A friend of a friend-Many-Mary Frances Kenney-December 21

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 December 21, 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.

Today is a special day for my entire family. I get to accompany my sister Mary from her home in New Jersey to our home in North Carolina where she will spend a week with us for Christmas.

Dan and Mary

My sister and I are separated in age by 10 years. From the time she was eight I pretty much out of the house off to college in North Carolina and then on to my career as a college basketball coach.

My sister has a lot of special needs. She was born with Downs Syndrome and while she was an infant she contracted Rheumatic Fever which took away all of her hearing. Even though she cannot hear or speak she definitely can communicate if you are willing to pay close attention to her sign language conversations.

I sheepishly have to admit that my signing is very rudimentary and often have to depend on basic signing and a pad and pen to always understand what she is trying to tell me. My wife Mira has been a saint in learning many more words than I know. As a couple over the next 6-7 days we will enjoy our time with my sister.

We will watch her decorate her own Christmas Tree that includes decorations she has had for decades. We will watch her open up each gift she receives on Christmas morning with absolute joy. We will watch as she grills our children (in sign language) that are in relationships when they are getting married and having children.

If you have ever been around someone who has Down’s you know that they have loving hearts. My sister epitomizes that spirit. She will spend hours sending cards and notes to a variety of friends, family, and clergy members. She has a special fondness for men especially those that will dance with her at wedding or party.

In all of my 2015 posts I have profiled a friend and one of their friends. My sister Mary just has too many friends to single out just one. With my sister it doesn’t take much to become her friend.

When my sister meets you that alone will make you her friend. If you have ever spent time with her or just smiled at her you become a special friend. If you take a picture with her, write her, or dance with her than you become on par with the Pope.

This Christmas holiday I hope those of you that have met my sister, spent time with my sister, have taking a photo with her, sent her a card, or danced with her know what that means to our family.

The Friend-MARY FRANCES KENNEY-photos of Mary with a lot of her family and friends


Mary Matt Hope


One comment

  1. Sue Murray Koeller · · Reply

    I have been enjoying your blogs very much, especially the ones about the family. This one was though on Mary Frances is my absolute favorite. Merry Christmas to you and the whole family! Give Mary a big hug for me.

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