One Man – One View

October 5, 2014

Eulogy for Chester N. DuPont Sr.

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

IMG_0001

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)

Advertisements

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)

April 16, 2011

First Congregational Church Merrimack Spring 2011 Work Day

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

[slid

eshow]

November 27, 2010

First Congregational Church Merrimack 2010 Pre-Winter Church Family Event

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

July 4, 2010

First Congregational Church Merrimack NH Historic Church Tour July 4, 2010

Filed under: Family,religion — onemanoneview @ 4:24 PM

Setting up for the outdoor July 4th Service

&

 Historic Church Tour July 4th 2010

 



July 3, 2010

Uncle Bear’s Lesson in Kindness

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 1:56 PM

Last week I was on vacation in Florida and found myself in a very undesirable place- a swimming pool.  I haven’t been a fan of the beach or pool ever since the Coast Guard tried to tow me back into the surf- but that’s a story for a different day.

I’m at the pool because my little nephew shames me into going to their community pool at least one time while I’m visiting on vacation. This is a huge pool in a large community development with a lot of people. After about thirty minutes of undivided attention my nephew  comes to realize that I wasn’t nearly as fun as expected and he goes off to play with his friends. Great news!

If nothing else at least now I can have some peace and quiet while staying mostly submerged avoiding the inevitable sunburn that average white boys like me are destined for. Minutes into this solitary bliss a little kid about five years old powers over next to me with the aid of his swimmies and starts staring at me He then says “will you play with me?”

Ok- I’d like to think I’m a nice guy but in my head I’m thinking- are you kidding me? Giant pool- tons of people and you want to have play time with me? Me? Go away and leave me alone! At least that is what I’m thinking but instead I blatantly lie and simply say “sure!”

What follows was a nightmare trilogy consisting of me, this kid and his pool toys. “Throw me the ball and I’ll catch it.” “When I catch it twenty-one times I win.” The kid didn’t tell me until after he reached twenty-one the full tournament would start with multiple games that I always managed to lose. Then it was on to the plastic rings that I had to throw and he’d retrieve like a demented Lab for me to throw again and again and again…. I’d politely try to end the games but he simply ignored me and continued on. This process easily went on for over a two hour period. If there were pens in the pool I would have surely stuck one in my eye.

Well into this water nightmare after I had lost yet another game of catch with him the kid’s sister who’s about ten years old swims over to me. The sister who had been playing with her friends then provides me with a life lesson that I should not soon forget. She starts by telling me that she knows that I’m letting her brother win in all of these games. I feign denial but she knows the truth.

The sister then tells me that I remind her and her brother of their Uncle Bear. Sis says that Uncle Bear “used” to play with her brother just like I was now. She that says “Uncle Bear died last year” and with those words she swims away.

In that moment God answered the question “why me.”

If but for a moment, I had been presented with the opportunity to be Uncle Bear for that kid. Maybe, just maybe, I had for a short period of time been used as an instrument of comfort and peace for that little kid. Maybe God just taught me a lesson about doing the right thing- even when the right thing doesn’t conform to my own desires.

Since that day I have come to wonder how many Uncle Bear moments I have dismissed in the past. Rarely do we know of all of the opportunities we have to bring a bit of happiness to complete strangers with our simple words and actions.

My lesson is now shared with you. Always be vigilant for your Uncle Bear moments for you never know when they will be presented to you.

RIP Uncle Bear.

May 22, 2010

Church Work Day 2010

Filed under: Family,religion,Uncategorized — onemanoneview @ 9:20 PM

September 11, 2009

If you know me then you knew them

Filed under: Family,health,politics,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 9:48 PM

Sept 11 patch

At the time of 9/11 I was a cop and had been one for many years. What follows is something I wrote very soon after 9/11 to help me cope with the horrors of that day:

If you know me then you knew them.

As I contemplate the horror of this attack on our great country I tend to
think, I can’t imagine. Yet as I contemplate further I realize that, in a
small way, I really can imagine.

I can’t imagine what it was like at the end for the poor souls on the
airliner. I can’t imagine what it was like for the innocent people in the
buildings that were attacked. But I can imagine what it was like for the
officers who died in their valiant efforts to save total strangers.

