One Man – One View

August 23, 2015

My Heart Attack Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 12:30 PM
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It’s 2 AM and I’m sleeping next to my wife.  I awaken to a pain in the lowest part of my sternum. It is uncomfortable enough to make me get up and head out to the couch. I try to lay down on the couch for a few minutes and the pain won’t cease. I try sitting up on the couch and immediately become nauseous. I go into the bathroom and vomit. This awakens my wife and she asks what is wrong.

I’m back in the living room sitting in a recliner. I’m getting sweaty.  I explain to my wife what I’m feeling which is this incessant part in the lowest part of my sternum. Of course the thought of a heart attack crossed my mind but I had pretty much ruled it out. I was a cop and I’ve literally seen people die of heart attacks. I was an EMT and was trained related to the symptoms of a heart attack but this seemed different. There was no pain mid-chest, no crushing pain, shortness of breath or pain in the jaw or arms. Certainly this pain was different. I thought to myself that it was too low to be a heart attack. It also seemed to be too high for any stomach issues. It was just different!

I sent my wife back to bed and told her I would be ok which is a classic guy move- a potentially fatal guy move. After about an hour of this pain not getting any better I found myself torn between not wanting to make big deal out of nothing or seeking treatment. I’ve experienced a lot in my life from a medical/injury perspective. What bothered me the most was that this was a pain unlike anything I had ever experienced. Don’t get me wrong in that I’ve experienced much greater pain  but again this was different.

I went back to my wife and let her know that I thought I should go to the hospital. We were out the door quickly and drove about five miles to the hospital. The pain did not lessen or increase but was a constant. Walking into the ER reception/intake area about 3AM I saw that there the waiting room was pretty busy but as it turns out when an overweight 55 year old man walks in clutching his chest you get to cut the line!

A wheel chair was quickly brought to me and I was whisked into a trauma bay. My wife was with me the whole time and even at this point I was convinced this was going to be a waste of time. Surely at some point the pain was going to go away and I would be sent home.

There were two nurses there who hooked me up to an EKG. Immediately one nurse said “That doesn’t look right!” Her reaction was so quick that I thought that there was a problem with the EKG machine. Within a second or so of her saying that the other nurse rips off the paper coming out of the machine and literally ran out of the trauma bay with it. That was indeed my “uh-oh” moment!

A Doctor immediately came rushing into the room with other nurses and said “You’re having a heart attack and it’s about to get really busy in here!” I was told the Cardiac Cath team was being called in from home. I looked over at my wife and she reflected a look that I no doubt had. A look of shock, confusion and fear. I told her that she should probably call my kids and my sister.

The sequence of what happened next is a blur but two IV’s were started on my left arm. I was given what seemed like a handful of aspirin. A tab of Nitro was placed under my tongue. I was constantly asked if the pain was better and it wasn’t. I had two more doses of Nitro with very minimal relief. I was then given IV morphine which did not touch my pain.

Within what seemed like just a few minutes a Cardiac Surgeon and his two cardiac nurses came into the room. They definitely looked like they just woken up. There was a lack of normal niceties. The surgeon affirmed that I was having a heart attack and that they needed to get me right up to the Cath Lab to save me! It was so quick that Deb and I weren’t even afforded the opportunity so say goodbye to each other. I was moved at a high rate of speed to the Cath Lab. More and more it was clear to me that like my pain- this reaction was different. This was clearly life and death!

As soon as we were in the lab I was told that I would be awake during the procedure. I was put onto a table and was not able to see much because of large pieces of equipment that were literally in my face. The procedure took an hour and a half. They created a small opening in my wrist and went into my radial artery. A line was snaked from that artery and into my heart. What was determined was that I had a 100% blockage of the heart’s artery that feeds the back of my heart. Simply put my heart was dying and so was I.

In a miracle of science the Surgeon was able to feed two mesh stents into my wrist and all the way into the exact spot where my artery was not working. The artery was opened back up and those two medical mesh stents were implanted into that area to let the blood flow once again. Once that was done I felt an instant relief to my pain. The surgeon and nurses had just saved my life- as simple as that. I was brought to the Intensive Care Unit and spent two days there. I was released from the hospital on day three.

