Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Remembering Nick

About a month ago some of our family got together to remember my cousin, Nick Dupre.
We spent the days hanging out together at the house, swimming in the lake, shopping at local thrift shops and antique stores, and eating. We spent the evenings telling stories and remembering Nick. The pictures here are a mixture of old photos of him and some from our gathering. We meant to play cards together, but it didn't happen.
  Nick was a smart, fun-loving, caring guy. He died 20 years ago, and we didn't get to watch him get married, have a career, or have children, but we were able to learn about strength, courage, and love from him before he was gone.
Nick was the one who carried me out of the woods slung over his slender shoulder when I fell and busted my chin open at the Hemlock Inn one Thanksgiving. I'm guessing that I was about 7, he would have been around 11, and he wasn't much bigger than I was. I'm in the green sweatshirt below (with a band-aid covering the stitches in my chin), Nick is in the navy blue.
Nick got cancer around age 12,  and throughout the next 10 years or so he fought it off multiple times. Each time he had chemotherapy, he would lose his hair. When it grew back, it was always different from the way it was before. I found this fascinating!

When Nick had to come to family functions and lay on the couch with the chemotherapy treatment dripping into his port instead of sliding down the stairs or playing in the yard with the rest of us, he taught all of us a little something about courage. He could have stayed in the back bedroom, away from everything, but he didn't. He would sometimes play cards or board games with the rest of us, and almost every time he would win.

Nick was a really good best friend, too. He and my cousin, Jeff, were nearly inseparable during family events. If one of them didn't want to play cards, neither of them played. They just wanted to spend time together. They talked more than any two boys I have ever met. I often wondered what they talked about when they went off on walks together.
We got together to honor, remember, and to just continue the tradition of cousins getting together to have fun! We know Nick would have loved it! 

Because of his Cancer, Nick was a part of a very special community. He had the opportunity to go to Camp Kemo each summer, with other kids who had been dealt crappy cards. He often took along his little brother. He built many meaningful relationships there, and in high school, which are remembered fondly by others even 20 years later.
Nick Dupre is missed by many. As a brother, best friend, and cousin.

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