One Man – One View

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)

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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.

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.

April 25, 2009

Tonight

Filed under: Family,health,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 9:43 PM

My deepest times of introspection usually present themselves in a dark living room with just the glow of the monitor before me. Tonight is no different. A sudden onset of summer has burst upon New Hampshire bringing with it warmth and through the open window the discordant cacophony of peepers from down in the swamp.

As I sit here I come to a full understanding of the fact that I indeed understand very little. As a control freak I find myself controlling nothing. So much of my life is completely beyond my own understanding or explanation. In my mind, tonight, all of the failures are magnified and focused yet mitigated by God’s great mercy.

Tonight I don’t pretend to know or understand anything.

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:

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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!

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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.

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March 15, 2009

Our Military – The Smaller Sacrifices

Filed under: Family,politics,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 10:19 AM

12-1-2008_2241

Any clear thinking American can recognize that the members of our military sacrifice a great deal in our name. It’s easy to see that someone stationed in a foreign land in an inhospitable climate gives up a lot for us. These men and women may experience the horrors of combat and forever bear the psychological wounds related to what they have seen.

Even less fortunate are those who are wounded in action that may forever suffer physical disabilities as a result of those injuries.  Most tragic of all is the loss of life of even one of our service members. This of course is the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf that forever leaves in its path both pride and anguish.

For the sake of this discussion I’d like us to consider for a moment the smaller sacrifices that are made each and every day by those serving in our military. While these sacrifices will never be remembered in history books or be written of in the local newspaper they are still sacrifices none the less. Sacrifices made for the sake of you and made for the sake of me.

In order to illustrate by means of an example I ask that you imagine this….

Imagine that the day dawns for you and you are at Fort Bliss Texas 2,400 miles from home.  You are an Army Medic and quite literally at that young age soldiers entrust their lives to your care. You love your country and you love your service to this country. You are surrounded by “a band of brothers” who would sacrifice their lives for you as you would do for them in return.

But today is a little bit different…

Today is your birthday. Today you turn 22 years old. Today- for the first time in your life you will be experiencing that birthday without your family. For the first time you won’t find yourself standing in front of a cake full of candles and hearing the ever dreadful family rendition of Happy Birthday echoing throughout your home.

On this birthday your buddies will treat you well indeed but it is still different- It is still less. You are away 2,400 miles away from the woman you love, your friends and your family. Today, once again and by choice, you sacrifice of yourself in the service of others. Even though you may not think it, or choose to accept the title, you once again are an American hero!

Today my so Christian turns 22 years of age at Fort Bliss in Texas. Today for the first time I will not see him on his birthday but today- like every day I am immensely proud of him  and proud of the man he has become!

Happy Birthday Christian!

For those of you who may be so inclined if you wish to send a note of well wishes to Christian on this day or any other day for that matter his personal email address is:

dupes315@yahoo.com

christian-standing1

March 9, 2009

“Black is Beautiful – Obama 2008”

Filed under: Family,politics,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 9:51 AM

It takes a lot to get me really fired up these days but blatant double standards can still do that to me.

Friday night I am at the mall with my wife when I see an early 20ish black female walking in my direction wearing a shirt with very large print that says “Black is Beautiful – Obama 2008.”

Does anyone want to tell me how that young woman’s message didn’t turn that presidential contest into a matter of race?

Can anyone tell me how I am supposed to believe that her voting decision, (if she voted), wasn’t based upon a matter of race?

And most importantly…

Can anyone tell me what the reaction would have been if I had walked around the mall wearing a shirt that read “White is Beautiful – McCain 2008?”

Fanning the flames of racial tension is wrong no matter the pigmentation of the provocateur.

March 3, 2009

Story About Janni in The NH Union Leader March 3, 2009

Filed under: Family,politics,religion,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 8:31 AM

The following is a story that the New Hampshire Union Leader ran in today’s edition on page B2. Unfortunately it does not appear to be listed in the online edition so I am typing the text into this post.

On the front page top right corner is the teaser in big red letters: Merrimack Marine

From page B2 article that includes a photo of Janni:

Merrimack Mail Call reached first Marine from town

  • Janni DuPont: The young man is grateful to those who have sent letters, his father says.

A 20 year-old serving in Iraq is the first Marine from town to receive letters from residents participating in the newly-formed Merrimack Mail Call program, according to lead organizer Dave McCray.

Janni DuPont, a 2007 Merrimack High School graduate, is a “gregarious hard working guy” serving at least a six month tour in the middle East, his father, Chet DuPont, said in an interview yesterday. Janni is a member of Golf Company, 4th Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division.

Through Merrimack Mail Call, volunteers send letters and care packages to military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. DuPont who has been in Iraq for about three weeks, has received several letter, his father said.

Chet DuPont said that he read about the mail program in the New Hampshire Union Leader and “ever since I’ve been trying to drum up support for him.”