Now there is so much more I can say about this experience and how my personal faith played into this experience but I don’t want you as the reader to be turned off by that. What I want is for the reader- especially men- to learn from this. I especially ask that men pay attention because as we all know they are in most circumstances less smart than females!

Please, please do not try to be the macho cool guy and ignore symptoms- even if they aren’t what you would expect them to be. Many men are found dead in their recliners with a Tums bottle next to them. Pay attention and react to what you feel. If not for you then for your loved ones that you may leave behind.

As for me the story is still being written. I am just four days post heart attack. Early on I am told that there was “hardly noticeable damage” to my heart. This is because we took action quickly. Within about an hour and a half of the onset of symptoms I was in the Cath Lab.  The quicker action is taken the more likely you will fare well.

In hindsight and after discussions with the medical staff the only thing we should have changed was using an ambulance for transport. In an ambulance they can do an EKG and have the Cath Team activated even before your arrival at the hospital.

The story of my outcome is still being written. When I woke up this morning I decided I could make my heart attack be one of the worst days of my life or one of the best. I choose to make it the best.

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October 5, 2014

Chester N. DuPont Sr.’s Slide Show

Filed under: Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 6:37 PM

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Click on this link below to download the Power Point slide show. Simply open the file and then click on Slide Show and From the Beginning to play

Chester DuPont Sr. Slide Show

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Eulogy for Chester N. DuPont Sr.

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 1:01 PM

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In the course of a normal eulogy one would talk about the deceased, tell about their life’s accomplishments and tell a funny story or two about the person.

In trying to write this eulogy about my Dad in that manner it just never seemed right to do it in that way. I literally spent hours struggling with the process. It then occurred to me that I was trying to tell my Dad’s life story when instead I should tell my Dad’s greatest life lessons.

I will indeed cover some points about his life as they were indeed significant but I then I want to move to the most important part of this eulogy which will cover two great life lessons that my Dad taught me in his final days on earth.

My Dad grew up in an extremely poor family. My Dad’s formal education ended somewhere around the fourth grade. Even he would agree that the greatest moment in his life was when he met my Mom. This lifelong partnership lasted fifty-six years.

As to his vocation my Dad became a self-taught musician who played the drums in bands for many years. He was also a self-taught professional photographer that specialized in weddings.

Wanting to do even more with their lives both my mother and my father put themselves through real estate school and founded “DuPont Realty” in North Adams MA. He was once named the Berkshire County Realtor of the year and was also president of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors.

Once my family decided to relocate to Connecticut my father decided to follow his love of music into a new career path as he became a traveling DJ for weddings and events in the area.

As to family my Mom and Dad had two great kids- my sister Candy and I. Undoubtedly I was the favorite child but both of my parents did their best to make it seem like they loved us equally. From there came my wife Deb and Candy’s husband Steve, seven grandchildren and a great grandson as well. With certainty both my Mom and Dad loved all of us greatly and were very proud of us. That is never something that should be left to question.

Later in life my Dad suffered through many years of difficult medical conditions. Throughout that transition into old age my mother was his rock- as she had been at every point in their relationship. He relied upon my mom in so many ways. She was his constant. She was his core. She was his everything.

And then one day she died.

My Mom’s death left a gaping hole in his heart. From that day forward he wore around his neck her crucifix with her wedding ring on the same chain. He refused to remove it even for a second. Even when going in for surgeries he was told that it had to be removed and he would throw such a fit that they always allowed it to stay on him.

The last couple months of my Dad’s life were, simply put, horrible for him due to his medical issues. As it became clear that the end was near Candy and I stayed with him for the last eight days of his life 24/7 in the nursing home. Throughout that time we were able to meet many of the men and women who were his caregivers. Some had known him for years and some for just a short time. All said pretty much the same thing about him. They said that there was something about him that caused them to immediately love him. Then almost always that was followed up with something like “of course there were times when he could be rather difficult but we still loved him.”

And here comes the keeping it real part of the eulogy.

Anyone who really did know my Dad knew that there were also times when he could indeed be a difficult man. My sister Candy dealt with these times in a far better way than I did. Her patience with him during those times was beyond my ability to understand and I really do commend her for that.

