The Macs

Thursday, January 22, 2009

cora's story

Cora was born on March 5, 2008. We were instantly in love with our baby girl. She was such a joy to us in every way. We loved being a new little family and having this sweet little girl to share our lives with. She meant everything to us.

In late November Cora started having multiple ear infections along with a respiratory infection. We were visiting the pediatrician quite frequently and she seemed to keep getting sick. After trying lots of medication and still noticing that Cora just didn’t seem to be getting better, Joel decided to go to her appointment with me on January 22nd. Besides the ear infections we described a few other things we had noticed and the pediatrician decided to take an x-ray of Cora’s abdomen. About an hour later he came into our room with the news that forever changed our lives. Cora’s liver was very enlarged and he was concerned that it could possibly be the result of some kind of cancer. 

He sent us directly to the hospital in Wichita where we would spend the next 17 days. After checking in, lots of tests, and finally a CT scan we were forced to wait until the morning to learn what the doctors were going to do. In the morning our worst fears were confirmed. Cora had a tumor that needed to be removed immediately--it was most likely from cancer. After a whirlwind of meetings with doctors, surgeons, and the oncologist we were holding our little girl waiting to hand her off to the nurses for surgery. That was the HARDEST thing we have ever had to do. We never dreamed that this would be the last time we would be able to laugh and play with our little girl here on earth. After the surgery Cora was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer. It is still so hard to say that word “cancer”. The doctors and oncologist were very positive about Cora’s chances for recovery. Since she wasn’t yet a year old there was a very good chance that chemotherapy and possibly other treatments would be effective. The next few weeks were a roller coaster. It was HORRIBLE watching Cora lie helplessly in that hospital bed and not be able to do anything to help her. The plan for Cora’s treatment and when we would be able to go home seemed to change every day. We were forced to fall to our knees before the Father and trust Him with our little girl. That was the only thing we could do. 

Cora had four surgeries and completed the first round of chemotherapy while we were in the hospital. She was hooked up to so many different monitors and medicines we couldn’t even hold her. Eventually she was put on a respirator and then an oscillator because of her oxygen levels. While she wasn’t progressively getting better we held onto the hopeful words of her doctors. We were shocked that awful Sunday morning when we were awoken by my mom who was staying in Cora’s room. We were sleeping in the parent's room down the hall and had just left Cora two hours earlier. The doctor told us that Cora’s little lungs were failing and there just wasn’t anything else they could do. We watched so shocked and helplessly as our little girl slipped away, now safe in the arms of Jesus.

Cora went to be with Jesus on February 8th, 2009. She was 11 months old.

Our world has been rocked to the core. Never in our lives did we imagine that we would have to go back to our house alone, without Cora. Never did we imagine that our time with Cora would be so short. Never in our lives have we clung to Jesus so tightly. And His love and grace to us has been truly indescribable. This is the most horrible thing that we have ever been through, yet we have seen God working in our lives and the lives around us in a mighty way.

We started this blog when Cora was born to post pictures of her for friends and family to see as she grew. While we were in the hospital we used it as a tool to share what was happening with Cora and how people could pray for our family. It was amazing to see how many people stormed the gates of heaven on Cora’s behalf. We literally had thousands of people praying for us all over the country. It was incredible and humbling. The outpouring of love in our community and around the world we have felt since Cora went to heaven has been equally amazing. We decided to start a fund for a playground at our church for a memorial in Cora’s honor. Through our blog and a website called Etsy, over 50,000 dollars was raised for what is now known as Cora’s Playground. It is such an awesome remembering stone for our family. A reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

While our hearts hurt so deeply every single day, we continue to rely on the HOPE that we have in our Lord. We miss our sweet Cora desperately. We know we can’t continue on this road in our own strength. We continue to seek the Lord and take things day-by-day. 

Thanks for joining us in our journey!

74 Comments:

Anonymous Jo said...

