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My sister Shannon…

mike shannon chart

Another gorgeous day in Seattle!!

We were born exactly 25 months apart to the day, January 12, 1965 and February 12, 1967. Being sick has been hard on everyone, but I think it’s been the hardest on one of my favorite people in the world, my sister, Shannon. She and I are very different. I am the extrovert and she is the introvert. I am cavalier, and Shannon is humble. I have always been the front man and she has always had my back. I often leap into things blindly without thinking through the repercussions, and Shannon is a plodder, a planner, thinks of the consequences.  Together we make a great team. We show our emotions differently too; I’m a big crier and my sister is much more subdued. That’s why this mortality thing is so hard for us; neither one of us knows exactly how to say it, but we both feel it. We love each other very much, and we can’t imagine what life will be like without each other around.


Red Sox vs the Giants, tough one?

I have really been missing my sister through the latest round of challenges I’ve been facing, so I invited her up to Seattle to spend a couple of days together (no kids, no spouses). This way it’s a unique dynamic, just her and I, no holds barred.

We did a lot of talking these last two days. She just left and I already miss her. I now know how scared she is of losing me; the loss will unleash a deep down feeling of fear that she has been hiding. We talked about that a little bit while she was here, and I am confident that now she will let some of that go.  I don’t think I have told her how much I will miss her, but I hope she knows.

I’m very proud of my sister. She and her wonderful husband Peter Bartlett, have created a terrific family with 3 boys, Jake (11) and twins Sean and Erik (8). Shannon is a great mom.  And I’ve come to realize, she’s really easy to talk to. She has a gigantic presence; you just want to be in the room when Shannon’s around. I used to think she was a pushover, but I’ve observed now that she is tough and holds her ground. I see certain situations as “half-full” and she sees certain situations as “half-empty,” that’s OK. That’s us.

shannon and chart

I love my Auntie Shannon!

But by far the most important observation I made over the course of the last two days is the love affair that my daughter has with her Auntie Shannon. As anyone who knows me well knows, that if you are good to my kid, then you are golden to me. Two words: Golden Arches on that front.







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Tall enough Poke?



Please don’t leave Auntie Shannon!!


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Word up!!

18 Responses to “ “My sister Shannon…”

  1. Siobhan says:

    Nothing like a sister! Especially a good one. Glad that Little Miss Poke got to fall in love with her Auntie. That is pure magic. BTW, your sis is gorgeous! But I’d expect that from the Dougherty genes. xoxo

  2. Matt says:

    She is definitely something special. Shannon played the same role with my crazy sister Stacy and nice to see how the Dougherty “rock” has kept it all together. I do miss the days when we were king of the Dougherty household and Shannon and Stacy had to bow to their older brothers. :-)
    Great to see you both spend quality time together. See you next week.

  3. Cheri says:

    Your sister is the best. One of those people you meet and love right away. Runs in your family my friend…

  4. Kim Keane says:

    Well said Michael, she is one of a kind and a true friend. You both are truly special. xoxo

  5. Mike Dougherty says:

    And having great friends like you make the whole package work, and I benefit too :)

  6. Tracey says:

    So great to see Shannon and nice you had some quality time together. I’m sure Charlotte loved having her Auntie all to herself too!

  7. Mike Dougherty says:

    Totally hogged her :)

  8. Carine says:

    I miss you two. Oh the memories we have! Sisters are the best, but brothers are incredible. :).

  9. Nan Brown says:

    Shannon has never been a pushover! She just let you think you were getting your way! Love you both! So glad you had special time together. XXXOOO

  10. Carolee Mathers says:

    I enjoyed reading about your sister’s visit, Michael. Sisters are indeed special; mine, while four years older, has always been close to me. Tom’s sister, Gret, was an inspiration to him and his younger brothers and oh how they miss her! Gret was the brains and Tom the braun of their restaurant business. This seemed to provide the perfect combination for their success. We all admire your courage and think of you often.

  11. Mike Dougherty says:

    Thanks for your message Carolee, I have heard wonderful stories about Gret, I wish I would have known her, but I feel like I do (cause we wear the same genes). Thanks for all of your support and well wishes.

  12. Linda Lydon says:

    There’s something special about the brother/sister relationship! Shannon looks amazing.

  13. Jan Irons says:

    Way behind in my reading, but I’ll chime in anyway! It’s amazing to me that Shannon favors your Mom and you your Dad physically, but it’s just the opposite in personalities. Mom is outgoing, and Dad is quiet. Not that either is good or bad….I think you know what I mean! Love you all! Healing thoughts as always!

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