Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for June, 2016


This past year has been a challenging year for my dad (and, as a result, a challenging year for my mom as well). Since last Father’s Day, my dad has had two back operations and one of his kidneys removed after being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. So I am acutely aware of how lucky I am to be able to call my dad this Father’s Day to wish him a Happy Day.

It is an interesting journey to watch our parents age. However, just the opportunity to do so is a blessing; I have friends today who are missing their dads, so I take nothing for granted.

My dad is a fairly private person. He’s not much of a talker and doesn’t share much of his personal self with the world. Believe it or not, I am the same way. While my book is an open window and an open door into my very private world, I tend to be more of a listener in person. So I understood his request to keep his health within our family.

However, I also know how powerful prayer can be, and I needed help with my kids when I was with him in the hospital for his kidney removal last month. So I shared my dad’s journey with a few close friends, and they helped and they prayed. And because of them, I was able to sit with my dad in the hospital and with my mom in the waiting room, as they both had done for so many hours for me. (And then I had to explain to my dad, when he visited us two weeks ago, why so many of my friends said they were glad he was feeling better!)

Today I celebrate my dad being cancer free, and my dad just being my dad. His greatest gift to me has always been his love. A love I see my husband pass along to our children. How lucky to be a part of so much love.

Happy Fathers Day!



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    Yesterday afternoon I returned to Annapolis from an amazing 24 hours in South Bend speaking at, and attending, a women’s leadership retreat. It was an inspiring afternoon, evening and (quick) morning yoga session before I had to leave. The retreat continued through the day, and how I wish I could have stayed! Two days of listening, learning and sharing to/from/with Notre Dame women? Sign me up!
    It was an intimate group of women from all over the country, with different backgrounds and different life experiences, and yet we were united in our shared love of Notre Dame.

    This morning I flew back to Chicago to speak at St. Benedictine University. Tonight’s talk was special because I had Notre Dame teammates in the audience. (All talks are special, but my teammates hold a special place in my heart.) While I share my journey of healing and faith, I am always aware that I was not on my journey alone. My teammates traveled (and still travel) their own journeys through tragedy. How neat to gather so many years later, to embrace, catch up, and take comfort in knowing that we are all okay. We are better than okay; we are happy, healthy and embracing life.

    Yes, I was just in South Bend, and yes and I went home before I came back to the midwest. But I needed to be home, as last night began a new journey for me: high school. Last night was new parent orientation at my son’s high school. In the fall, he will attend an all-boys school, founded in the tradition of the Xaverian Brothers. We are joining another community of faith; one that will – as Notre Dame has done – add meaning to our family’s life for the next four years and beyond. It is important for my son to continue to understand the meaning and value of community. I know he will find this at his new school.

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