Dad and I frequently butted heads and I was far less tolerant of the difficult side of my father. I finally came to the realization that I wasn’t always required to like my father but I was required to love him no matter what- and love him I did. I came to accept that family relationships are not always about Hallmark moments and Norman Rockwell pictures.

But there is a great lesson here for all of us as we sit here today. As the great theologian Yogi Berra once said “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Those eight days that Candy and I spent with our Dad in the nursing home were as absolutely horrible as you could expect. Yet that horror was worth it all for the sake of two moments in time. Two moments in time that served to show God’s grace and mercy not just for my Dad but for Candy and I as well.

Lesson #1-

As I sat there watching my father die I was of very saddened by what I was watching him go through. Even at that time I was still carrying a certain amount of anger and resentment towards my Dad because of some of our mutual history. It was a terrible conflux of emotions that I was experiencing. Sympathy, sadness and indeed anger and resentment as well.

At that point my Dad could barely speak – doing so in but a whisper at best. Then in one moment, in one moment in time, he tried to speak to me. I leaned close in to hear and he softly said “I’m sorry. Sometimes I’ve made bad choices.”

My Dad was never one to apologize but in that one single moment he was able to wipe away all of the anger and all of the resentment that I had felt towards him. As a Christian when someone offers a sincere apology to you you’re obligated to forgive- and forgive I did. I was able in his last cognitive moments of life to assure him that I did indeed forgive him and that I did indeed love him.

So in his final moments he taught me the great lesson that it’s never too late to apologize to someone you have hurt and in turn it’s never too late to repair relationships.

Lesson #2-

Beyond personality issues there was always a concern as to if my Dad had a saving faith in God. As a Christian there’s little that saddens you more than imagining someone that you love not having the hope of eternal life in Heaven. Of knowing that you may be deprived of the hope of one day being reunited in Heaven with someone you love- someone like my Dad.

In the final hours of being conscious we did have the chance to talk to Dad about heaven and about faith. About the hope that he could be reunited in heaven with my mom, with Sam, with Aunt Marion and so many others who left this life with what appeared to be a saving faith in Christ.

At one point when we were talking to him about that Candy leaned in close and asked him if he believed that he was a sinner. To that my Dad clearly answered “yes.” She then asked if he believed that Jesus died for his sins to which he clearly answered “yes.” Candy then assured him that was all it took to be assured of entrance to Heaven.

In criminal law there’s something known as a deathbed confession. What this relates to is a confession that is given by a person who knows that they are literally about to die. This is considered sworn testimony that can be used in a court of law. The reason that can be used is it is known that when a person knows that death is imminent all the reasons to lie fall away. Personal preservation, monetary gain, pride, manipulation and so many other factors that cause us to be dishonest simply peel away just prior to death. There is no reason to lie. What is uttered at ones last moments is considered to be absolute truth.

With that understanding I have no conclusion to come to other than the fact that my father’s confession of sin and faith in God was indeed a genuine one. So life lesson # 2 that my father taught me was that it is never, ever too late to come to a saving relationship with God.

So in summary please let me share my final thoughts about my father.

He was a man who, like you and I was sometimes grossly imperfect. He was a man who loved his family and like you and I sometimes failed to articulate that as well or as often as he should have. He was a man who like you and I, sometimes made- as he put it- “bad choices.”

Yet despite all of this in his final moments on earth became a great teacher for me and hopefully for you as well.
His deathbed examples teaches that it is never too late mend relationships with those that you love and those that you have hurt.
Most importantly he was a living, and dying illustration of the fact that it’s never too late to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord and to gain the hope of eternal life in Heaven.

The one thing I would ask all of you not to do is wait to put these plans into action on your death bed. Put them into action today!

Repair damaged relationships with your loved ones today!

Repair your relationship with God today! Give yourself the gift of time to enjoy your family and your God while you are still on this earth.

Oh how I am saddened that I do not have a single day more on this earth with my father. Yet thanks to his final and humble lessons I now have joy in the hope of seeing him again one day in Heaven.