Goodness, I cry every.single.time I read about sweet Cora. I don't even know her and I miss her myself. It's just that connection. I have read your blog for a few months now, and I cry EVERY TIME! I am at work and I have tears in my eyes as I type. The beautiful Lord will bless ya'll. And continues to bless you. I pray for strength for you and your sweet hubby :) Ya'll are awesome!

August 27, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Valerie Bowman said...

Thank you for sharing your family's story. Thank you for reminding me not to take today for granted. Thank you for inspiring me and many others with your strength and hope... a hope that can come only from Christ. God bless you and your husband as you struggle to live without Cora and as you welcome your 2nd child.

August 31, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Adina said...

A friend told me about your blog recently, and since I have an hour to myself, I sat down to have a read. I'm bawling here for your sweet Cora, and for your pain in losing her. We lost a baby, too, 7years ago, and I remember that ache, that terrible feeling of loss that only someone who has lost a child can know. It is overwhelming at times. And yet, God is gracious, as you know, and he shows his love and tenderness even more at these painful times. Sometimes his plan isn't what our plan was, but knowing he has a plan for each life--that he loves us so much he would make a plan-- just takes my breath away. Thank you for sharing your story on here.

September 29, 2009 at 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

oh my goodness. I am shedding tears for your family. You will now be in my thoughts and prayers on a daily basisi.

October 1, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Jana Green said...

I found your blog about near the end of sweet Cora's fight. I remember just crying and crying and holding my son, who was just 2 days older than Cora.

I am so sorry that anyone would have to go through this, and just amazed that you have allowed God to make a way to find good in Cora's sweet life, and an awesome way for others, including her sibling, to remember her forever. And not only remember her, but laugh and smile and giggle while remembering her.

God Bless You and the rest of your lives.

Jana Green

October 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Frugal Jen said...

I was reminded of sweet Cora today as I read about her on another blog.

My heart still breaks thinking of your loss. May God give you the many graces of heaven.

October 1, 2009 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Polka Dot Moon said...

Not a day goes by that I don't think of Cora and the both of you. My Jillian is only 5 days older than Cora. When I click on your blog - Jillian points to Cora's beautiful pictures, smiles and says baby.

You, Joel, Cora and Baby Mac are in our prayers always.

Denise

October 1, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Candi said...

I couldn't keep from weeping while reading this. I have a two year old and we recently lost the second child we were expecting.

What you have had to go through has to be an unimaginable sort of pain. May the Lord go with you.

October 1, 2009 at 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Morgan Baker said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I am so inspired by the way you are using little Cora to show God's immense love for us and the opportunity to share that with others!
I'm just a college student (husband-less and child-less) but your story is truly a blessing to me as I feel like I'm starting to grow up. The strength, faith, and love I have seen your family exhibit (through reading your story) has been LIFE-CHANGING. She is such a beautiful little girl and will leave footprints on the hearts of everyone who reads her story.
Ps: My birthday is March 5, 1990. This day will be even more special in 2010 because I feel a tremendous HONOR to share my birthday with this fine lady who has exhibited tremendous strength. Thanks again :)

October 1, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger takemetomaui said...

Oh my heart just breaks for you! What a beautiful, precious little angel. Praise God that He brings hope and strength in the most heartbreaking times. Thank you for sharing your story!

October 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am always amazed every time I come to your page and see how open and honest you are and how much faith you have in God. Your story has inspired me in so many ways. When I begin to feel frustrated w/ my own little girl I often think of you and am instantly humbled, realizing you would give anything to you have sweet Cora running around. I pray for your family often and my greatest prayer for you is that God will bring joy to your family again after all you've suffered.

October 2, 2009 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while, and everytime I see the pictures of your sweet Cora, I smile b/c she is just the most beautiful little girl. She captures a piece of my heart each time I look at her picture. I can only imagine how much you miss her, and I am amazed at the good things that you have done to honor your daughter. I know you will miss Cora always, but you will have open arms waiting to hold your sweet new baby, and you'll have such awesome stories to tell this new little one about his big sister. I can't wait to purchase a dress from your shop for my daughter. Every time I visit your shop, you are sold out! What a testimony to the work you are doing.
Donna

October 2, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should have said, "his or her" big sister. Sorry, should have proofread before I published :)
Donna

October 2, 2009 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Alli Unruh said...

