Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for June, 2010


This weekend I attended my first National Letter Winners Association Conference. It included over 30 Universities’ Letterwinners’ clubs, just like the Notre Dame Monogram Club on who’s board I serve. How fascinating to spend three days with like-minded individuals and former athletes who are seeking to serve their membership, just as we do at Notre Dame. It was an honor to listen to ideas of networking and mentoring and outreach, and the ideals to which we all strive.

It also wasn’t long before my story emerged. I am not sure how it first surfaced, but it then spread quickly amongst the group. To this group in particular, mine is an interesting story. Just as I often speak of the community of goodness that surrounded me during my time of need; these Letter Winner groups can serve as that goodness to others. It is precisely why we attend a conference such as NLWA.

But equally as important were the relationships established and maintained. Many of those in attendance knew each other well and have attended this conference for years. I was a newbie- but I will attend again, for certain. Before the end of the weekend I had new friends on Facebook and hopefully have added to the circle and network of Athletes Helping Athletes.

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  • Over the past few weeks, under varying circumstances, I ran into three former teachers of mine from middle school and high school. As a former teacher myself, who recently completed a Masters in Teaching degree, I am keenly aware of the impact a teacher can have on his/her students. These three particular teachers made an impact of the best kind.
    My former senior year high school English teacher gave me the confidence to write. I must have told her I was not a very good writer- because I will never forget when she handed me back my first essay (our personal statements as we prepared to fill out college applications) and she said, “I don’t know why you don’t think you can write.” She believed in me and after that, I believed in myself. A statement so simple, and yet so powerful.
    That is the legacy anyone can leave, both positive and negative, with just one statement. We teach and learn each day through our (and others’) actions and words. As you move through your day, think about your actions and words, and their legacy. Will it be positive or negative, powerful and simple, and might it change someone’s life?

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  • JUNE 13

    June13th was my grandfather’s birthday. Pop-pop, Poppy, Van, Grampa, Gramps – whatever you called him, he was loved by many and would have turned 105 this past Sunday. As it was, this June 13 marked the five year anniversary of the day we buried him; he died one week before his 100th birthday, and we celebrated.

    June 13, 2010, was a day full of emotions for me. Being my grandfather’s birthday, I was reminded of him, of the love of grandparents, and of a life well lived. June 13th also marked the end of a three-day trip with our children and our dear friends. We celebrated the end of school with a weekend of friendship, family and fun.
    As I unpacked from our trip and prepared for a book talk that night, I received the news that a father at my sons’ school had passed away. Once again I was hit by the emotions of the day; devastated and shocked by a young and untimely death.

    In all my talks, I share that tragedy will happen to everyone at some point in our lives – and that we can choose to become a more bitter or fearful person, or we can choose to surround ourselves with the goodness that reaches out to us during our darkest time. We may not see or recognize the goodness at the time, nor may we be receptive to or welcoming of it. But it will be there – and it can carry us through whatever we face.
    There are no words to comfort a grieving wife or her two young daughters. There is only prayer and hope and faith that time will begin to heal deep wounds. These wounds never fully go away, but they do heal and can leave us stronger, and leave us with the strength to be the goodness for someone else.

    Family, Faith and Friendship. My weekend held all three – and I continue to pray for others who hopefully will take small comfort in feeling the uplifting power of prayer.

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    Last week was Commissioning Week here in Annapolis; meaning just over 1000 Midshipmen graduated from the Naval Academy and were commissioned as officers (you can’t graduate without being commissioned).

    As a sponsor family for the Naval Academy, one of “our” Mids graduated this year. “Mr. Sam” as he is known in our house, has become a part of our family. For the past four years, Mr. Sam has spent weekends with us, shared meals with us, slept a lot, shared his family and friends with us. He has played numerous games with my boys: Wii, lacrosse, basketball, cards, etc…and has patiently been entertained by repeated magic tricks.

    Although we are officially his sponsor “parents,” Sam is like a younger brother to Jamie and me. We adore him and I can only hope my boys will grow up to be as polite, honorable and genuine as Mr. Sam. We will miss him and are so proud of him!

    The Naval Academy produces some of the finest young graduates in the country – probably in the world. These graduates have chosen to dedicate their lives to serving our country. We are very proud to be associated with such a fine institution. And as I mention elsewhere on the website – it is nice to continue to cheer for the Blue & Gold.


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