Last week, one of the sweetest students I ever taught, Nick Harrington '12, passed away after a 10-year struggle with cancer. Nick first learned he had cancer when he was in middle school and completely by accident. At the time, he was at the doctor's office for a routine check-up and when the nurse called his name, he went in and got blood work. However, he wasn't scheduled for blood work, another Nick who was in the waiting room was. Luckily, Nick got the blood work as it was how they discovered he had leukemia. The illness went into remission by the time he got to Trinity High School and Nick lived life to the fullest. He worked hard in school but also worked hard to have a normal life. I learned at his wake that the cancer came back twice in college and last week he lost the good fight.
I was Nick's freshman theology teacher and one of the things we did in class was chant the names of the books of the Pentateuch - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. I called it the Pentateuch Chant and I would randomly ask the kids to chant it throughout the semester. Nick's mom told me that the doctors would often ask Nick questions during his chemo to test his memory and one of them was the Pentateuch Chant. I was happy that was still on his mind during his illness.
Nick's wake was held this past Tuesday at Lambert's in Manchester and the funeral Mass was yesterday at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Bedford. I was unable to attend the funeral but I guess Nick was named a honorary Manchester police officer during the eulogy and his badge number retired by the chief of police (Nick's dad works for the Manchester police). I guess there wasn't a dry eye in the church after that.
May Nick's soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.