Cora's story brings tears to my eyes,everytime you post, and i reminded of keeping my eyes set on eternity. Thank you for sharing

October 2, 2009 at 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

Jess I read your blog everyday and I pray for you guys all the time. I know that Cora and my son Dylan are playing and rejoycing in Heaven together. Stay strong and continue to trust God. One day we will all be together again.
Courtney Mayfield

October 2, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Givinya De Elba said...

Came via MckMama. Thankyou for sharing your story. When I was 3, my baby sister Julie died of neuroblastoma (this is back in 1980). I cannot imagine how my parents made it through, nor how you did either.

God had given me three beautiful babies, and I weep at the thought of ever losing any of them.

I can only hope and pray that when it's my turn to be brave in whatever life brings my way, I can have the courage that you have, and that my faith would stand up strong.

October 3, 2009 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Tess said...

I find it hard to even remember how I can across this blog. What i don't find it hard to remember is the night i stayed up and read, from the beginning to the end, sweet Cora's story. I had just had my first child, a girl. She was only 6 weeks old. As she laid there, next to my bed sleeping, i just sobbed. How can someone go through this and come out still breathing? The answer can ONLY be God. I want you to know that Cora's story has helped me to love my daughter more than I ever imagined. To take EVERY day as a gift and treat it as one. You have given me strength and appreciation, and helped me to love beyond my wildest dreams. All because of Cora's story. Thank you for sharing and helping others in more ways than you know.

October 4, 2009 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

I find myself reading Cora's story almost every time I come to your blog. Thank you for having the strength to share your story. I have a 9 1/2 month old daughter and I can't even imagine losing her. I am amazed at your faith and just want to say I think of you often and know your sweet Cora is waiting for you in Heaven.

October 6, 2009 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger The Sneaky Mommy said...

I just stumbled upon your blog...and couldn't quit reading. Your sweet baby Cora went to be with Jesus on my birthday. I'm so sorry I just found this now--I could have been praying sooner! My best friend's little baby girl has the same cancer, has had the same surgeries, and is now in a waiting game to see where this cancer goes after chemo. My heart has broken for their little Ruby so many times and now breaks for your sorrow.
Can you imagine life without our wonderful, merciful, gracious, loving Savior? HE truly is the sustainer and giver of life! HE also is the great comforter! Thank you for using this horrendous heart breaking time to bring glory to our Savior, to lift Him in a way that others can only be stunned by the God-honoring example you are living.
I know I'm a complete stranger, but my heart is filled with love and prayers for your family today! Thank you for being so transparent and for honoring Christ through little Cora's life!

October 6, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you, your family and sweet little Cora, rest in peace.

Crying here, as I watch my baby boys sleeping, reading Cora's story.

You are an inspiration to me to be a better mother, person and follower of Christ.

October 6, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger amy said...

IM SURE YOU HAVE HEARD THIS MANY TIMES BEFORE,BUT YOUR STORY TOUCHED MY HEART AND PUT TEARS IN MY EYES.I HAVE A 4YR.OLD DAUGHTER NEVAEH WITH LEUKEMIA AHD WE ARE GOING THROUGH GOOD AND BAD DAYS.MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.ALL I CAN SAY IS WOW!THE LORD IS GOOD,HE GIVES US STRENTGH THAT WE NEVER KNEW WE HAD.

October 7, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger A.Love said...

I just found your blog today.
I absolutely cannot imagine what you have gone through and my heart physically aches.
I know what challenges do to my faith and how they bring me closer to God. I am touched by your closeness to him through this battle.

October 7, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

I just found your blog today. It just breaks my heart. Glad to hear about the playground that is fantastic!

