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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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Corey! We love you!

     Another first to get through today and we made it. Our first Father's Day without Corey. I wanted it to be a special day of remembering him. The girls worked on some drawings yesterday and we made plans to head to the cemetery in the morning to place them at his grave. I got the girls loaded in the car and made my usual 3 or 4 trips back in the house for all the little items I had forgotten. Corey used to chuckle at me on Sunday mornings when we'd try to get out the door for church. I'd have my arms heaping full with stuff for the girls (snacks, water bottles, coloring pads) and my stuff which usually consisted of my breakfast that I hadn't had time to eat, my make-up that I hadn't yet applied, my Bible, water bottle and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Anyhow, now that I always have to be the driver I usually end up at church without having had breakfast and don't worry, I don't put my make-up on while I drive ;)  Corey could just never figure out how I managed to need so much stuff.  Moms often get stuck carrying everyone's things - that's how.  Thankfully the girls are getting older and I can have them carry more!  So, back to my morning...I ran back into the house to get something else and the phone rang. It was my friend Kelly. She called to tell me she was thinking about the girls and I today, knowing that it would probably be a hard day for us.  She shared some sweet words with me and cheered me on, telling me what a good job I'm doing helping the girls remember their Dad and work through their own grief process.  It was a real encouragement to me and the timing was perfect since we were just heading off to the cemetery. I thank God for the good friends he has placed in my life.
     We finally pulled out of the driveway and Abigail had mentioned that we should bring Corey a Reese's peanut butter cup since that was one of his favorite candies. I agreed it was a great idea so we made a stop and bought a king sized package. Once at the cemetery the girls bolted from the car. We sat around Corey's stone and the girls laid out their drawings for him and told him about them. It broke my heart to see Abigail's. Being the little artist that she is, she drew 5 pictures. One was a picture of her standing next to Corey's casket with a sad face and tears. Another said, "I miss Dad so much." A third one read, "I love Dad so much." Another one had a big sad face and the last one made me smile and cry at the same time. She drew a picture of a snowman, Daddy and her, all in a row and all wearing big smiles. This is one of her favorite memories with Corey. We have some beautiful pictures of the 2 of them out in the snow making a big 'ole snowman. Their smiles are so bright. I think Abigail was 3 years old at the time. Allison's picture below is the one with the big happy face. She did it on orange paper because orange was one of Corey's favorite colors.
We all enjoyed a Reese's cup with one left for Corey.
I have some more pictures to add, but it is taking forever for them to upload...I'll try to get them on here tomorrow...it's getting kind of late and I'm wiped.
     We left the cemetery and headed to Newington to enjoy lunch at Newick's. This was one of Corey's favorite places to eat and we would often end up there for birthdays and Father's days in years past. Corey loved their fried haddock. Lunch was great...we had a table next to the window so we could look out on the water.  It was a gorgeous day today and the girls and I had some really good time spent together.
     When thinking about writing this post I was reminded of a blog post I read 4 years back. A woman named Kim had lost her husband suddenly in March of 2007. Many of you will probably recognize who I'm talking about. She was 9 months pregnant with her 8th child, due any day and having regular contractions (if I'm remembering correctly) when her husband became suddenly ill and was taken to the hospital. I don't believe he lived more than 24 hours after they arrived. An aneurysm cut his life short at just a few days shy of age 38 leaving his wife widowed with 7 children and an 8th on the way.  Can you imagine having to plan a funeral while 9 months pregnant and due any minute? The emotions she must have experienced had to have been intense...to say the least! Seven days after his death, their son was born. I was 8 months pregnant with Allison at that time and when I received the emails asking for prayer for the family I was shaken by the tragedy of their situation. I couldn't imagine being widowed at such a young age with a large family and having to give birth only days after such a horrendous loss. I followed Kim's blog for a while and a few months later I was catching up on her site. It was Father's Day 2007, June 15th. I cried as I read through her post and listened to a song that she had picked to dedicate to her late husband as a gift to him on that Father's Day. I was so sad for her at the loss of her soul mate and could not imagine experiencing the loss of my husband at such a young age. Our new baby girl had just arrived not quite a month before and we were in the best years of our lives, people told Corey and I. Four years later, I can do more than just imagine losing my soul mate...I'm where Kim was...a widow trying to get through that first Father's Day without my babies' Daddy. I didn't cry too much today until I listened again to the song Kim had on her blog.  It took me a while to find her blog and to figure out the song. All I could remember was that it was perfect. It's called Breakfast Table, by Chris Rice. (Disclaimer: I like this video but was bummed with the beach picture that got thrown in...you'll see...sorry ;)

This is my gift to you Corey. I love you always and dedicate this song to you...You were my taste of Heaven. We'll have forever.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Play ball!

     I've been meaning to get on here and let you all know about a special softball tournament that is coming up later this month. A friend of mine lost her baby girl, Rose Jacqueline Alix, to anencephaly in June of 2009. Despite being encouraged by doctors to terminate the pregnancy, she carried and delivered Rose who was born into Heaven on June 23, 2009. Anne, her mother is an amazing lady. Anne and her husband Chris established the RJA Memorial Fund following Rose's death. You can read more about Rose's life and her memorial fund by visiting the following web site:  http://www.wix.com/rosejalix/rja_fund#! Anne and Chris hold an annual softball tournament on the weekend closest to Rose's birthday as a way to honor her life and to raise money to help others through Rose's fund.
     Anne contacted me a couple of months back and told me that as part of the tournament they have T-shirts made for the event, and she asked if I would be interested in coming up with a design for the sleeve of the shirt in memory of Corey. All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go towards the Abi and Ali fund set up through our church (Grace Community).  I felt so honored that she thought to do this and touched that she would want to help us remember Corey in this way. Corey loved playing softball through the Seacoast Softball League and had played the past 3 seasons. I know he would be pleased to be a part of Rose's softball tournament!
     My initial idea for the logo was to have Abigail draw a picture of her and Ali with their daddy. Here's what she came up with:
Unfortunately, the print shop informed us that Abigail's drawing would not show up clearly on the sleeve because of the small size once printed.

So next I came up with this one:

Corey's softball jersey number was 1 :)  The quality of the scan (pictured above) wasn't great so it's kind of dull looking but the one that went to print was darker and clearer.  Anyhow, this one isn't as "cute" as Abigail's but hopefully will look nice once printed on the T-shirt sleeves.

If you'd like to support our efforts to remember these two very special people, buy a T-shirt and come play ball (or just come cheer the teams on)! And again, check out Rose's story...http://www.wix.com/rosejalix/rja_fund#!

If you would like to order a T-shirt, they are $15 a piece. Please email me at: corjilly@gmail.com and let me know what size you would like and what color (men's sizes are in grey, women's sizes are in blue).