If the world could have cloned Maureen Kenner, it would doubtless have left out the cancer gene that took her life prematurely. But in no other respect would it have changed her. Clone Maureen Kenner, and you would solve many of the ills of our education system. Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For the thirty-five years that she taught in the Providence, Rhode Island public school system, she worked tirelessly as a mentor for the betterment of all children and their families. And to this end she succeeded admirably. Honored with many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence Teacher of the Year in 2003.
With an inexhaustible amount of energy and love, Maureen made room in her life for a husband and a son. Buddy, her husband and love of her life, was to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia just months before Maureen would herself be told that she was suffering from an aggressive and terminal cancer. Thus would end Maureen's career in Room 4, to be supplanted by the full-time roles of caregiver, and cancer patient. Living as a model patient, Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. Maureen and Buddy would die within weeks of each other, Maureen hanging on to nurse Buddy to the end. For thirty-one years, through sickness and health, Maureen was his beloved soul mate, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.
What they leave behind, their legacy, is Daniel, their son, who, in the last year of his parents' lives, spent endless hours with his parents, but more particularly for the present purpose, with his mother. And together they weaved together this book, a love story of family and community told by a mother through her son, detailing the sixty years of a life well lived.