October 9, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, another stranger who has been touched by your beautiful angel. I have followed your blog since February and know that I have been praying for you and your family since then. You show such courage and strength even though I am sure, at times, you don't feel all that brave and strong. Your strength comes from the Lord and I thank you for sharing with the world what a majestic Father we have. I can't wait to meet you and your entire family one day in Heaven. :)

October 11, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My little girl will be turning 1 this week, I follow your blog and it touches me ever so much to see your faith and strength! I also cry every time I read about your precious Cora, it makes me realize just how precious life is and helps me to appreciate every moment I have with my children. My thoughts and prayers are with you always! Can't wait to see your new addition to the family!

October 12, 2009 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Sheila said...

I visited your blog for the first time today via McMama's. I am so sorry for your loss. I too lost a child to cancer, my only son Tony, who was 20 years old when he died March 25, 1995. His birthday is coming up on Oct. 19 and I still miss him so much. But even though life is hard sometimes, God is always good. I can honestly tell you that God has taken each step with me since that day. He is a wonderful Friend. My husband also died with cancer 6 years ago. I am so thankful to know that I can be with them again someday and I am blessed to know that as much as my Tony loved babies, I believe he is playing with your sweet Cora today! I will meet you in Heaven if not here on earth. You are such an encouragement to others with your blog. Bless you!

October 14, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Regan said...

I have been reading your blog now and wanted to comment for so long, but could never find the words. I do not know you or your family and do not know how I can across your blog, but your story has touched me. It has helped me fully appreciate each day with my kids and realize that each day is a blessing and it can chance in an instant. The pictures of Cora touch my heart everytime I see your blog, and she reminds me of my little girl. Please know that there are people out there praying for your family and still thinking of you even months after Cora's passing. Good luck with your new baby, I hope he/she brings some peace to your family. Thank you for sharing you story.

October 23, 2009 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You could see that Cora was very loved, and she has touched my heart. You are in our prayers.

October 26, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. Your strength in God, friends, & family only can re-new your precious spirit. I pray for you all. Cora is a beautiful little girl & now a precious angel. God Bless you all & your precious new blessing from God.

October 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Shedd said...

Wow... what a heart breaking story of loss and an uplifting story of faith. I hope your Cora takes our little Grace under her wing in heaven. Grace was born and passed away 17 days ago. I am so encouraged that you are having a healthy pregnancy now. It gives me hope!
Kimberly Shedd

November 1, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Tonya said...

My friend Susan told me about your blog.. I'm not sure how she found you. I'm so sorry to read about your sweet daughter. We too lost a child to neuroblastoma. Our son Brent went HOME to be with JESUS on January 2, 2007.

I'm so encouraged by your words today. (I started reading your post today which led me to read Cora's story) It STILL hurts to think of all that our son suffered through.. it hurts not to have him here, but we're SO THANKFUL to know he's with his LORD! I find myself thinking/feeling the same thoughts/feelings you shared. Some days it IS hard to function, and on those "good days" you DO almost feel like people might assume you're "over it".

I've actually had someone say (by leaving an anonymous message on my blog) that I SHOULD be over it. I don't know how any parent that loved their child could ever be "over" their child not outliving them? I am OKAY with KNOWING that he's with JESUS and I'm GRATEFUL to know he's not sick or hurting any longer.. but as long as I draw breath I'll NEVER be "over it". (You know what I mean?) ☺

THANKS SO MUCH for sharing the joy that can ONLY be found in CHRIST! It is INDEED a WONDERFUL thing to have JOY in the midst of your deepest sorrow!

In HIM,
Tonya

November 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love reading blogs so i read this one. I like reading the story of blogs so, i read this one. It was SO touching! i LOVE reading blogs about babies, but this is one of my favs! I am a kid and understand this purfect! I can't bare reading that part in the story when you stood there WATCHING YOUR CHILD DIE. Right IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES! i can't help but cry, cry ,and cry more, when i read it. It is by far the saddest thing i have every read. I LOVE YOU CORA!!!!!
Check out these websites:
Kayleigh's story;
mycharmingkids.com

i hope you learn about these blogs and pray for them.
Read the story's to learn more and the blogs they've done in the past.

