The time between when we planned the service and the actual day was somewhat of a blur. I spent most of my time walking around in a fog and trying to, when around my nephews and niece not to cry or to scare them. However, they were troopers! Just hearing their laughter and seeing their smiles would at times, brighten up my spirits.
Mom and my best friend, L, took me out to buy a dress/outfit for the memorial service. I really wasnt in the mood to play dress up, but went along. Normally, I wouldn’t mind trying on clothes, but this was just taxing. I had, unknowingly, had kept my head cocked to the left all the time. At some point, it got where I could not turn my head and I had to seek relief in a massage. Mom and I trekked to the mall and found some little vendor that has the massage chairs out in the middle. I will say to this day, that was the best $20 I had ever spent. It helped out the kinks.
My in-laws returned on Thursday/Friday (can’t seem to remember) for the Memorial service. At the same time, my Grandparents and my Aunt and Uncle came in. Having all the family there, was comforting. Friday consisted of a family dinner, which was graciously provided by my group of girl friends, The Nesties.** more to come on them.
Saturday, July 18th. Another hard day in my life. The day that everyone would come to remember my beloved Corey. I went through most of the motions like a zombie. I was such a mess, I had to have my sister-in-laws hairdresser fix my hair for the day. I don’t remember eating anything that morning, but I do remember ripping my hose. I was able to call L and ask that she pick up another pair for me and meet me at the Church. She was my lifesaver.
The service was beautiful, meaningful, and solemn at the same time. So many people attended to remember Corey. Many of Corey’s Coworkers were there and so many friends! As far as China, and California. Friends that I had never met, driving from Missouri and Kansas. As well, there was a huge contingent of my in-laws friends who travelled in for the service. Even my Aunt and Uncle drove in just in time for the service. A five-hour trip to honor my husband whom they had only met once.
Father Bill did a wonderful service in remembering Corey. A friend of the family, and one of my parents business partners, sang some of my most favorite hymns; “On Eagle’s Wings”, “Amazing Grace”. I had chosen three people to speak at the service. Kim, Corey’s boss, Rusty, Corey’s childhood friend, and Bob, my father in law. My mom read something she wrote to represent my side of the family as well.
Then I stood up and spoke. I don’t know how I did it, but I did. And I don’t remember most of what I said; but I was told that I did a wonderful job. People still tell me that they were surprised that I was able to do it and that I did so very well that Corey would have been so proud of me. I felt that I had to do it. I said my vows to him when we married, now it was time to say my goodbyes. I wanted everyone around to know how much he meant to me; and how he was my hero. How much he changed my life for the better. How he touched me and everyone around him.
One of the hardest parts of the service came after my eulogy. I had them play “Could Not Ask for More” by Sara Evans. That was our song. There’s a special story behind that song. It was the first time we would be celebrating Valentines Day as a couple. I was at my home; he was at his apartment. We had been chatting online, but had closed up for the night. Once we had said our good nights, I had been surfing the internet, looking for the words to the song. See, the words said it all of how I felt. I had just printed them out, put them inside the card that I had for him, when I got an email from Corey. Attached to that email was a music file; it was the recording to the same song that I had just printed out. I knew then that we were meant to be together and that he was the man I would marry. That song always had a special meaning to us. When I created the album from our wedding and honeymoon, I put the words on the back page. Every time he would look at that , his eyes would well up. I can still see those eyes today, welling up with joy.
My brother and his family, graciously opened up their home to all those who attended the services. We catered BBQ from a local eatery and they counted for us. There were approximately 110 people who attended the reception afterwards. It was so wonderful for those who came to sit around, inside and out, and remember Corey and all the good stories. I learned a few things I never knew; met people that he had mentioned before, and cried with my girlfriends from high school who attended.
There are times when I sit back and try to remember what I said for my eulogy. I re-write it and wish I could re-do it over and over because I really think that I missed so many things I wanted to say. I know that I can’t do that, but I can do it so that he can hear me. I know he can; I know he’s here.
I have to say thank you to my “Nesties”. This fabulous group of ladies have been a huge support for me. We all met while planning our weddings and then on to living the married life. Many of them donated to a fund which not only provided the dinner for the family the night before the service, but desserts for the reception, flowers every other month for a year and towards the plot in which Corey’s ashes have been interred. I received visits during the week and so many of them attended the funeral. My neighbors husband called them my “Ya-Ya’s”. And he was right. And along the donations, they created a Care Calendar where every other night during the week, a beautiful, loving lady would bring me dinner or take me out. I received many cards and care packages from them. I am forever indebted to them. They are my Ya-Ya’s.
Each day is a struggle. I try each and everyday to reflect on my life with Corey and what we had. I miss him with every fiber of my being. He was my one true love.