- 37 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 26, 1978
- Place of birth:
Binghamton, New York, United States
- Date of passing: Sep 3, 2015
- Place of passing:
London, United Kingdom
|When love is deep, much can be accomplished - Shinichi Suzuki|
"I am sending a prayer for Miss Cory and her family - she was my son, Joe's violin teacher at Horseheads year ago. She was a wonderful person and is missed here on Earth but is making music in Heaven!"
Always missed never forgotten."
"Read at Cheryl's Memorial Service in Ithaca, NY on April 23, 2016:
Good afternoon. First of all, I’d like to thank Cheryl’s family, Umberto, Dolores and Chiara for allowing me the honor to help celebrate an extraordinary woman, musician, friend, teacher, sister, daughter, wife and mother. What an honor it is to have this opportunity to remember her among all of you, family and friends. And to be back in Ithaca, a town that she loved so much. A town that she often referred to as home.
I think that it’s important for me to mention that one of our very dear friends that we grew up with, Brenda Halpin, could not be here today. I know Brenda very much wanted to be a part of this day. I remain prayerful that she will be reunited with her family soon. But, in the meantime, I continue to pray that Brenda is comforted and safe, wherever she may be.
I must confess that I was a little worried about getting ready for today. I went and reread the beautiful and heartfelt tributes that have been written for Cheryl, knowing that I would never be able to write such masterpieces. I am an engineer and it is not one of my strengths to translate my thoughts and feelings onto paper. One of the things that I did in preparation for today was Google, "How to write a tribute for someone you love." Google suggested that I share my memories and talk about something everyone could relate to. I know that if Cheryl were here, she'd probably laugh at me and say, “just say what’s in your heart”. And that is what I’m going to do today.
For those that don’t know me, my name is Jessie Juarez.
Cheryl and I first met in high school orchestra. She was a year junior than me but we became fast friends. It was her genuine personality, her thoughtfulness and her desire for adventure that drew us together. Our high school years of growing into young adults built the foundation of our friendship that would always connect us together through our lives. And even after leaving home and going our own way in life after high school, our friendship continued to grow for the next decades in our letter writings through our college years, the postcard exchanges during the years of Cheryl's travels, our long emails of life contemplations, our google chats about hopes, dreams and pregnancies, our texting about motherhood, and even the 5 am wake ups so we could FaceTime while Chiara was taking her naps.
And as often as our busy lives allowed us, we made sure to always plan our get together. Those visits spanned across whatever city we lived in at the time. And when we were together, it was as if no time had passed between us.
During my visit to London last year, Cheryl said to me:
"You being here makes it feel like home."
Isn't home where the people you love are? Throughout our decades of friendship, no matter where we were in our life, when we were together, it always felt just like we were home.
In the last few months, I’ve been trying to remember as many of our visits together and was afraid of forgetting any. I had my favorites like Brenda’s baby shower, celebrating New Years in DC, and spending hot summers days laying around one of the Ithaca gorges.
One of my favorite visits was in March of 2009 when Cheryl and Brenda drove from NY to visit. My husband, Manuel, and I had just moved into our first home outside of Washington, DC. I was also a new mother and Antonio was 6 months at the time. I was so excited that they were coming and so I prepared the fanciest meal that I knew how to cook. I made a Thanksgiving meal in the middle of March to celebrate the reunion of my favorite friends. And the night they arrived, we had one of my most memorable Thanksgiving meals at our house, chewing on dry over cooked turkey, cranberry sauce from a can, gravy from a jar, frozen apple pie from the freezer and I’m sure there was plenty of wine and laughing that night. I remember Cheryl telling me that this was the best idea ever and that it really felt like it was Thanksgiving. I knew what she meant. Because we were busy and had our careers that we were building and our families we were taking care of, that night was a night of celebrating our friendship and how grateful we are for each other.
Oh, how I am so grateful for Cheryl for always being there and giving me perspective. I remember when my 3 year old son was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. I remember calling Cheryl and telling her I had no idea what Autism was. What would it mean for my child? I was filled with uncertainty and fear. I remember she put on her serious tone of voice with me that day and told me to go buy a book called, Nurtured by Love…. Later in our conversations she helped me to give such a hopeful perspective for not only my son’s abilities, but also my relationship with him. What I appreciated the most about her gift of perspective was that she wasn’t afraid of challenging the norm. I love that about her.
When God blessed Cheryl with Chiara, I knew that she was going to be an AMAZING mother. I remember during the spring of 2012, Cheryl revealed to me her pregnancy. I had never seen her more excited and radiant. She showed her love even before Chiara was born. Cheryl dedicated her pregnancy to being fit with yoga classes and eating right. Motherhood for Cheryl was such a natural step for her and Chiara was her pride and joy.
