Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for April, 2013


Like most of you, it is still hard for me to understand the tragedy that happened in Boston just over a week ago.

As I was driving to pick up my son at school, my husband sent me a text: two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Just as I did when I heard that a plane first hit the World Trade Center, my thought was, “What a horrible accident.” Never did thoughts of pure evil come to mind. Intentionally harming others is beyond my ability to comprehend.

For the next few days, I had a hard time watching the images on TV, unlike 9/11 when I couldn’t turn off the TV. Perhaps it is because I am a parent now; perhaps it is because I have a 9-year-old boy; perhaps it is because I just don’t know what to say to my children about it. But they know. They talk about it at school and they hear it on the radio. I just don’t know how to explain to them the horror of evil. I can explain accidents. But I can’t explain evil.

I told one of my close friends that I hadn’t said much to my boys about Boston; she hadn’t either. What is there to say? Just as I understand what the lacrosse players at Seton Hill are experiencing and living with right now, I have no idea what it was – and is – like for the runners in Boston. The only thing in common is their need of our prayers. Their need of our support and understanding. Do you know someone who ran in the Boston Marathon? Send them a note, a hand-written note, and tell them you are glad they are okay. It doesn’t have to be long, it just has to be sincere. If they finished or didn’t finish, were hurt or no where near the finish line, the time and care you put into your note will make a difference. You have the power, today, to make a difference.

The runners and the city of Boston will continue to inspire us with their strength. Wouldn’t it be great if the 2014 Boston Marathon consisted of two events: the ‘real’ marathon, as it has always been, and a honorary marathon for those of us who would travel to Boston, to run, walk or hobble for 26.2 miles just because we can. Now that would be quite an event to share with my children!

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    Yesterday it was announced that I will give the Commencement Address at Seton Hill University on May 11, 2013. If you follow my blog, or collegiate athletics, you have read about the tragic bus accident involving their women’s lacrosse team last month.

    This accident hit very close to home; and as I often do, I felt compelled to reach out to the University. I offered my prayers, my support and my help in any way. There are very few of us who have experienced what the team is experiencing right now, and I know I have a gift of understanding that only comes from this shared experience. Once again, these may not be the gifts we want, but it is the gift I have and it is our role to share our gifts.

    What I was reminded of in my conversations with Seton Hill, is how widely affecting these events are; this was not just the lacrosse team’s accident, this was the University’s accident as well. It has touched and changed the lives of many beyond the players, their coaches and their families.

    Commencement is a time of celebration; it is a beginning. I want the day and weekend to be just that for the Seton Hill graduates. Yet, I am aware that my presence there stems from my understanding of their tragedy. This will be my challenge: to celebrate a beginning, while carrying the messages from their recent past.

    Seton Hill University is a campus in mourning. For many, they may still be dealing with the shock as well. Please pray for the entire community. And for me, as I seek to do my small part in their healing.

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    I just returned from a vacation with my family – both my nuclear family (husband and kids) and my extended family (parents and siblings). The laundry is almost done. The pictures have been uploaded to Shutterfly. (“You still use Shutterfly?” commented my oldest nephew with perplexed disappointment as if to say, “Aunt Haley, I thought you were cool!”) And my children have caught up on their missed work, as a result of multiple spring break schedules and losing out to older cousins. So basically, we’re home.

    This is all as it should be, all normal, with nothing to cause me to pause…except for that moment this morning, around 11am, when I wanted to tell my husband something. Just something. Nothing important. Just a comment on life; a comment clearly not memorable enough for me to recall what it was a few hours later. And he wasn’t here.

    This too is normal for us. My husband works in New York City (we live in Maryland). He travels at least half the week and often times is only in town when I am scheduled to be out of town, so he can play full-time parent to our boys. I miss him, but I am used to it.

    However, after 8 days of being with him 24/7, I wasn’t used to it. I wanted to share with him the small details of my day. It’s amazing how quickly we adjust to being together after being apart for so long; and yet how hard it is to part after being together for such a short time. I would say that’s a good thing!

    Our marriage works for us. It would not work for everyone (probably wouldn’t work for most people). I have learned not to judge the way others live their lives; because not many could live the way we do. I often joke that we’ve been married for 12 years, but have only been together five.

    Thankfully, whether we are away with extended family, or just together at home at the same time, it’s vacation. It’s family time. It’s needed. And it’s missed when it’s over.

    It is also a great lesson for me to remember to appreciate the moment. To cherish what I have, right then when I have it. Don’t discover your blessings in hindsight. Find them in the present. We are blessed today, whether or not we are on vacation.

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