Wow. The semester flew by. I cannot believe it is 2023, and I cannot believe that I am going to soon begin my second semester of my second year at Holy Cross. It is true, time flies when you’re having fun!
The end of the semester was hectic! After Thanksgiving, we had two weeks of classes followed by a week of finals, and I finally departed for Buffalo on December 17 for what I thought would be a relaxing break filled with family, laughter, and fond memories.
Upon my arrival at home, I definitely got the family and memories components of my wishes, but the fond part lacked. To begin, Buffalo underwent a catastrophic blizzard that took the lives of forty-two individuals and was one of the worst recorded in history. While Buffalo is usually prepared for snow, no one was ready for the magnitude and intensity of the Blizzard of 2022 that struck on Christmas Eve. My family lost electricity for fourteen hours, and my house received about five feet of snow over the course of forty-eight hours. As I was out shoveling snow for hours on end, I was dreaming of my easy life at Holy Cross where I don’t have to shovel, and I am eternally grateful for all of the hard work of the facility staff at school that keep the roads and walkways clear of snow and ice. Even though my family suffered some hardship during the storm, we were very lucky that everyone remained safe and unharmed from the monstrosity, and we pray for those that lost their lives during the storm who were not as fortunate.
Right when Buffalo saw the light, the sun, and the fifty degree weather after the storm, another tragedy rolled into town. A house fire resulted in the deaths of five children whose lives were cut short. My heart breaks for them and their family, and, as I pray for them, I wish them healing and love in a time of such need.
Soon after, I found myself sitting with my Josh Allen jersey on ready to enjoy the game of a lifetime when the Buffalo Bills played the Cincinnati Bengals during Monday Night Football. Joe Burrow and Josh Allen were going head to head, and the nation anticipated this matchup to be one of the best. My family all gathered together in my living room and had our eyes glued to the television. As we saw the first quarter begin, we had a sense of pride in the Bills and couldn’t wait to cheer them on. Tragically, however, during the first quarter, Buffalo Bills’s safety Damar Hamlin fell into cardiac arrest and was in critical condition as he fought for his life. Nothing can prepare a player, coach, staff member, or fan to witness such a heart wrenching sight. Luckily, by the grace of God, Hamlin is expected to fully recover, and the nation united together during this time of hardship.
The support of my friends from Holy Cross during these times was immeasurable. Friends from the hill were reaching out to check in on my family and me, and I am forever grateful that the Holy Cross community stretches beyond Worcester, Massachusetts.
I had the opportunity to attend the Bills vs. Patriots football game, and it felt like both of my worlds were colliding! The rivalry was intense, and the Bills pulled out the win!