- Where to start?
- The Story of Us (my eulogy for Corey) as read at his service on Aug. 10, 2010
- Out of the Darkness (details surrounding Corey's d...
- Corey's Memorial Service - August 10, 2010
- Soli Deo Gloria & the 5 solas: What's that all abo...
- The Abi and Ali fund
- J.C. Hampton Memorial Ball Field project proposal
- Just the 2 of Us - pictures taken in November of 2009
I have moved the slideshow played at Corey's service to it's own post page above, titled "Corey's Memorial Service - August 10, 2010"
Friday, September 17, 2010
The Story of Us (my eulogy for Corey)
As Corey’s wife I want to personally thank you all for being here with our family to help remember and celebrate Corey’s life. It was very important to me that I stand up here today to share with you who Corey was to me, our love story, and to tell you about the beauty of our life together.
I loved and still love Corey more than words can say. He was an amazing man and I’ve been proud to be his wife.
I have known Corey for more than half my life now. We met in Vermont through our church’s youth group. I was 14 and he was 15. It didn’t take long before we developed feelings for each other. I remember our first date and our first kiss. We enjoyed hiking Mt. Mansfield in Vermont together and spending time with our friends at youth group. When I was 16 Corey taught me to drive a stick shift.
Once I fell in love with Corey my feelings never left, even throughout the year we spent apart at separate colleges on opposite ends of the country. Only a year had passed before our romance was rekindled, only this time at a new and deeper level. Our relationship matured just as we had matured individually. Our love continued to deepen and grow stronger as we continued our relationship long distance for the next few years. During my Junior year of college I spent a semester in England for four months, during which time we didn’t see each other, but our relationship didn’t waver despite the 4000 miles between us. While I was in England, Corey moved from VT to NH. His job as a potter at Salmon Falls Stoneware brought him to Dover, only an hour’s drive away from where I was attending college in Massachusetts. Corey was such a talented craftsman. He enjoyed using his hands to make pottery. He actually had begun developing his skills in this area back in high school. Corey was good at fixing things – he did most of the maintenance on our cars. It amazed me how he just knew how to fix and craft things. He was very much a problem-solver in this way. He loved to analyze and think critically about how to go about projects and how to make things more efficient and effective.
In the spring of my Senior year Corey proposed to me. Corey was very into doing things right and very much into the details in that way. He spent months shopping for my engagement ring wanting to get the perfect setting and the perfect diamond. He was even on a first name basis with many of the jewelers at the mall by the time he had finally chosen a ring. When he proposed he had his roommate at the time present with a camera snapping pictures from the other side of the room. He knew how much capturing memories though photos meant to me. Corey and I were married 8 months later in December of 1998 at North Ave Alliance church in Vermont – the place we first met– our wedding was the day after Christmas – what a whirlwind that was!
Our love just got better and better with each passing year. I just kept falling deeper in love with him. We lived in Dover, NH for the first few years of our marriage. 3 years later we built our first home in Milton. Corey loved the outdoors. He wanted space so we purchased a 4-acre wooded lot. Corey loved the woods and loved working on our land as the house was being built and throughout the time we have lived here. As soon as the papers were signed for closing he was out there with his chain saw clearing out trees.
Our home was built and two years later we brought Abigail, our firstborn, home from the hospital. Corey was such a proud daddy. His face is beaming in the pictures of him holding her as a newborn. Three years after that Allison joined our family. Both girls brought him, brought us, much joy and laughter. Corey adored his girls, and that included me and Bella our dog. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him at times being surrounded by a houseful of women. But when the estrogen levels got too high in our house he would simply retreat to the woods or the basement, and more recently to his tractor. Corey dreamed of owning a big tractor – he loved heavy equipment. He named his bright orange tractor Ugly – because it was a Kioti (you know the movie, Coyote Ugly). Corey built two beautiful stone walls around our house. He dreamed of building a timber-framed barn at some point down the road. I have no doubt that he would have done a wonderful job. Corey was passionate about the things in life he enjoyed.
After 3 years working as a potter and after taking numerous computer courses, Corey transitioned vocationally and began working at Liberty Mutual as a contractor doing tech support work. Again, Corey had a way of being able to figure out new things…often things he knew very little about. Whenever he would tell people he went from making pottery to fixing laptops, people would often respond with surprise at such a change. Yet in this capacity at Liberty he was still working with his hands- just in a different way. Corey and I actually had the chance to be co-workers at Liberty for the year and a half until Abigail was born. We worked in the same organization, same building, same floor, just 2 rows away from each other. That was a blessed time for us to be able to be a part of the Liberty family together. It was a neat opportunity for me to see a different side of him, getting to see him firsthand in his work environment. Corey celebrated his 10th anniversary as a Liberty employee just a couple of months ago. He came to know so many great people through the different positions he held. Corey was a hard worker and a good provider for the girls and me. His job allowed us to build our home and helped make it possible for me to stay home with our girls while only having to work part time from home.