Written by Chester DuPont Jr. (Son)

January 27, 2013

Dorothy DuPont’s Eulogy January 26th, 2013

Filed under: Family,religion,Writing — onemanoneview @ 8:56 AM

Mom memorial picture

My Mom was not a child of privilege. Her family was incredibly poor and she came from a family of twelve kids. Just try to imagine having twelve kids in a family.  Her Mom, my grandmother, was a kind and loving woman who obviously just couldn’t say no to my grandfather.

My Mom was one of the oldest of those twelve kids and by the time she gave birth to Candy and I I’m guessing she already had some pretty great parenting skills in place as a result.

While being an all-around great homemaker as some of you may know her one area of weakness was her cooking. By looking at us it’s pretty obvious that none of us starved to death but the grim reality is that the best thing that Mom made for dinner were reservations!

Perhaps the greatest thing that I can say about the way that Mom raised Candy and I was that Mom made our childhoods remarkably uneventful.  Like most families there were good times and bad but no matter what the circumstances were she always, always acted as a loving buffer for Candy and I. She allowed us to lead that which were probably sheltered and protected lives and for that we’re both grateful. For what child- or adult for that matter- doesn’t want to be sheltered and protected.
Don’t get me wrong- there were times that she was prone to error and times that she wasn’t always perfect. As example I cite my lifelong love of pet birds coming into conflict with her lifelong desire for efficient cleaning methods. You see she got into the habit of using the hose from the vacuum cleaner to clean the inside of the bird cage- while simultaneously my birds got into the habit of getting too close to the aforementioned hose. On more than one occasion I caught her trying to revive my birds with the water from the faucet after them having ridden the Electrolux express.

And then there were the awkward moments that a son can have with his mom- like when I came home from school one day and Mom proudly displayed a new necklace she bought at the flea market. I’m not sure if it was more difficult for me to let her know that the pretty new necklace was actually a large marijuana leaf- or if it was more difficult for me to then explain upon cross examination how in fact I knew what a marijuana leaf looked like!

Any of us- including myself- are capable of being angry with the ones we love. I think that it is precisely because we love people so dearly that we tend to let our emotions and yes- sometimes even anger come in to play so easily.

It is to that point that I had my greatest revelation while contemplating the relationship I had with my Mom both as a child and as an adult. Despite my best efforts I cannot think of one single occasion when I was angry with my Mom. I literally do not a single memory of being mad at her.

How could this be I wondered?  As it turns out upon reflection it was actually really easy to understand. All my Mom ever wanted to do was to love. All my Mom ever wanted to do was to be loved. With core attributes like that how then could I have ever be angry with her?
Mom was always willing to live in the background.  She always preferred that the focus be on those around her and not upon herself. She allowed everyone in our family to succeed and to stand tall against the crowd because she allowed us to stand upon her shoulders.

Make no mistakes though for my Mom did indeed have flaws. I don’t want to paint her life as a picture of angelic perfection but look around this room- and more importantly look at yourself for who here is free of imperfections. My guess is that no windows in this room fear being broken due to errant stone being cast.

I think that the best way to judge Mom’s overall life is to examine the fruits of her labor for isn’t a craftsman judged by her work?  Mom produced a God fearing daughter and son who after many, many years of marriage still love their spouses dearly.  In a strange kind of way Candy’s path and my path have been very different yet also so much the same. God was kind enough to allow us to end up in close proximity to each other and thereby allowed our children to grow up knowing each other as friends and not simply as distant cousins.

I know that Mom was very proud of Candy and I because she always told us that that very fact. As an aside I think that she was slightly more proud of me than Candy. Of course she never said that or acted in that manner but to me logic dictates that it must have been true!

Mom’s joy didn’t end with Candy and I. Her joy was magnified through her love of her seven grandchildren, their wonderful spouses and now her great grandson Max. To our great sadness one grandson, Sam, passed before her but the others are all with us here in this room today. Each of you should be keenly aware of how much she loved you guys and how very, very proud she was of all of you.  Each and every one of you brought great joy to her life!

To each of you I ask that you forever hold Grandma in your hearts and live lives that would continue to make her proud. Life has taught me that parenting is the hardest job that anyone can have. The best that you can do as a parent is to always do the best that you can do. My greatest dream as a Dad has always been that when I die that I have the respect of my kids. While I hope that they at least like me a little bit as well more important to me is that I gain their respect.