November 9, 2009 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Celine said...

I am reading Cora's story for the first time tonight. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Your faith is amazing. I don't know you, yet I am shedding tears for you. Little Cora was so beautiful! I mourn her earthly life, but celebrate her life in Heaven.

November 26, 2009 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Bill and Mary said...

Jess, I have been following your blog for some time now, and I keep coming back to read Cora's story. Such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful little girl.

~Mary

November 29, 2009 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for a while. It is heartbreaking to know that little Cora had a short stint in this life but how wonderful to know that she is with Him!

You and your husband are such an inspiration to me and makes me want to get closer to Him.

May God continue to wrap His loving
arms around both of you!

Evelyn in Newport News...

December 2, 2009 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Jess, my youngest is 11 mo old right now. His birthday is 2½ weeks away. My heart breaks for you and Joel. I cannot even begin to fathom your loss. But I pray that God brings this new baby safe and healthy and that this new joy will help ease your pain a little.

December 16, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart aches for all of you. I've experienced the death of 2 sets of twins (Max & Ian, June 2006 and Jay & Molly, Nov 2008) due to premature birth. Since the loss of Jay & Molly, we've adopted a little girl named Charlee who is now 9 months old. Everyday I wake up wondering what is going to happen to her. Will she be healthy? Will she be in an accident? Will someone come and take her away? Even though I cling to our Father, my fears do not go away. Nothing lessens the love, sadness and the longing I have for my chilren. I just relish in every day I have with Charlee. We tell her about her brothers & sister and take her to the cemetary with us to visit their graves. She will know about our angels in heaven.

I will continue to pray for your family. Do not be afraid to be happy and enjoy little Levi. You will never forget Cora and you will never stop loving her. But that does not mean you cannot love other children.

May God bless you and keep you.

January 15, 2010 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Lynch said...

I just came across your page and my eyes are burning with tears. But I know we serve a loving God and he is with you and your family always.Stay strong in your faith and your devotion to God. Bless your family and new addition.

January 16, 2010 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous gavin & sophie's mom said...

I'm not sure what to say... my heart is hurting and my eyes are burning. I am very sad for you, your family and sweet baby Cora. But what you have done in her memory is wonderful. We miscarried at 5 months(a girl) in October of 2008, in October of 2009, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. I can only imagine how you feel. I will hug Sophie alittle tighter in memory of your Cora. Kiss baby Levi and enjoy everyday... Love to you and your family.

January 29, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger TDM Wendy said...

blessings to your family and your sweet cora in heaven. cancer is about the lamest thing out there.

January 30, 2010 at 10:30 PM  
OpenID purplemoose said...

I found your blog almost a year ago and I've been following you and praying ever since. Just wanted you to know that you are still on my heart and in my prayers now, as I imagine this is a tough week for you. I pray that the LORD hold you very close.

February 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Laura Preston said...

I found it odd that I stumbled upon this blog exactly one year after your daughter passed away. I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much pain. God's love is amazing and I can truly see how He is working through you. I am pregnant with a baby girl (due in 10 weeks) and I have a 3-year old daughter. I could not imagine what I would do if I had to go through something so painful. I know your heart must hurt every single day. Your story has touched my life. Cora was such a beautiful little girl. May the Lord bless you and keep you.. Laura Preston

February 8, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger c and m said...

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Unfair does not begin to describe it. Cora's Playground is beautiful and such a compassionnate thing for you and your supporters to have done in her honor. Your son is just precious and very lucky to have a big sister watching over him and holding his hand as he grows - for I know she is right there with you all every day :)

February 26, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Jodee Leader said...

I also just stumbled upon your blog this morning. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl.