Over the past few months we have made some beautiful memories together as a family. Our vacation to Maine a couple of weeks ago was truly the best we have had yet as a family. We took the girls on a mountain hike leading up to a giant cross overlooking Lake Megunticook with the ocean off in the distance. Corey spent time fishing with Abigail. This was a really special time for them and we have some precious video recordings of them reeling in the big one. With the busyness of life raising 2 young children, Corey and I had kind of forgotten what we enjoyed doing together. We worked on a puzzle together throughout the week and discovered it to be something we enjoyed – a way to work as a team on something and have time to just talk. We decided we would try to do more of this at home when we returned. Last October we travelled to Texas to be with Corey’s family after his grandmother passed away. We had the opportunity to go see U2 in concert in Dallas at the new Dallas Stadium. Corey and I enjoyed U2s music, especially in our high school days. It was a dream of mine to see them in concert some day and to have had the chance to do that with Corey definitely fulfilled that dream. I am so thankful to God for the good times he has given us over the past year and throughout our 11 years of marriage.
God and the church family have always been a part of our life together since the time when we met at church back in High school. Corey enjoyed studying theology (studying God and His Word, the Bible). He had a passion for apologetics which is the branch of Christian theology that attempts to give a rational defense of the Christian faith. It involves looking at the evidence, the facts and the history of Christianity and the life of Christ. He was so intelligent in this area, particularly in his ability to retain so much information. He would pour over science textbooks and knew so much history that confirmed his beliefs. Corey was a seeker of Truth, with a capital T.
Corey had a strength about him. He had strong convictions about life and about God. Yet he had such a tender, gentle, and kind side to his character as well. In this way he really reminds me of Jesus. Strong in some ways but gentle too. Corey was compassionate and giving of himself to others. He saw beyond a person’s appearance, habits, and life experiences – he saw their heart. In this way, he was humble. He didn’t judge others but accepted them as they were. Corey was always willing to lend an ear to a friend, help solve a problem, or meet a physical need whether it required time or money. He was so generous in giving himself to others. He really had a servant’s heart…again, just like Jesus.
We were members of the Journey Church for 5 years before coming here to Grace about a year ago. Corey was involved in leadership at The Journey, serving on the deacon board for a few years. He played the drums on the worship team for a period of time. He had played drums in high school for a short time but had never learned to play the full drum set until his time at The Journey. Yet again, he took on the task of learning to play and spent hours practicing in our basement. Thankfully, it was an electronic drum set…so he had earphones J
Before I wrap up, I just want to share with you a little bit about the God that Corey and I know and love, since he has been such an integral part of both of our lives. I just want to say that our God is awesome, he is pure goodness. He is holy and he is sovereign- he has authority over everything including life and death. And I know that at a time like this it can be difficult to understand how he could be all of those things. How he could allow Corey’s untimely death at such a young age. How he could take Corey away from his family, his wife and 2 young children. But I want you to hear what I have to say.
God loves each of you - he loves each of us in ways that we can’t even express or fully understand. God took special care in creating us in his image – to reflect who he is in all of his beauty and grandeur. Genesis 1:27 reads “So God created man in His image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God made us desiring that we would respond back to him with love. That we would love him and praise and worship Him for who he is, for how great he is. God didn’t create us to be robots who would love him back involuntarily. He wants us to know Him personally and He gave us his word, the Bible, so we could know him and have a relationship with him, the God of the universe. What a privilege!! He cares intimately about each of you and the details of your life. I know this to be true.
When God created Adam and Eve back in the beginning, He allowed Satan to tempt them – God allowed humanity, in the form of Adam and Eve, to choose God’s way or their own way. And when Eve took a bite of the forbidden apple, sin entered the world. And because of this we all have a sinful nature…Romans 3:23 reads “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Because God is so holy and embodies perfection and we are sinners, we are not worthy to stand in his presence. But because he loves us so much he sent his son Jesus into the world more than 2000 years ago to pay our debt to God for our sins. John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus died for us…he was the acceptable sacrifice offered up to God on our behalf. It is a gift. We cannot earn it, we do not deserve it. God gives it freely out of his great love for us but we have to accept that gift. When you accept Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf, God washes you clean and sees you as righteous – you have right-standing before God because Jesus goes before you and when God looks at you, He sees Jesus- in all of CHRIST’S perfection. This is what makes you a child of God and allows you to have a relationship with God, and best of all it allows you to spend eternity after you die with God in Heaven. I want this for each of you. Corey believed all this to be the Truth with a capital T. It takes a step of faith to believe these things but God has placed so much around us to prove these things to be true. Corey is in Heaven now…joyful, whole and healthy.
So if you are struggling with understanding Corey’s death…this great loss…know that God is and has been present in all of this. I can attest to this because God has done so many things over the course of the last couple of days and weeks- things that can only be attributed to God. I would love to share with any of you the specifics of how God has been moving these last few days. God was there in the moments surrounding Corey’s passing. Looking back, I can see things that God did to prepare me months ago for the loss of my husband. God is just amazing. Romans 8:28 reads “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And as I have told many of you, God is going to work all of this sorrow, suffering, and pain for his glory, for his good. I have already seen it happening and I’m committed to being a part of the good that God is going to bring about through Corey’s death.
I love all of you. I am so thankful for the part you have played in my husband’s life and in my life. Thank you for your prayers and support. Words really cannot express my gratitude.
I am going to close by reading Psalm 34
"I will extol the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord. Let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me. Let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look at him are radiant. Their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called and the lord heard him. He saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."
Soli Deo Gloria. To God alone be the glory.