was Flag Day, June 14, 1908, when the world first heard from Violette
Dorothy Charland. She was the youngest of the three surviving
children of, Fred, and Rosalba Charland. Violette had an older
brother Ernie, and an older sister, Irene. We don't know a lot about
her teens, but when she met Thomas-Louis Déry, a Canadian Musician,
and music teacher, he swept her off her feet. He woo 'd
and won her heart and they were married in 1933. On December 26,
1936, their son was born. Because they expected him to arrive
on Christmas, they decided to name him "Carol", as in Christmas
Carol. However when it was discovered that the baby was
not a girl, they named him Jean-Paul, after a friend. Because
his job involved traveling from town to town, setting up music schools,
her husband had to quit music when their son was born and settle down
some where, so he bought a restaurant in Southington, Connecticut. On
December 19, 1939, they had a second son whom they named, Noel. They
moved to New Britain, Connecticut and had a great life. They had their
ups and downs but they always had food on the table, a roof over head,
and a solid family atmosphere that Mom, made sure was filled with love
the USA entered the world war 2, Violette, got a job as a, "victory
worker", in a manufacturing plant in New Britain, and worked there
during the, " war effort.", as the hardships we were asked
to endure in those days was called. We all planted our, "Victory
Gardens", and brought our cooking grease to the butcher to recycle.
Everything was rationed, if you did not have enough stamps to buy sugar,
you went with out sugar. The stamps were for specific items too. You
could not spend a coffee stamp for sugar or shortening. They were very
interesting times but the fighting was kept away from our shores.
1946 when the war was over the owner of the house we were living in
returned from the war. Dr. La Cava, served my family their, "eviction
notice", and we had to move to the other side of town, into a nicer
neighborhood, actually, and closer to the rich folks. In
1958 both boys enlisted in the US Navy, and left Violette home to worry
about her boys. It was the absolute best time to be in the military
because it was smack dab between the two major conflicts of those days.
Korea, was over and Viet Nam had not begun. Being raised in the
Catholic faith, Violette, made a sacrifice for four years while her
sons were in the navy. She did not want to turn into another "Sullivan
Brothers", mother. So she made a pact with God that for the time
that her sons were in the navy, she would abstain from sweets. No more
candy, no more sweet pastries, nothing that was primarily fattening
or even pleasurable to taste for that matter. Her efforts were
rewarded in early 1963, when her Son's returned to civilian life unharmed.
After the boys returned home, all was
well again until 1980, when her husband, Tom, died of throat cancer.
He was a heavy smoker all his life. Violette moved
to a Seniors Low Income Apartment, which was really beautiful, secure,
and convenient to everything. It was a very nice place and there were
many others with whom she could develop a social life and get on with
the task of living. The brothers were both married now, and the
oldest one really did it up right by marrying three times before he
found the right girl for him, her name is Sonja. Noel married his wife
Jane out in California where JP and Sonja lived. Sonja's mother was
a minister so she married them, and everything was well with the families.
As the years went on, Violette became
a bit confused and forgetful, and eventually it was decided that it
would be better if she moved in with one of her sons, so that she would
have somebody with her all the time to help her with the heavy work
and such. Because, "J P", as his friends called, Jean-Paul,
was retired he was the logical choice and Violette packed up, and moved
to Sunny California where she lived for three years.
In the early 90's or so, Noel and Jane,
were scheduled to visit J P and Sonja, in California but on the eve
of their flight, Jane suffered a stroke, and was placed in the hospital,
from where she never returned. She had a second stroke while still in
the hospital, and eventually died a month or so after arriving there.
Devastated by the news, Violette got a flight to Vermont, where Noel
lived, and went to stay with him in his grief. This was a visit
that would never have a use for the return ticket, because she decided
to stay with Noel in Vermont, closer to where she was born and raised.
Violette came from a place that was only one hundred and
eighteen miles away from Noel's home, and, like salmon, swimming up
stream and returning to the place they were born, Violette, felt the
irresistible tug of home and needed to be back where her energy, and
the earth's, were once again in alignment, as they were when she was
born. Although the home in Chula Vista was a paradise as far as
the climate went, it never felt like home to her, especially during
the Christmas Holidays. Where was the snow? It is Christmas and she
is lightly dressed. Violette was an excellent seamstress
and made most of her own clothes. Buying patterns, buying material,
and working from scratch when she was younger. However as
the years went on she stopped her sewing. And as the years rolled
by she became increasingly forgetful and somewhat dangerous with things
like putting something on the stove, and then forgetting that it was
Noel, hired people to look in on Violette
during the day when she was otherwise alone after Noel left for work.
However after a while even that much supervision was not enough, and
Violette began to fall and hurt her self, or perhaps she would leave
pots or pans on the stove to burn, etc... and eventually Noel was forced
to find a place for her where she would have protection 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, with medical personnel on the premises. He located a
beautiful place in Vernon, VT and Mom moved into Vernon Green, as the
place was called. Nestled in the woods of Vermont it was a peaceful
and pretty setting and mom had the care that she needed. Noel saw her
at least once or twice a week, however J P, living three thousand miles
away only could visit once a year. Violette
was happy and as her memory faded and dementia crept in, she did not
seem to lose her health. She was strong and healthy and she had a very
long life, almost making it to 101 years old.
the 4th of March, 2009, Noel received a phone call from Vernon Green,
telling him that they felt the end was near for Violette. Noel hurried
over and when he got there Violette had already slipped into a coma.
He sat with her, holding her hand till the end. After a
half hour or so she quietly faded away. It was as if she had been waiting
for Noel to get there before she passed on. When her husband died,
she was holding his hand when he left, and when she died, it was Noel,
who held her hand, and gave her the spiritual nod that said, "I
am here, you can leave now... Goodbye Ma, and thank you for everything.".
It was at 8:15 am that she left this plane of existence and rejoined
all her loved ones who had gone on before her, ending the story of Violette
Dorothy Déry. Before she died, she had told Noel
what she wanted done with her ashes when she passed and some time in
the summer, on a bright and sunny day when the temperature is just right,
Noel will carry out her final wishes and scatter her ashes in the place
she wanted to be put to rest. I don't know where it is, except that
it is on an island and a place that Violette loved and wanted her ashes
to be left when she was gone.