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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Moments of a Life Well Lived

May 31, 2021 05:39PM ● By Joe Dunne

I was trying to get into my writing mode and attack my publisher’s letter for the month of June. Every topic in our magazine this month from men’s health to vegan eating to gardening attracted me. Especially important to me though is to acknowledge the fathers out there that serve such an important role in child-rearing. In the past I’ve written on the advancements we have made, the responsibilities and changes in the male roles, and how we men have benefited much more than we could have imagined. And that leads me to what follows.  

My niece Erin, who graduated from law school this week, asked me to share my favorite moment of her father and my brother-in-law, Eddie, as he approaches his 60th birthday. She also asked all nine of his sisters, plus brother, nieces, nephews, etc., to contribute their favorite moment. After binding it all together, the family will present this collection to Ed on his big day.  

Here is what I wrote of him without thinking twice. 

What moment? I thought, I cannot recall a specific one. Nothing embarrassing to write about . . . charismatic moment, nope . . . no exceptionally funny guy moment. (Though possibly, with the help of a few Jameson Irish whiskeys and a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day I might find a funny or embarrassing one.) But to be truthful, no one moment jumps out at me. 

The moment, as it turns out, are thousands of moments—brush strokes of a life Ed created. His moments became a living work of art. A model to follow, to reach for, to pay attention to. He is the guy that checks off all the boxes of integrity, wisdom and leadership. There is no one moment; it is a life’s work of just doing the right thing.  

Eddie being Eddie—that’s his moments, the everyday model he lays down for others to follow, his unbelievable moral compass, his fathering, the memories he helped build. The inspiration of his actions, helping others, while staying humble, and always with a purity of heart. I think of his life’s work, and how powerful it is.  

Have you ever heard him brag? No. Neither have I. I told Erin in my letter. “How many people can you say that about? His dedication to and love of family, extended family and friends makes him a rock that others can truly rely on. Unselfish, consistent, trustworthy, character builder, coach, guide, trusted supporter—these are the characteristics I think of when I think deep on Eddie. Not of the specific instances, but thousands of moments of action crafted into a work of human art.  

From my heart he has influenced me to be a better man, person, dad, husband, and friend. Not with his words of wisdom, but with the wisdom of his right actions. The world could use a lot more Eddie Dempseys. If I sound like I have a man crush on him—I do.   

Happy Birthday, Live Forever!


In peace, love and laughter,

Joe Dunne, Publisher