Friday, August 20, 2010

In Memory

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.

I lost a very dear friend of mine today. He was such a sweet man and I am going to miss him terribly!

We say our meeting was totally by chance...but then again, I know nothing happens by was all God. He mentioned he worked for the railroad, I mentioned that my late grandfather did too...come to find out, they knew each other and were very good friends. Mr. Duhon from that moment on found a special place in my heart. He stepped in to kind of take the role that my grandfather left behind in my life (he passed away 10 years ago). Mr. Duhon loved trains and clocks. In fact, he gave me a beautiful clock from his collection last Christmas. I will cherish that clock forever. He says that the way we met up was nothing short of a God thing and I know he was right. He received the Purple Heart medal two months ago and became our Hometown Patriot! He should have rightfully received it 65 years ago, but his records were burned in a fire in St. Louis. Boy how proud he was of that medal...I can still see that gleam in his eye and the proud grin on his face. He carred it with him almost every where he went. It was kind of like his "last hoorah" before his death. This is a snipet from our local news:

When 87 year old Thomas Duhon was wounded in World War Two 65 years ago, he qualified for a Purple Heart medal. Duhon was hit by shrapnel from a dud grenade thrown by a German soldier. A friend offered to shoot it and blow it up.

"He says, I'll shoot it," recalls Duhon. "So he shot the grenade and a piece hit me. The German that threw it, he never threw no more."

Because Duhon's Army records were burned in a St. Louis fire in the fifties, there was no proof of his injury. That's when Congressman Charles Boustany's office stepped in, resulting in Duhon finally getting his Purple heart last week. It was a poignant moment for Duhon, who was part of the D-Day invasion in Normandy.

"That was my first real battle. The beach was full of bodies. They hadn't cleared it. It was something that you never want to see again."

It was one of several scary moments for Duhon during World War Two.

"One time I was in a foxhole with a friend of mine. It was in July. I started shaking. He said, 'What's wrong, Duhon?' I said, 'Well, I'm cold.' He said, 'You're like me, you're afraid.' He was right. They were shelling us with big guns."

Thomas L. Duhon. This week's Hometown Patriot.

He was a great story teller and he LOVED to talk. Every time I saw him, he would have a new story to tell me about my grandfather. Apparently, they loved to play tricks on each other! Him and his wife brought us cupcakes...the best cupcakes in town on several occasions. I'm going to miss his phone calls and his stories. Kind of feels like I've lost my grandfather all over again. Oddly enough, both of them died from cancer.

The last time I saw him a few weeks ago, he asked me not to forget him. How could I evern forget him? I know that will never happen...he will remain in my heart and my memory forever. Thank you, Lord for allowing our paths to cross. I am truly grateful.


  1. Thank you for sharing that with us. Sounds like an incredible person, and I'm glad you found each other. Very sorry for your loss.

  2. My name is Olivia Duhon and I happened to stumble across your blog while googling my grandfathers purple heart story online. Thomas Duhon was my grandfather, and it's so nice to see that he touched so many people's lives. Thank you for sharing your experience with him. I loved him very much and will forever miss him.

  3. Awww Karen, I am so sorry this happened! He sounds like such an amazing man. I am so glad that he got his purple heart. My grandpa had one too and it meant so much to him.

  4. Olivia, thank you so much for posting a comment! You had the BEST grandfather! He was such a sweet, kind man! I'll be there Monday for the funeral.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss!

  6. Karen and Olivia, I'm so sorry for your loss! Karen, kingdom connections are such a great thing! I'm glad you had the chance to get to know him and that he was able to make an impression on you! I have two races next month, both to raise money for different types of cancer. I pray one day God will give someone the cure for these terrible diseases! Praying for you and Mr. Duhon's family.

  7. I'm so sorry. Big hugs!


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