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My special friend…

Charlotte met two special friends in pre-school. They are twins. Their names are Aurya and Rhea. For Kindergarten, they had to go to different schools, so maintaining their friendships was going to take some effort. I adore those two sweet girls. And I adore their parents, Sommana and Tanya. Fortunately we have been able to get together enough to maintain our family relationship. It is one I truly value. So now you have the context.

About a month ago, in the middle of my malaise, I received an email telling me that Rhea chose me as a person she “most admired” and could I come to an event at her school to celebrate this accolade with her. After I dried the tears from my cell phone, I responded with a resounding “yes”. What Rhea didn’t know at the time, and what she probably doesn’t quite understand yet, is that she lifted me up (literally) out of my bed and back into life. It was a burst of adrenaline that you could not package anywhere.

I just got home from the event at Rhea’s school. This is a picture of us. It was hard for me to attend physically; I’m still not even close to 100%. But Rhea intuitively knew my condition, and held my hand throughout. She was so appreciative that I was there with her. I would not have missed it for the world. Thank you, Rhea. Someday I hope you will read this, and know what you have done for me. You lifted me up; you made me feel so special. Kids can do that for us. I hope that everyone has a kid for a special friend.


Rhea and Me

Rhea and Me


The Fairy, The Cop and The Ninja



Let’s go get the loot!


Life's good friends are hard to find.

Life’s good friends are hard to find.


Special Friends


20 Responses to “ “My special friend…”

  1. Tanya says:

    Dear Mike,
    Your words are priceless. We love you three dearly. We are kinder , better and more understanding as humans knowing your family, and understanding what you all have and are going thru over the last 2 years in Seattle. We continue to be amazed by Jennie and your strength , positivity and dignity. Our friendship has been an absolute HONOR for us.
    Though Rhea does not know all of your condition, Children are absolutely intuitive. You really Shine – you are extraordinary – and that’s what she has always seen. And that’s why you were her Special Person.

    We are right here for you three.
    All our love
    Tanya , Somanna, Aarya and Rhea xoxoxo

    • Mike Dougherty says:

      You guys have raised two extraordinary girls and we are so proud to be your friends. I look forward to these BFF’s making priceless lifetime memories in the years ahead.

  2. I am Tanya and Somanna’s friends too, and their girls are truly special. Your article above brought tears to my eyes.

    • Mike Dougherty says:

      Dear Namrata, thank you so much for your message, I look forward to meeting you someday. Maybe we can convince Som to open some of his “reserve” wines :)

  3. Tracey says:

    Clearly the feelings are mutual! Love the matching smiles. You are so loved!

  4. Thank you for sharing Mike. Your blog truly inspires me to reach out just beyond my little world.

    • Mike Dougherty says:

      Thanks Chaia, thanks for your kind words. We are so lucky that we found you guys to work with. And it’s really comforting to know that you are more than just a business partner.

  5. sonnie says:

    What great gifts you and Rhea gave to each other.

  6. Amy Anderson says:

    Hi Mike, This is so sweet! Sofia is friends with Annika, who is in the last picture. They are in kindergarten together at Montlake. It’s a small world. Praying for you. Amy

  7. Carolyn McCormick says:

    Mike, “Thank You” for sending out this wonderful message and the pictures of these BEAUTIFUL little girls with their smiles,
    This has made my day as well! My thoughts and prayers are always with you, Jenny and Charlotte Hope. I read your blog to know what is happening in your life. You have touched so many lives.
    My love to all three,
    Carolyn McCormick

    • Mike Dougherty says:

      Awww, dear sweet Carolyn, you are such a wonderful lady. I just spent three days with your amazing son (aka Charlotte’s new godfather), you raised us good, and we love you for it.

  8. Michelle Feldman says:

    LOVE this! Love those girls!!! What a precious story. When I got to the part where Rhea held you hand, I just lost it…

  9. Tammy Dowie Davenport says:

    I have been receiving updates from Tracey and began following you on FB. Mike, you have a gift of writing and are able to put your thoughts and feelings down in such a way so others feel connected. You help others to zoom in on moments that so often we race by in life. I love how kids love so purely and wholly. I like to call these ‘glimpses of heaven’ moments. Keep up your writing because you are sharing your gift and encouraging many I’m sure.

    • Mike Dougherty says:

      Hi Tammy, so great to hear from you after all these years. It’s been fun getting a glimpse into your family via Facebook. Your kids sure look like little Dowie’s, that’s for sure. Thanks for your support and kind words, hopefully I get to see you again someday soon.

  10. Stacey Isaacs says:

    What a beautiful little girl, and a beautiful story! I just want to squeeze you both! xo Stacey

    • Mike Dougherty says:

      Thanks Stace for being here to help nurse me back into this great world. Hopefully you can come back soon and bring the little terror :)

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