(In memory of my dear brother Corny)
(January 10, 1944 – May 4, 1993)


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It was by design that our journeys began
From the same womb;
Dad and Mom were chosen by God
As instruments through whom the breath of life
Was blown into our nostrils.
You were there ahead of me on the path
As it wound its way through the course of time.
I watched you and my other big brothers
As you showed me the way.
Many a hurdle did I avoid
Because your clearing it ahead of me warned me.
You lead the way as we scurried down the path
To the meadow of play;
When I cried for fear from behind
Your wave often encouraged me to keep going.
On the sports field you often challenged me,
Knocked me down,
Treated me like a rival,
But only to strengthen me and teach me courage,
Never to the point of discouragement.
At an early age you showed me that
The paths along side the one chosen by our parents
Were also ours to enjoy.
You ventured where I feared to go,
Causing difficult travel for you at times.
It was at these times that I could return
Some of the encouragement.
Your bout with fever may well have been
Caused by taking your own path through the swamp.
The loss of your kidney happened on the
Grinding, dueling path.
The passive, smooth path was never
Exciting enough for you.
Your courage will never be doubted.

As teenage “men” our paths were close
And often crossed.
You directed me into the goal on the ice;
You put the water skis on my feet for the first time;
You threw the ball at me
Harder than I could comfortably catch it.
You taught me agressive driving;
I’ve used it many times.
Sometimes you allowed me to get ahead of you
On the journey,
When I looked back I’d see you waving to me,
Daring me to stay ahead;
I seldom could for very long.

Matrimony took our paths farther apart.
Many times I couldn’t see your path or
Even know where it might be.
When our paths did cross we would be
As old friends.
These fellowship times were always a highlight,
Whether it was on the links
Or a gathering of the clan.

My path shook beneath me when you called
To me from yours to inform me
That your journey took you through
A valley of illness.
The courage in the Intensive Care Unit after your
First surgery taught me,
Never to be down about a few rough spots
On my path; because our mutual friend
Guide will always be there to help.
You journeyed on toward that awesome valley
That we must all cross.
Occasionally I could see your path from the distance;
I would be afraid for you
As I saw the swamp and the jungle
That you had to encounter.
But from afar your wave assured me that
You were okay and not alone.

As you entered that Big Valley of fear
You approached it boldly,
Revealing to me that your Guide was still there,
You shared that He would carry you when
the going became unbearable.
Your wave of assurance as you crossed
Through the valley of the shadow will
Be my encouragement when my path
leads me there.
I know that today and always your encouragement
Will go with me.
Your courage will go with me
Through the jungles and quagmire on my path.
Today we hear you calling encouragement to us
As we follow you.
You have reached that goal,
and we are not far behind.
Well done Corny,
Farewell, We will see you soon.

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