I learned a lot from Cheryl. But in particular, being here in Ithaca reminds me of a funny story when we were recovering from celebrating her 21st birthday. The morning after celebrating we went into a store to find drinks to rehydrate. I remember walking out with a small quart of fresh apple cider. Cheryl warned me to not drink it too fast while I was gulping down the container like I had never tasted anything that ever tasted so good before, and she said to me, “You’re gonna to get sick!” I told her I’d never gotten sick before from apple cider! And for the next 2 hours, Cheryl laughed while we tried to find bathrooms every 15 minutes. And since then, every year when apple cider season is in full swing, I always sent her a note to tell her how I never forgot the lesson she taught me. And that was, to always listen to her.
Last June Cheryl posted a picture on her Facebook page that I want to talk about. The picture was taken at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Nightingale Square, London. In this picture Cheryl is standing with the statue of Jesus above her with his hand over his Sacred Heart. Cheryl is lighting a candle and Jesus is looking down upon her. Whenever I look back at this photo, and I look back at it often, I find comfort knowing that she is in the arms of our Blessed Lord. That day the photo was taken was very special to me because Cheryl asked to go to Mass with me that morning. I felt that this was the first time we were together as sisters in Christ. In Saint Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, he says, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” That morning my heart was filled with more Faith and Hope for Cheryl than ever before… And I know that just like in the photo, our Lord continues to watch over her.
Thank you for listening. Cheryl will be missed."
"Our Maine-Endwell class of '96 made a video for Cheryl to let her know how much we cared for her. Many friends from all over the country shared their thoughts and love: http://youtu.be/CMrb403mEbs
Sending your family healing prayers."
"I was a student of Cheryl's, I originally met her when I started playing violin, and I sucked at it. A few years down the road and she encouraged me to try the bass and we never looked back! I loved being a part of her orchestra and loved how dedicated she was to us. She not only cared about how we were doing in orchestra, but also how our lives were going. She was a real mentor for me and a role model. I am deeply saddened that she is gone, but hopeful that she is at peace watching over her loved ones. I miss her dearly and hope to see her again someday."
"I worked with Cheryl at Horseheads High School. An absolutely lovely and talented woman who will truly be missed. Sending prayers"
"Ms. Cory was an absolute inspiration to us all. I have never met a person of such poise and dignified grace. She was the absolute epitome of integrity. So much of me wanted to be like her. She loved her students so much and so dearly, and she will be dearly missed in return. What a beautiful soul God has taken back. One more angel back to heaven, this world was graced by her presence for the time she was here.
It has been many years since Ms. Cory left Horseheads and though we haven't talked since then, this loss weighs heavy on the hearts of many of her former students. Prayers for her friends, family, and students please. We love you Ms. Cory ❤️"
"To the Family and Friends of Cheryl,
Please except my deepest condolences. Although I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Cheryl, I was touched because she was my age. I can't imagine having my life cut so short. I hope that you'll find comfort in knowing that you can see your loved one again during a time when "death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)"
"I am so very sorry to hear of Cheryl's death. I worked with her at Horseheads High School in New York State and remember how excited she was to move to England. It breaks my heart to hear that she passed away."
"Too young. But God must have needed you by his side. Bless all."
"I was a student at Horseheads High School and Cheryl was my orchestra teacher for 6 years. I am so thankful to have had the chance to have known and be mentored by a truly special human being. Cheryl was talented and committed to her students. She inspired many, many students to reach their true potential. For me, she was the one who inspired me to keep playing violin. To not quit. To realize that I don't always have to be the best but I need to put in effort and see my own potential. In every thing i do this lesson has carried over with me. I never do anything with less than 110% effort. She has inspired me to be a better person, a kind person, a considerate person and the best possible version of myself. Through her fight she has touched many lives and her inspiration will live on in my heart. Although I am devastated she is gone her legacy will live on in my heart. I will always keep her close to me and remember all she has taught me.
I know you are forever looking down on me and you will always be close to my heart.
Love you always! <3"
I truly enjoyed working with you in Horseheads School District. You cared so much about the students that we shared. You made a significant impact on so many, you will be missed."
"RIP Cheryl....You will always be remembered...."
"I only want to post some of my favourite music and poemthat can commemorate the beautiful woman that although I barely knew, her smile will always be imprinted in my mind.
Mahlers 2nd symphony and Neruda s poem:
I want you to know
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
"[source as yet unknown]
"[Erik Azzopardi, London. Pianist/Tutor, worked with Cheryl at Thomas's Fulham (London) 2009-2015.]
Cheryl posted this on her facebook wall once and we printed it in the order of service of her cremation. It was originally delivered by Canon Henry Scott-Holland on Whitsunday, 1910, at St Paul's Cathedral.
"Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!""
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