March 6, 2010 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Tabitha said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your girl. She is beautiful. I cry every time I read about her story. Thank you for having the courage to look beyond all your pain and heart break and do something beautiful with Cora's playground. I stumbled upon your blog through a friend. I just want you to know that Cora's story has helped me to appreciate so much more and have a little more faith in Jesus. Seeing you stay strong, go forward with your life, and remember your little darling Cora in such amazing ways gives me hope. May God abundantly bless your family. Every time you see a penny, pick it up. It is your little angel Cora letting you know she loves you, is thinking about you, and can't wait to see you all one day in heaven!!! xoxo

March 15, 2010 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger lolagirlkoch said...

My name is Laura koch, I also lost a child to Neurbolastoma, My son Keagen was 29 months at his death, he was also on a respirator and his lungs blead and he was gone. I know what you are speaking about, you never imaging these things for your children, ever. Hugs,
Laura Koch
lolagirlkoch@yahoo.com

April 20, 2010 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Cooking From The Heart said...

wow! I am so sorry about your lost. I cried my eyes out reading your story, it just made me think about my kids, and I think is the worst thing that could ever happen to a mother, I pray that your family can find the strenght you need to keep going.....

June 19, 2010 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger sarah jake said...

i happened to link to your blog from another and it was a whirl of memories for me. My Isaac (who will be 3 this year) had emergency heart surgery on the day he turned 2 weeks old. and God was there through all the scary moments with the Dr's trying to figure out what was going on. and He was my comfort as i sat there watching my baby boy lay sedated, hooked up to a dozen machines. and He was my rock last year during my pregnancy, as i sat though ultrasound after ultrasound to be sure that Christian didn't have the same heart issue, while my husband was battling cancer and sitting though round after round of chemo. your daughters story hits so close to home with my heart, and yet my heart is glad at the comfort our Lord gives to His children. i am thankful for the reminders God uses so that we never forget His goodness & mercy. thank you for being that reminder today.

July 2, 2010 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Farnes and Jillian Williams said...

As a mother of 4 who just this last year found out I had stage 3 ovarian cancer, I am so happy to take on this action and endure it all for the sake of my children, now only if we were given peace that our children will never have to go through this. I can't imagine having to sit and watch your precious child and not be able to do anything about it. I think to this day I hear that dreaded word "CANCER" and I cringe!!! My heart and prayers go out to you and your family, we will never know why but the lord blesses us and never gives us a trial we can't handle. good luck to you and your sweet family!!

July 13, 2010 at 1:49 AM  
Blogger mary said...

Hello This is the first time I have been to your website. I kept seeing how you miss cora and finally clicked the link to read her story. I am so heartbroken, tears streaming down my face. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love your site and all the pics you have here. My son had to have open heart surgery at 11 months and we are so blessed by Elohim that he is still with us. I am so glad to know that you have had Adonai to lean on. Bless you and your family. Enjoy the child that is still with you. Blessings to you.♥♥

August 21, 2010 at 4:53 PM  
Anonymous maritza said...

i don't know how i stumbled upon your website but i sit here now sobbing like a baby. i can not even begin to imagine your pain and sorrow. i wish i could hug you all right now as you have touched my heart greatly. you are an amazing family. may GOD continue to bless you and your family now and always.

August 23, 2010 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger giozi said...

I would like to tell you so many things, but my English is so bad. I cried with this.

I lost a nephew when he was 6 months. It was very hard for the family, but only now that I am a mother I can have a slight idea of the pain of my sister in law and my brother, but still impossible to imagine. No one knows until it is lived. How to comfort a heart so shattered? how not to shoutd to God, angry, I could not avoid it, but only He can give us that strength. I cried for your little girl today and I also wanted to hug her and go running to hug my children. Thanks for sharing your testimony. May the Lord bless you and your family.

