Haley Scott DeMaria

Archive for November, 2018


Happy Thanksgiving!

I try to live my life in a perpetual state of Giving Thanks, and – as you can imagine – some days are easier than others. However, this week has been a recipe for everything most meaningful in my life.

Last week, my parents arrived. For those of us blessed to still have our parents with us, I am truly grateful to share today with them.
A few days later, my sister and her FAMILY arrived. And while my brother isn’t here, we talked to him a few times and will again today.
Last weekend, we celebrated our FAITH with mass for my older son’s high school class at their Junior Ring Mass. It was the perfect way to kick off Thanksgiving Week: in thoughtful reflection and celebration. Our oldest then spent three days on his junior retreat. We have been blessed to have two amazing schools help raise and develop our children: St. Anne’s School of Annapolis and Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore.
My younger son has pneumonia. And while that might not be something for which we are thankful right now; it is a reminder to be thankful for our good health, for healing, and to remember that many children are not healthy or healing.
On Monday this week, I visited Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island to speak to their student-athletes, coaches and teachers. I love what I do, and I love sharing it with others. This particular talk was meaningful because my dad went with me. We rode the train up and back (it was a long day trip), and received the most incredible hospitality while we were there. It was, again, a reminder of the kindness and goodness of people.
All throughout the week, I have been texting back and forth with FRIENDS. We are all with our respective families, but connected by the shared experiences and joy that bond us as close as our family.

The past two days have been filled with baking, shopping, cooking, shopping, cleaning up, and back to the grocery store because we forgot something. Those are all blessings too.

I hope your table and home – or wherever you are – is as blessed as ours.

Dad and I at Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island.

Dad and I at Notre Dame Academy on Staten Island.

  • Filed under: Blog

    From chapter 22 of What Though the Odds:

    Most Notre Dame football fans recall the 1993 season. We played and defeated the 1990s powerhouse Florida State University in a #1 vs. #2 matchup. The Fighting Irish were ranked #2, but the favored team in this home game. It was billed as the “Game of the Century,” and the campus was abuzz with excitement and press.
    The pep rally for the “Game of the Century” was held one week after my first race, on the Friday night before the football game. The basketball arena overflowed with fans and students. We had a swim meet that afternoon and most swimmers rushed through warm-down, barely showering, to sneak through the back door to the floor of the arena. I asked Coach if I could skip the last relay; I had a speech to write.
    I too walked through the back corridors of the Joyce Center, from the pool to the basketball arena. But I was stopped in the hallway and told to wait with the football players who were lined up to parade into the pep rally. Standing there between two much larger student-athletes, I heard the buzz:
    “Who’s the speaker?”
    “I hear it’s Joe Montana!”
    “Oh, that’s awesome!”
    I wanted to disappear into the wall I was leaning against.
    “Maybe it’s Regis!”
    “It better be somebody good. This is a big game!”
    It was then, I think, that they noticed there was a female standing among them. I do not know if they knew who I was, but I would guess some of them did. I smiled and said, “It’s just me.”
    Thankfully, one of the players, who it was I cannot recall, replied without hesitation, “It is someone good. That’s awesome!”

    And such was my first pep rally speech. 25 years later, I still remember the feeling of walking into the arena behind Coach Holtz. I still remember looking up from the podium and seeing my teammates sitting on the floor encouraging me, as they always did…and still do. I barely remember what I said, but it had something to do with how Notre Dame athletes know how to beat the odds.

    Tomorrow’s game against Florida State has the same implications as it did in 1993: we need to win to stay undefeated for a chance at a national title. And there is no doubt that those of us who were at – or watched – the game in 1993 will be thinking about that November weekend 25 years ago. But for me, I will be thinking about the Fighting Irish tonight as well, during their pep rally, and remembering with such gratitude the opportunity I had to share a small role in that amazing weekend, billed the “Game of the Century.” To me, I simply refer to it as the best football game I have ever attended. And the best pep rally.

    Go Irish! Beat Seminoles!
    ND-FSU pep rally 1993

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