“They’ve adopted us much more than anything else” he said of the volunteers. “There is even a Boy Scout group in Merrimack that is going to be supporting Janni with care packages and writing to him as well” so it’s a great effort indeed by these folks.”

Chet DuPont, who also has a 21-year-old son, Christian DuPont, an Army Medic stationed in Texas, said just knowing there is a program inplace for the troops to boost their spirits makes it a worthwhile cause.

“I’ve been a supporter of the military myself, but until you actually see what these kids go through and what they give up in order to serve the country, I don’t think that you can have a true appreciation of it,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that these kids need to know that they are supported, and not just by their parents and their close family.

“Just knowing that your citizens care about what you do and for what they sacrifice is a great morale builder for them, and I know that personally because both my sons have expressed that to me,” said DuPont. “They love getting mail- even if it’s from complete strangers- and i’s amazing how much that boosts their morale.”

Jnni, who was adopted by Chet and Debbie DuPont from Romania when he was 3, had all but made up his mind by the time he was 10 that he was going to join the military, said his father. “As soon as he left high school, he signed up and went down to PArris Island and Camp Pendleton in California for training, and he’s loved every minute of it,” he said. It’s all he’s really ever wanted to do.”

Chet DuPont, a self-proclained history buff, said today’s wars are much different from those in the past, and he’s received a few messages vis Facebook from Janni with updates from overseas.

“It;’s great to see there are those types of opportunities for them when they are on a larger base,” he said. “He’s also managed to make two phone calls- from tents they’ve set up- home about 3 a.m. because of the time difference.

“You’d have to stand in line for an hour and a half to get an opportunity for about 30 minutes of phone time, so you take the calls when you can, and it’s just good to hear his voice,” said DuPont.

In the limited time JAnni DuPont has been stationed in Iraq, he has gotten acclimated to his surroundings and the poverty that exists in Iraq.

“From what he’s told me, the kids jump all over you and grab pens or anything else they’re given by the troops because they are so poor, but [the soldiers have] been treated well by the people living there,” Chet DuPont said.

There is one thing Janni DuPont hasn’t enjoyed: the cooler temperatures.

“He hates being cold,” Chet said. “At times, the temperature has dropped to about 15 degrees (Farenheit), and it’s a tough thing to get used to.”

But is anyone can make an adjustment to an unfamiliar place, it’s Janni. As a by, he arrived in the United States not understanding or speaking English, but “he adapted pretty well and has the ability to roll wioth the punches,” his father said.

Although Debbie DuPont has had a little more difficulty having her son stationed overseas, Chet DuPont says he puts Janni’s “safety in the hands of God” and also “the hundreds of brothers he has looking after him, which is an encouraging thought.”

It’s unfortunate that he won’t be here to see his sister, (Nicole DuPont) get married in May, but I’m just so proud of both of my boys and what they are doing right now,” he said.

To see how Janni DuPont is doing in Iraq, visit Chet DuPont’s web blog at

https://onemanoneview.wordpress.com.

Letters and care packages can also be sent to him at:

LCpl DuPont, Janos

2D BN 1ST MAR
Golf CO 4th Platoon
Unit 40185
FPO AP 96426-0185

February 16, 2009

Fishing Stories Chapter 2 – The Crime of Bad Singing

Filed under: Family,sports,Uncategorized,Writing — onemanoneview @ 11:23 PM
Tags: ,

the-kentucky-headhunters

Tom and I were driving back from Maine where were were staying with our families and doing as much fishing as possible when we were able to escape the aforementioned families. We were in a good mood because we were on vacation, the weather was beautiful and for a moment we had not a care in the world. We were playing a tape, (yes a cassette tape), of the Kentucky Head Hunters while singing along like we were personally starring on the Grand Old Opry.

At that moment all was good with the world – at least up until the point where we saw the lights and heard the siren! What they heck? I didn’t think I was speeding as I sure wasn’t in a hurry. Either way Barney was approaching my door with an angry look on his face.

Handing over my license and registration I ask “Was I speeding sir?

He snaps back – “Why were you screaming at those girls?”

Now even on good days I have a look upon my face that screams clueless but on this day I perfected the face! “Err.. What girls officer?”

“The two girls that were crossing the street! Why were you two screaming at them?”

“Ahh- Officer all were were doing was singing to the Kentucky Head Hunters. We didn’t even see any girls.”

“What are the Kentucky Head Hunters?” Was his reply as he started to mirror my clueless facial expression.

In response I turn the cassette tape up loud to let the Barney hear a refrain or two of some down home country twang!

Barney’s face starts to blur between a state of confusion and disgust as he simply hands me back my credentials and just walks away. He jumps into his cruiser and drives off leaving us sitting there just looking at each other in disbelief!

Imagine if we had indeed gone to jail. Imagine if we had to call our wives and tell them that we needed bail money because we had been incarcerated for bad singing? They would have certainly believed it for they had heard us sing. We would still be there until this day.

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