October 31, 2014
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Close to home...and to family
Nicholas Howard

In all the madness that unfolded on Monday, April 15 in Boston, the phrase “Close To Home continued to come to mind. It returned to my vernacular in two very different but connected ways.

First on Monday, given Stonehill’s proximity to Boston, it felt like I was just that close to being in a dangerous place. I live on the cusp of it. However, still close enough to cause concern from friends and family thinking of me and wondering if I had been in Boston at the time.

And that is where a good portion of my friends were. Whether as runners or spectators, they were there and vulnerable to what was going on. It was a scramble to gather information on their whereabouts and their safety. I am grateful to say everyone I knew at the marathon was safe.

But it goes beyond the marathon. In many ways, Boston acts as an extension of Stonehill’s classroom. Many of my senior friends are participating in internships this final semester and a healthy portion of them are going into Boston for those internships. On Monday, they too became points of concern.

Because of this extracurricular connection, there is an extensive network of Stonehill alumni who now call Boston home. They transformed internships into jobs. They found success and are now trying to make lives for themselves. Who knew that they would have to deal with such terror in their new lives?

Back at Stonehill on Monday afternoon and following my own internship on campus, I gathered with others in the common room of our townhouse style dorm to watch the news. We slid back into our chairs in horror at the terror unfolding before us. We had our laptops out, checking all the websites we could. Some folks received calls from their parents and loved ones. Almost everyone wanted to check in on their families.

In those moments, it felt like we were a family. And that is where my phrase comes back to me. All of us there were as close to a home as I could be in a time of crisis. If I were not to be with either my parents, my best and closest friends had to do. In fact, they function just as well and we existed in a different relationship that I would have with my parents. We were a web of support and concern flowing from all points. There was no start point like there would be with parents. It was something that just formed naturally. It was a beautiful thing.

Nicholas Howard is a senior at Stonehill College.


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