lynch Kenney and she was the youngest of six siblings from the Lynch family. She grew up in Far Hills, NJ and went to school in Bernardsville, NJ. There are a lot of wonderful things about my mom that I could share but I am going to focus on four.
One; she was a woman of tremendous spiritual conviction and was a devout Roman Catholic. My mom went to her grave disappointed that none of her sons became a priest.
Two; my mom was fiercely proud of her Irish heritage and culture. Going to New York City for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, listening to Irish music, and when the Jameson’s or Irish Sherry kicked in she could be found doing an Irish Jig. Anything related to Ireland became happy moments for my mom and her four sisters.
Third; she had three special days in the month of May. She was born in May, she was married in May, and she loved the Kentucky Derby. It just so happens she was married on May 3, 1952 which was the day of the 78th running of the Kentucky Derby. That year the race was won by Hill Gail. Photo below
Horse racing was important to my mom because her dad Henry Lynch was the greatest show horse jockey in Ireland in the early part of the 1900’s. His ability as a jockey allowed him to come to America to ride horses. Once he was in the US he met my grandmother Bridget Bambrick and they lived in Far Hills and Peapack, NJ.
Fourth; my mom was a saint. My youngest sister was born with Downs Syndrome and as an infant contracted rheumatic fever and became deaf. My dad died in 1991 and my mom was the primary caregiver to my sister Mary up until my mom passing away in 2012. There has never been a mom with a more loving heart than Patricia Lynch Kenney.
My Mom-Patricia Lynch Kenney
(l-r) Patricia Kenney, My brother Tom, and dad Francis D. Kenney-circa 1966
The Moms of my Friends- Stories below
Rita Murray from Brian Murray
Rita Murray sitting down in red sweater at a bridal shower
Great idea Dan, Well my mom, Rita Morrison Murray and Pat Lynch Kenney were dear friends. They lived next door to each other and raised their families together. Both were Irish, devout Catholics and both had a love of horses. My mom’s dad was not a famous jockey but he was a blacksmith in Morristown were my mom was born. Both sets of her Grandparents moved to Morristown from Ireland. My mom is 97 and still with us. She lives on her own in the house I grew up in. While Dan is the oldest in his family I am the youngest. I have two brothers and a sister. My oldest brother is a priest and my mom knew he would be from the time he was in the womb but she never shared that with him until after he was ordained. The rest of us did pretty well although those who know me growing up could argue the point about me. Mom has sixteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. My mom knew how to live though difficulties and challenges, she learned to swim and drive car when she was in her 40’s but she also managed to keep our family going on a very tight budget. She is compassionate. I remember her having many a “cup of tea” with a friend who was going through a difficulty. They came to her for wisdom and support. Now at 97 many of her dear friends have passed on but rather than become lonely she simply acquires new (and younger) friends. Happy Mothers Day Mom, we love you! Brian Murray
Ruth Read from Carey Read
Photo of Ruth dancing with husband Finley
My mom grew up on the farm a middle child with all that comes with that. She is very independent and strong-willed. She is also saint; along with my Dad spending their advancing years caring for the needs of those less fortunate than themselves. She doesn’t talk about it. She just does it because she knows that God has instructed her to do so. She raised her kids in a strict, disciplined manner and I love her for it. She was a master English teacher. A task master that wasn’t always appreciated during high school, but the endless stream of college freshmen that came to our door to thank her speaks volumes to how well she did her job. She is 81 and as feisty as ever.
Rosalia Terranova from Giuseppe “Joe” Terranova
Joe’s mom Rosalia
My mom’s name was Rosalia, she was the oldest daughter of 3. at early age (about 9) she lost her mom and took on the role of a mom early, by taking care of her brother (Giuseppe) and her little sister (Nancy). She was one strong woman.
I grew up in Sicily, and my dad’s job as a railroad builder took him to work out-of-town 5 days out of 7, so my mom was my father and mother at the same time. I was 4th out of 5 siblings, I was the youngest for six years and then along came my younger brother.
Below is what made Rosalia Terranova special to me.
1. I loved her espresso, she would be at 5AM every day, and sometimes smoked a cigarette (even when she was pregnant).
2. She insisted that we were well-mannered and dressed, she loved to get dressed up.
3. My mom loved to cook and make fresh bread in our brick oven, every Sunday we would have 10 to 15 people gather at my house (in Sicily) to drink and eat.
4. I was her favorite son, she never advertised it, but my brothers and sister knew it too well..
She passed away a the early age of 44, I miss that she is not here to see what her sons and daughter have accomplished here in the USA.
Mira Kenney from Becca Kenney
Mira Kenney and Becca Kenney from 2012
My mom, Mira Kenney, is an amazing woman, as you all know. She is the mother of five wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl (Me). My mom has played many roles in my life: mother, disciplinarian, friend, role model, coach, cheerleader, and supporter. I am not quite sure how she put up with all of us children. I know there have been times we made her want to pull her hair out.
As many of you know Dad coached college basketball. So a lot of times Mom had to do everything on her own. Running us all to and from school, games, practices, and any other extra curricular events. Cook dinner. Laundry ( which we were taught at a young age to do on our own). Clean house. You know all the “mom” duties. On top of that she made sure we were at all the home basketball games. Was my dad’s biggest cheerleader, and a mom to all of his players.
Mira is an amazing woman who I look up to very much. She has been there to support and guide me through the rough times, and cheered me on during my best. She is always thinking and doing for others! If there are not enough minutes in a day to get it all done, she finds a way to squeeze it all in.
As I have gotten older and grown into my own, I have seen my mother grow as well. Maybe I have a different perspective of her now too. I can say that God has truly blessed me and my brothers with an amazing mother. One whom we can share laughter and tears with, one whom will always listen, one whom is always looking for ways to help out when we need her, one whom prays for us daily. A mother who leads by example, and shares her love for Christ by her actions and words.
Mom, I hope one day to be half the woman you are. I also hope to one day be a mother who is as loving and caring as you are. Thank you for always being my compass when I am lost, my encouragement when I am down, my rock when I am weak, but most of all thank you for being my mother! You have blessed me with your unconditional love. Thank you for being my best friend. I love you and hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day.