Stonehill Stories of Thanks

November 22, 2010

Gratitude runs deep on campus this Thanksgiving. Below we feature comments from ten students and staff, explaining their challenges, fears, blessings, and reasons why they are thankful this holiday.

Being Human: I am thankful for my loving family and supportive friends who will always accept the flawed human being that I am. God's gift to me is the ability to be comfortable in my own skin. No matter what I do, who I become or how many times I screw up along the way, God will love me and for that I am truly thankful. Dan Gardiner '14

Gifts & Resources: I have been given so much in this world that it is overwhelming at times. Upon my return from Haiti, I struggled with why I was chosen to be so blessed while other human beings live in poverty. A Haitian pastor put it best: "You are blessed so that you can use your gifts and resources to help those who are less fortunate." As an American, I take for granted the opportunities that have been placed in my lap. God, help me to be always conscious of all you have given me. Elsa Pearson '12

Best Buddies: I'm thankful for Yawkey House of Possiblities (HOPe) at Stonehill which my son attends daily. HOPe provides needed services to the adult special needs population and offers a welcoming setting for assistance with daily living tasks with the goal of independent living. HOPe is also a social environment where these young adults "hang out" with volunteer "best buddies" from Stonehill creating a sense of belonging to a community. It's a wonderful opportunity for which I'm very grateful. Geri Sheehan, MacPhaidin Library

My Mother: I am thankful that God has given me my family. Simple and corny, for the first time in my life I truly felt this feeling. This past summer my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, three months of chemo and radiation treatments, we hit the final push with surgery a few weeks ago. Two ribs removed and a large cancerous tumor later she was on the road to recovery. A few days later, pneumonia attacked her already beaten down body. She is now recovering and will be at the dinner table this Thanksgiving. Could anyone ask for more? David Broderick '13

Top Doctors: I am thankful that I live in the Boston area and have been able to be treated by some of the top doctors in the world for breast cancer, and now my husband is being treated as well for prostate cancer...I am also very thankful for my Catholic faith which has helped me and continues to help me through some very challenging and stressful times. Terri Mackey, Information Technology

Helping Others: This year I have grown up a lot, and realized that it isn't really all about me! Life is only worth living if you live it for others. Julie Kelly '13

Our Soldiers: I am thankful for those men and women who are fighting for our freedom; one of those men being my brother. Age 20, he is in Afghanistan. As a U.S. Marine, he is in a dangerous place fighting everyday so that I can be sitting here enjoying my college education. Alexandra DiGiammarino '14

God's Love: My mother has Alzheimer's disease, I worry terribly about my elderly father, who refuses to stop driving; one sister has colon cancer and another has emphysema. Out of six siblings, my younger brother and I take care of our parents. Some might question my ability to be thankful, but each morning when I wake I am blessed with God's mercy. This Thanksgiving I am blessed with family and friends; with reasonably good health and a strong mind. Regardless to what life throws at me, I know that God loves me and for that I am THANKFUL! Jean Hamler, Planning & Institutional Research

Source of Strength: In May...My husband, who has been not only the love of my life for over 30 years, but my rock and sources of strength, suffered a freak illness/injury. His chances of survival were, at the very least, grim. Throughout the ensuing months, he valiantly fought his way back to life and, though the road to recovery has been long and difficult, he continues to overcome daily challenges. I am thankful for each day and especially thankful that my husband will be sharing Thanksgiving with a family that unconditionally supports and loves him. Alice Cassidy Cronin, International Programs

From the Ashes: ...About three weeks before the start of school ... my family tragically lost much of our home in a fire. At first, all I could see was our severely burned home but quickly realized I had to be thankful that all of my family members made it out safely. The outpouring of support and love from our friends gave me even more to be thankful for. Their reaction to our loss has made the recovery process more positive than I ever imagined it could be. Anonymous student

To read all 46 submissions in their unedited formats, visit here.