October 1, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

A mutual friend, Laura, told me about your blog and I am grateful. We lost our sweet Olivia in April and can echo these testimonies that only God's tender mercy has gotten us through this season. She also gave me a copy of the book that you guys shared, Hope. It has been such and encouragement to me. My heart aches for you, thank you for the time that you have put into your blog and for the witness you have so publicly shared. I will pray for you and your family. Thank you to Laura and to you for your faith and your heart.

October 4, 2010 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I found your blog through under the sycamore and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story and your unwavering trust in the Lord. What an amazing testimony. Thank you for reminding me not to take a single day for granted and pushing me to run to Jesus each and every day.

October 7, 2010 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger erintagle said...

I just foumd you/your blog through Ashley at Under the Sycamore. I'm in tears after reading Cora's story. While I enjoy every second with my 5 month old daughter, I'm reminded to take nothing for granted. Thank you for sharing it (and your life) with us. xoxoxo,Erin

October 11, 2010 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Claudine said...

I stumpled onto your blog. I was searching for a christmas stocking for my 5 month old daughter...Cora. I can't stop crying. I am at work and really need to stop with personal stuff- but I could not close the page. I was drawn to your story and strength. I am thinking of my Cora and want to leave to just hold her. She is such a blessing to us and reading your story makes me want to just go and hold her tight. I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sure nothing can be said to ease your families pain. The pictures are so beautiful of both Cora and Levi.

December 2, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger TDM Wendy said...

Ahhh, sweet Cora. What a heartbreaking story. Mixed in there with the God of hope. Cancer stinks. God is good. Life is hard. Cora was blessed to have you for 11 months.

December 13, 2010 at 12:19 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

I just found your blog. My daughter's birthday is 3/3/08. Tears were falling down my face as I read Cora's story. I am deeply touched in your faith in God. He is the only one who can give true comfort. Bless your family's hearts.

January 10, 2011 at 12:06 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Gibbs said...

Last Sunday we saw our first grandchild Hannah make her profession of faith. Because I am now the oldest generation living here below, I wore my mother's bracelet and my Cora earrings to represent those who have gone on ahead. I bought the earrings on Etsy to contribute to Cora's Playground, and every time I wear them I remember your Cora, my precious grandmother, Cora Lucile, and my beautiful great grandmother, Cora Belle, who died when my grandmother was only 7 months old. Loss may shape us, but it does not defeat us. Thank you for sharing your family with us. May God bless you!

May 29, 2011 at 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Velita said...

I feel the pain of losing your sweet Cora. Mine is a different pain - the pain of never being able to have children. At 63 I thought I had it under control, but as my 11 siblings have grandchildren the pain is as fresh as when my husband and I were wanting to start a family. Don't any of you take 1 second with your child for granted. God Bless You!

June 2, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger brandonlk said...

I came across your blog yesterday when I saw your amazing birthday party for your son. As I was looking through your blog I saw Cora's story. I have tears in my eyes from reading it just now. I wanted to let you know that you and your family are an encouragement to me. You love the Lord and trust him even when the unthinkable happens. Your story has touched my life and I will share Cora's story. God bless you and your family.

Your sister in Christ,

Lindsay

June 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss of your daughter. I couldn't imagine the pain that it caused you and your husband. I love reading your blog. You are such an inspiration.

June 14, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Wow. As a new mom, myself, I cannot imagine losing a child, much less watching your child suffer and not be able to do anything about it. Your story is so sad, but how wonderful that you've been able to keep Cora's memory alive.

July 8, 2011 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

You are an inspiration to me...you really are! You make me want to have a stronger heart...and a braver soul. I love my 3 kids so much it hurts...as I am sure you love your 3 as well. Your strength that you write about in Cora's story is amazing. God Bless you and your wonderful family.

Your Bloggy Friend
Maria

August 26, 2011 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Krysta Joelle said...

I came across your blog randomly and ended up having to read almost all of it. I cried for over 2 hours last night reading. Balled, actually. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and your faith. Thank you for the inspiration and for reminding me not to take even the little things for granted. God bless you and your family...

