There is so much amazingness in this photo...one of his favorite places, with many of his favorite people - church camp. 16 years old...and if you read the caption, that is in his handwriting..."Cory 93' 4 months free from childhood hell" (church camp). This sums up so much for him. Freedom to not be scared to go back home after this fun weekend, freedom from worry, fear, physical pain, shame, silence, and the list goes on.
As I look at his face here and in some other photos during this same trip...I see the little boy that longed to be loved and cared for by his biological father, which my brother never received. A little boy that survived every single day with a little hope for better in the future, hope that one day he would have a family, and prove the world that his past wouldn't define the type of father that he would be.
Against all odds Cory made it to 45 years old. Through rape, incest, physical beatings that left damage he had to deal with his entire life, emotional scars that would never be healed, addiction, homelessness - Cory fought every single day to be the best that he could and knew to be. Always doing what he could to help others.
Firsts are hard when you lose someone, regret comes in, shame swings by, but most of all love engulfs your heart and mind. His suffering wasn't in vain, anyone that knows Cory, knows he would sit and listen and help - he would have deep conversations, he would share words that many would think he was rambling, and in reality he was giving great wisdom.
Dedicating today to Cory...6 months has passed, and Cory, your legacy lives on. Love you Bro. Live Life Love
One of Cory's writings for you all to absorb:
"If I passed on, in that last wreck,
didn't take another breath, after the last time I broke my neck, my heart stopped just from being broken, on Earth, just as a token.
.... Would you wish for more time with me......seek me out or show your bond with me?
.... Saddened by loss and by death, though blessed, by grace my eyes are opened.....
I seek you out with heart, though if I miss your call or don't reach you in time just know through Christ's blood I am saved and you can be or also are and though I was busy or you were away we are forgiven and will still see one another just in a different way.
.... As I forgive, though hard as it may be, I thank God for forgiveness, So please forgive m, I am only human, I am me naturally set free.
I'll keep in touch as best as I can. I'll seek you out, I'll take your hand, from this Earth onto the promise land!"
-Cory T. Barker