“My2cents4u” with Tony Fulton, President of Hallmark Homecare, LLC

Sep 22, 2023 / • HHC News & PR

The years became different for our family when we lost our Grandpa (& Great-Grandpa), Bill Chalupsky.  Grandpa Bill and his wife Sylvia were from Burwell, and they raised the mother of my wife in that town nestled in the Sandhills of Nebraska.  We lost Grandma Sylvia twenty years ago, but Bill was with us for several years following.  In those last years he was able to meet our children, and they were able to know him as their Great-Grandpa.  Every holiday, and several other times throughout the year, Great-Grandpa Chalupsky would come to visit, and we traveled to Burwell to visit him too.  He was a great man, and it is a great blessing that he could “rub off” on my children.  It is his passing that causes me to ponder and reflect.  See if you can put yourself in Burwell with us as we visited him that final time. It was a frozen December on the plains of the heartland…


At the end of his funeral, just down the road from his home of fifty years, we gathered to commit his body to the earth.  It was frigid, we could see our breaths, and many were undoubtedly thinking that perhaps we should hurry things along because of the cold.  The atmosphere of the day to this point had been pleasant, light, and not obeying the pain experienced from the separation of death.  Nice memories were shared, and people smiled politely to hear our families’ stories, but there were no tears.  It was as if a mandate of artificial pleasantness had been given for the day.  Here in the cold we became passive; the solemn voice of one Priest invoked the heavens to open to William Chalupsky even as the earth closed in on his mortal remains.  Then it happened.  Serious men fired twenty-one guns into the December air.  Those serious men, breaths emanating into the cold, flesh showing red as frost gripped their skin, retorted their piercing noise into the sky.  Steady, penetrating, vibrating in our chests, one shot after another, the force of each of those shots was startling to the crowd gathered.  Figures, hunched forward for warmth in the cold, reflexively lurched to attention as the echo of gunfire emanated for miles around.  And those sharp sounds marked the beginning of conspicuous and open sobs.  Some primal thing in those guns suddenly evoked the tears of grown adults missing their friend, their father, of children missing their great-grandpa.  People came to embrace the loss of a good man through human tears suitable for a funeral.  Let us not wait for the salute of twenty-one guns to honor the good men & women we serve in our work.