I can imagine this because I am a cop. Being a cop is a strange thing. We
are all, for the most part, the same exact thing. Just as a McDonalds
cheeseburger is the same either in your town of three thousand miles away-
the same can be said for cops. We all tend to be very much like each other.

As such I know what it was like for these men and women in law enforcement
as they faced their death. Their response was no different than mine would
have been, no different from those of the cops who work for me. No different
than that of cops if it had happened three thousand miles away.

These cops saw danger that others ran from. These cops ran towards it.
Others ran out to save themselves. These cops ran in to save others. These
cops, who through their careers have been vilified and mocked by the general
population tried, heroically, to save those who may well have been their
detractors.

These brave officers were under no obligation to enter these buildings.
The credo that “Cops fight crime and firefighters fight fires” didn’t occur
to them. They knew that people needed help and they didn’t hesitate. Just
like I wouldn’t hesitate and just like the cop three thousand miles away
wouldn’t hesitate.

These brave men and women of law enforcement had husbands, wives, children
and other family and friends that cared for them greatly. Just as I do.
These brave men and women, unhesitatingly, sacrificed all that in the
service of total strangers. Just as I would have and just as the cop three
thousand miles away would have.

My prayer is that their experience of death was quick and
incomprehensible.

To my friends and family I boldly suggest this- If you know me then you
knew them. They are no different than me, no different from the cop three
thousand miles away. We are no different. We are one.

March 24, 2009

Pondering the Next Chapter

Filed under: Family,health,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 12:03 PM

May 24th at 4PM the next chapter starts. On that day and at that time I will walk by beautiful daughter down the aisle. At the end of that very short walk her hand will move from mine and go over to Mark’s. At that moment a chapter that was written over a twenty-six year period will end and a new one will begin.

For twenty-six years I have been the man primarily responsible for the care and protection of Nicole but at that moment that duty passes to Mark. In a somewhat different manner I have also turned over the care of Christian to the United States Army and Janni to the Marine Corp. All three will be scattered about the country like seeds on the wind to be planted wherever they may land.

On May 25th Deb and I will open our eyes to a new world. The chapter that has been closed was a successful one indeed. Our children have brought us great joy and we are immensely proud of each of them.  But they no longer need us every day of their lives. That is the new reality that we must face.

Despite the sadness this time finds me immensely hopeful as well. While great change surrounds us at this moment Deb and I love each other dearly. No matter what befalls us positively or negatively we will face it together. Lord willing we will grow old together. We will grow old watching, with great adoration, the fruit of what our love has borne. I love Deb dearly and her hand will never pass from mine until my final breath.

While tears of thanksgiving are upon our cheeks let us look with joyful anticipation to the road before us. A road that I will walk with Deb’s hand in mine.

March 21, 2009

Merrimack Boy Scout Troop 15 – In service to Merrimack Soldiers

Filed under: Family,health,politics,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 2:21 PM
Tags:

bs5

As many of you know I have two boys currently serving in the military. My son Christian is an Army Medic stationed in Texas and my son Janni is in the Marines currently serving in Iraq.

Through the Merrimack Mail call group I was put in touch with John Bristol who is the leader of Boy Scout Troop 15 in Merrimack. Mr. Bristol told me that his Troop would like to show support to Janni as well as a former troop member named Mike Deberadinis who is serving in the United States Army.

I was invited to a troop meeting on the 18th of March at St. John Neumann’s Church. I have to say that as a result of that meeting I came away very, very impressed with the adult leaders of that troop but most especially of the boys themselves!

boy_scout_holding_flag_hg_clr

Mike’s Mom and I were allowed to talk, with pride, about all three of our sons who are serving our country. The Scouts who range in age from 11 to 18 were attentive, respectful and sincerely interested in what we had to say. After that each boy wrote a letter to Mike and Janni expressing their appreciation for their service to our country.

In addition the scouts had collected items in order to mail care packages to Janni and Mike. I know that Janni now has two boxes on the way to Iraq from these complete- yet completely caring- strangers.

In the face of our daily struggles it is easy to lose sight of the good that is right before our eyes, John Bristol, his fellow adult leaders and these boys are shining examples of what is right about or society today.

boy-scout-poster

The DuPont family owes a debt of gratitude to Troop 15.

bs1bs2bs3bs4boy-scout-logo

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.