Thank you for coming to share and reflect about your knowing and memories of Mary. As the oldest of 4 children, Mary was born with special needs and as a result spent a lot of her time with her family growing up. Many of you may remember her as Kim as this was her name growing up until she decided she no longer wanted to be called Kim and wanted to be called Mary; this was in her 30s so needless to say there was some initial adjustment. Whenever Mary was asked to lend a hand, do an errand or look after someone, she did so easily. When she was younger, no matter when asked to run a quick grocery or shopping errand, she would do it. She appreciated being needed and helpful. She was fine with just a thank you and didn’t ask for a return favor; not ever. Mary particularly enjoyed shopping; it didn’t matter what kind of shopping, she just liked to go shopping and if it was for her; then even better. Mary always loved getting her nails done and picking a color was her favorite part. No sooner were her nails done, she would begin to talk about what color she would get next time. She loved to show off her nails to us. Mary also loved babies and little children and pets. She loved her little nieces and her nephew and always asked about them. Mary loved holidays and celebrations. She loved celebrating her birthday and making a wish, going out to eat for anything shrimp and strawberry short cake, celebrating Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, going to church and singing all the hymns. She loved her family and would easily become upset if someone wasn’t well or doing okay and would continue to ask about them until she knew they were safe. Growing up many times she was shielded from serious or important issues, but only out of love and protection.
A few years after the passing of her mother, Mary became part of the SPIN community. SPIN stands for Special People of the Northeast. This organization provides services to children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities so they may enjoy and achieve a life of possibilities. This was a great opportunity for Mary to have an individual life. Through SPIN she was able to accomplish things on her own she had always longed to do.
Mary was able to have small jobs and with the help of her sister, learned how to take a bus on her own. While Susan and Mary worked tirelessly on this, Mary was able to learn the routes and enjoyed the daily routine; Susan worried, but was happy and proud for Mary. This was the first of many new accomplishments as she learned to stock shelves, bag groceries and when attending workshop at SPIN, learned to assemble small packages for shipping and most importantly, earn a small paycheck. She prided herself on doing this, being on time every day and being independent.
SPIN also offered Mary the opportunity to make new friends, go to dances, be in shows and plays, go to movies and see shows, attend classes and make things in arts and crafts that she loved such as ceramics and pottery, beading and holiday gift making. Mary took great pride in all of this and thoroughly enjoyed it. Mary enjoyed getting a gift, but really like giving a gift especially if she made it. As Mary aged, SPIN was instrumental in her healthcare, living arrangements and overall safety and well-being. The quality of this organization and what they offered to Mary cannot be overstated. The care of everyone of this organization to the person they are helping is immense, from the heart and is unable to be measured. Mary shined with their help and her family thanks the staff of SPIN and the entire organization for all their love, support and care during Mary’s years she enjoyed being a part of the SPIN community and particularly during her last month’s the help provided daily is immensely appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Also, thank you for all the kind thoughts and words from our family and friends during this difficulty time. We truly appreciate your love and friendship and sharing your happy thoughts and memories and being present for us always.
Mary was loved by her family as was kind and seemed forever young with a happy smile and sharing time with her will be missed; her special uniqueness will always be lovingly remembered. This is something kindly borrowed by her sister which reflects sweet sentiment:
The world may never notice if a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The one we love was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
So please know that every beating of our hearts today
Says that we will miss and do love you.