I want them to respect me as a Dad that always loved God, that always loved their Mother and that I was a Dad that always loved them.  It is to those points that I wish to be judged and to those points that I hope to earn their final respect.  I can tell you that using those same tools of measurement I stand here today to tell you that I respected my Mom more than any spoken words can describe.

Now for the final lesson that I hope we can all learn from Mom- because she was still enlightening me and teaching me to her final days…

This past Monday Candy and I came racing down to Connecticut from New Hampshire because Mom was taken to the emergency room and was not doing well. Mom was no stranger to being sick and no stranger to the hospital but this time seemed different. For the first time that I can remember there were no smiles on her face and no attempts to crack a joke to put us at ease. Mom was so, so tired. In seeing her and talking to her it became very evident that she was weary of this life and she was ready to end this race.

Candy and I thank God for giving us the opportunity to be with her on the day before she died. We talked openly about life, about death and about Heaven. I had the chance to remind her that this life and the world that we live in is extremely difficult but we also reminded her that heaven is eternal.

Candy reminded her that she would soon be in heaven with her Mom and her grandson Sam.  In her classic understated way she calmly and peacefully whispered “that will be nice.”

Now my Mom has left all of us behind to finish our own races. I don’t pretend to know the will of God but I am pretty certain that Mom is in Heaven for if I can’t think of a single reason to be mad her then how much more infinitely kind and loving is our judging God?

So I present a question to all of you. Who is your Gram and who is your Sam? Who do you dream of seeing in heaven? Do you truly have the hope of seeing them again?

Getting to be reunited with them again won’t occur by chance. You must choose to love your God and live according to His will.  A natural outflow of that love and obedience is that you will become a good person in an earthly sense.  Please remember though that it won’t be your good deeds that will get you a ride on the up escalator… it will only be as a result of the love and mercy of our God.

Let me close with this…

On Monday when I kissed my Mom goodbye I knew that it could be the last time that I ever saw her alive- and indeed it was. As I was walking out of her little area in the emergency room I started to pull up short and almost turned around because I realized that I hadn’t looked back. I hadn’t stolen one more glance at her.

As I think back on that moment I’m glad that I didn’t do so. Our goodbye was as her life was- both loving and without great fanfare.

In thinking about it since then I’ve come to the conclusion that forgetting to look back can be a good thing. To those of us in this room let us vow to stop looking back. Don’t look back at our flaws and most especially let’s not look back on the flaws of others. Let us vow to forgive others and to forgive ourselves for our countless imperfections. Let us not focus on the spec in the eyes of others lest we miss the plank in our own.

Never ever stop talking to the ones you love for that is supreme silliness. When anger and stubbornness rise up between us let us agree to disagree and then turn our anger over to love. I hate to break it to you but none of us is getting out of this alive and while our days are numbered we never know what that number is. Never let bitterness and pride turn to lifelong regret.

Be like my mom. Be understated and simply love and care for one another. And most of all be like my mom by loving and trusting in God.

Imagine those that have gone before you whom you love and miss dearly. Imagine living the kind of life that will be pleasing to God. The kind of life that will allow you to be reunited in heaven with your equivalent of Gram, Sam and now my Mom.

Imagine that and then take great comfort and assurance in that which a great, great woman once told me when she said… “That will be nice.”

Chet DuPont (son)

May 5, 2012

First Congregational Church Merrimack Spring 2012 Work Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 12:43 PM

June 22, 2011

Jackson / North Conway NH area June 2011

Filed under: Family — onemanoneview @ 3:40 PM

 

June 21, 2011

The Snowflake Inn, Jackson, NH

Filed under: Family,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 8:02 PM

http://www.thesnowflakeinn.com/

May 1, 2011

Deep Sea fishing trip 1/May/2011

Filed under: Family,sports,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 7:58 PM

April 16, 2011

First Congregational Church Merrimack Spring 2011 Work Day

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 7:25 PM

[slid

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November 27, 2010

First Congregational Church Merrimack 2010 Pre-Winter Church Family Event

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 9:28 PM

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