September 2, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I came across your blog via another blog..and the fact that you are in Kansas made me move more quickly. (I'm a Kansas Girl by birth and now live in New Mexico.) I adored the photos of your son visiting the zoo. Reading you mention Cora and not having seen photos of her, I knew that you had an angel. Moving to this page and reading about your short, much love filled, time with her brought tears. It hurt my heart so much seeing the date you lost her presence on Earth--it is my birthday. It was also the first birthday that I had to spend without my own mother who was killed in a car accident just a month earlier. I will never forget Cora's story and I wish for you many blessings as you add one more sweet baby to your family.

September 12, 2011 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger Nanda said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful, sweet daughter's story. I cry at the sorrow of loss, but take joy in your knowledge and faith of our Savior's love and atonement. Cora does indeed live on, and I know you will be reunited again. Thank you for your faith, as it has reached me and blessed me also. Hugs to you.

September 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Nana said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Nana said...

Sorry possible errors ... I'm using google translator! :)

I'm from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Thank you for sharing your strength and faith .... I believe that God put his blog that I read for some reason. Unable to hold back tears right now ....

My favorite songs is "It is well with my soul" ... know? A father wrote after a tragedy in the family and always imagine that only God is able to comfort the heart of a father and a mother when a child is gone.

With love, Johanna Sinclair

November 23, 2011 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Amber Q. Perry said...

I had to keep coming back to this post, deciding what I should write... This is probably, hands down, the most emotional (for me) blog I have ever read.
My oldest daughter was born in March of 2005 at 25 weeks gestation... We had no idea why my water broke 3 weeks earlier, at 22 weeks. We had no idea, when she was born with tumors protruding from her neck that we were in for some rough roads ahead of us. At 3 weeks old, our daughter Grace was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and we were told that she required surgery ASAP... Grace was 3 weeks old, under 2lb's and had a 5% chance of survival when we entrusted her to God and her surgeons. I remember holding hands and praying with my family around her isolette for God to watch her, hold her as I had not been able to do yet...
6 hours into her surgery the surgeons came into the waiting room and I literally sank to my knees in prayer before them. I couldn't hear the words they said because I was so emotional. Grace came through the surgery in a way they'd never seen before. The tumors required no dissection, they had literally fallen out when they had opened her up. God had placed his hands on our baby girl and he'd guided the surgeons as they worked on her. I thank God every day for his miracle...
Our daughter is now 6 1/2 years old, she suffers from many, many medical issues. God had a plan for Grace though, he knew, from the moment she was born that she would serve him in ways I had not imagined. She is a walking medical miracle for the things she has gone through... I read your story, on this day of giving thanks and I wanted to tell you this; Thank you so much for sharing your daughters story with me.
I read of your struggles, during her time in the hospital and my heart wept for you. I remember days such as that. The uncertainty, the worry and fear. I am amazed though, through it all you had Hope. You are a truly phenomenal woman and I am so, so thankful that I had the chance to get to know you - through your blog. God Bless you and your family.

November 25, 2011 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cora's story, wow where do I even begin. As I wipe away the tears from my face and try and rub the goosbumps off my arm, I have an enoruous amount of respect for you and your family. I know, "I'm sorry for your loss" cant begin to show you how each one of these readers feel about your story. This story will remind me to never take for granate the little things, or the most important things, for grante. Thank you for sharing your story.

January 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened upon your blog via Pinteredt because I liked your valentine party idea. I just read your story about Cora and I wanted to tell you how much your story touched me. Your faithfulness is a testiment to the power of Jesus in our everyday lives. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are filled with His peace as you look forward to seeing her again one day!

February 24, 2012 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Tanya said...

I also found your blog through pinterest. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel inspired by your strength and faith.

March 5, 2012 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger Latrice Nicole said...

And where would be without a God Who loves us, grieves with us, mourns for us, and can comfort us like only He can? I am so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful, precious girl and for the deep deep pain that can only truly be healed when you meet with your Savior face to face. Thank you for being willing to share your story.

March 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM  

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