Our lives were forever changed the day we lost Corey. He was an amazing man who loved the Lord and his family with all that he was. The pain of losing him is like no other. Our only comfort comes from knowing we will see him again someday.

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"

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The J.C.Hampton Memorial Ball Field

        I had a meeting this evening with the board of the cemetery where Corey is buried. There is an old overgrown ball field on the grounds of the cemetery, and from the moment I chose the site for Corey's burial I had a desire to see the field restored in Corey's honor.
        I remember the first few days after Corey's passing. I had so many details to attend to and so many decisions to make.  God totally carried me through those difficult days (and continues to!), and I looked to Him to lead me with each difficult decision. Thankfully, he also surrounded me with a wonderfully supportive group of family and friends who were ready and willing to help with all the details.
        Choosing Corey's burial spot was one of the biggies.  Have often do you go shopping for burial plots? This was a first for me.  I remember telling some family members that God would show me where Corey should be buried.  We went and looked at Pine Grove Cemetery in Farmington, NH.  It was a lovely place and much larger than I had realized. I was leaning towards that site, but God closed the door on that possibility when we found out that the caretaker was away until the following week and a burial in just a few days would not be possible. That left my other option, the cemetery in Milton Mills. My friend Sarah who was with me had told me that her husband Bob had played softball on a field at or next to the cemetery.  As we drove we were looking for that field as a landmark.  We came upon the cemetery but there was no ball field visible.  The country setting was beautiful. However, I wasn't feeling entirely at peace about it being the right spot since I really liked the looks of the old part of the cemetery better than the new part, which is where Corey would have to be buried.  We met the next day with John, who oversees the cemetery.  He showed me the available lots and we talked about the cemetery grounds.  He explained that the Salmon Falls River was at the edge of the field behind the lots I was considering.   I thought that was neat because Corey's job as a potter at Salmon Falls Stoneware was what brought him to NH 13+ years back.  In the far section of the overgrown field (undeveloped cemetery land) there were what looked to be fence posts.  I asked John what used to be there, and he told me that it used to be a ball field. I immediately realized that it was the same ball field we were looking for when trying to find the cemetery! It's very overgrown and what little remains are left are not visible from the main road (much of the metal fencing was stolen).  It was at that point that I remarked to John that I would love to see the field restored in Corey's honor. The softball team Corey played on this past season had actually played on this field about 3 years back. I asked John about the possibility of restoring the field if I was able to bring the resources and people together to get the work done.  John seemed very receptive to the idea.
        It was when John mentioned that Esther Culverhouse's husband was buried just a stone's throw away that I got goose bumps and knew God was confirming this was the place for Corey.  You see, Esther is Abigail's first grade teacher this year.  Just a day or so earlier, Karen, Abi's teacher from last year and a good friend of mine, mentioned that she thought Abi and Mrs. C. would be a good fit for each other because Esther had lost her husband to cancer just about 2 years back.  Karen thought Esther, in a special way, would be very sensitive to Abigail's grief and that they might help each other heal.  So when John pointed out the Culverhouse grave site nearby, Cindy, Corey's mom, and I both started to tear up.  We hugged each other and I said, "This is the place. I knew God would show me."
        A few weeks after Corey was laid to rest I was visiting his grave.  I had one of the programs from his service in my Bible and started reading through it.  As I got to the very bottom of the back page I noticed that the address for the cemetery was listed as Applebee Road.  Until reading that I hadn't known the name of the road and then it hit me that Applebee was the last name of the state trooper who had called to give me the official word that Corey had indeed died just an hour or so earlier that evening.  Again, I got goosebumps.  It was as if God was reassuring me that I had indeed chosen the right burial spot.
        In the 3 months following Corey's death I have not lost sight of my vision to see the ball field restored.  It has been a little hard getting the project rolling, but I think we are headed in the right direction! The meeting with the cemetery board this evening was the first big step where I had the opportunity to present a plan for the project.  Basic details were shared with the board in terms of what the project will entail.  If you'd like to have a look, I have placed the project plan that I prepared for the meeting on it's own page under 'important posts' (above). There were 11 individuals present at the meeting including the 6 board members and John, the president of the board.  They are a very nice group of folks!  I am pleased to have had the opportunity to meet them and grateful that they were willing to hear and consider my proposal.  At this point, the next step in the process involves them meeting to discuss what I presented and to vote on whether to allow the project to proceed.  I left the meeting feeling very positive about the possibility of a favorable outcome!
        I have had a lot of people offer help for the project and share with me connections that they have to potential resources. There seems to be a large amount of enthusiasm for this to happen. Oh and by the way, that includes Esther Culverhouse :)  She was there at the meeting tonight as well. She is eager to support the project and see the field restored, as her husband chose the spot where he would be buried because of its proximity to the old ball field. So cool!! I will be establishing a fund (probably through our church) for anyone desiring to make a donation to the J.C. Hampton Memorial Ball Field. I will post details for that as soon as they are available. It would be a tax-deductible donation if that makes it any more appealing ;) If you would like to get on board with the project and have time/a skill/or another resource to offer, please send me an email at corjilly@gmail.com or post a comment, and I can connect with you offline to talk further.
     Thanks all for your support!  I will keep you posted on the board's decision.
                                For God's glory and my husband's honor,  Jill

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