The Macs

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

snow and sundays

I'm still here. We are getting through the days, but this grieving stuff is HARD.

We had a big ice/snowstorm here this weekend. Just when I was getting used to Spring. Lovely Kansas weather! Seeing those big, beautiful snowflakes falling and kids playing in the snow made me miss Cora even more. Cora never really experienced snow. She even had a new sled that Joel's parents had given to her for Christmas. She never got to use it. It was another "first" to go through without Cora.

Sundays are hard too (I think I am still recovering). Joel is a farmer and works a lot. Sunday was our family day--the one day that we always got to be together. Joel loved spending Sundays with Cora. Going to church without her now is hard. It is hard to go to church and see all the families. It is hard to see all the little girls in their pretty dresses. It is hard to see kids coming out of the nursery. At the same time it is so good to be a church. It is good to be around people who love us and who are praying for us. It is good to sing--the worship songs have entirely new meanings to us now. It is good to be in the Word and learn from the sermons.

Each week continues to have ups and downs. I don't think that is bad. We need time to be sad and cry. We need time to laugh and feel a glimpse of "normal" again. It is just hard and tiring. You never know what your emotions are going to do next.

This emotional unsteadiness keeps reminding me that I have to cling to my ROCK. I am so thankful that no matter what an emotional mess I feel inside that I have a firm foundation in Christ. He fully understands my grief and emotions and is walking this road right beside me. Even when I don't feel secure, I know that with Jesus I can stand secure. I can keep moving forward. Even through this storm. This is what I continue to put my HOPE in.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
Psalm 18:2a

122 Comments:

Anonymous kristin said...

your grief is so real.

that in itself is an inspiration.

be patient with yourself as every day will bring a "first" of some sort another, i'm sure.

still thinking of you so often, kristin

March 31, 2009 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger mommyof2sons said...

I think of you so often. Your faith is so amazing as you go through each day. Prayers for you!

March 31, 2009 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Loving you from Ohio!

March 31, 2009 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Livesays said...

Oh Jess, your words are so sweet and touching. You write with such an openness and honestly that I respect and admire. We continue to pray for you and Joel and your extended families.

March 31, 2009 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Vera said...

Oh, it is so hard to read your updates and know you are hurting, but they help me focus my prayers for y'all.

March 31, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Polka Dot Moon said...

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of you, Joel and Cora.

As a stranger to you, I feel heartache every time I read your posts, so I can't imagine what the two of you go through daily.

I'm amazed at your strength and Faith!
Denise

March 31, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

I'm keeping you in my prayers. I can't imagine how hard it is to have empty arms - but your heart isn't empty!

I lost one in an early miscarriage, so it is not the same, but i do understand watching the little ones who would be her age.

Praying for you. Wish i could do more.

March 31, 2009 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger mandie said...

i can't even begin to to communicate to you how much your sweet cora and your faith throughout all of this has had such an enormous impact on my personal walk with Christ.

even in the midst of grief, you are a blessing to others.

March 31, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I think of you everyday! I will continue to pray for you and Joel!

March 31, 2009 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger hoosier68 said...

I'm not sure how you do it but you have such grace and faith. Keeping you in my prayers.

March 31, 2009 at 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your grief touches my very soul. My heart continues to ache for you. I too thought how it must be for you, most of your blogs that you follow have little ones. How hard it must be to read how life is going on, but for you and Joel to want your sweet Cora back. I admire you and Joel for your strength and FAITH.
Please know that we(blog readers etc) are here for whatever support we can give you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for continueing to share with us. As much as it brings me to tears, it also makes my heart ache a little less after you post.

Kim

March 31, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

These are exactly the things I think of and I can only imagine how much more intsense the feelings are for you.

I think of you every Sunday. (Everyday really, but especially Sunday.) Being surrounded by people must be such a mixed blessing. I'd think sometimes you just want to be left alone but of course that's not the right thing to do.

I also know that Sundays mark another week that's passed.

I think of songs differently as well. The words in worship service have taken on a new meaning.

Please don't feel like you "owe" us anything. Don't feel like you have to come and blog, have pretty pictures, have cute new items for sale, have eloquent words, reply to emails and requests, etc.

We all love you and love seeing your new posts and wish the best for you. But you focus on you and Joel and God. If blogging is helpful then do it, but if it's an obligation, don't worry about it. :)

Love you guys!!

March 31, 2009 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Something In The Glass said...

Your faith continues to be inspiring and a huge blessing to those who read your blog. If being a Christian is about being "Christ-like," then you have definitely set the bar.

March 31, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I think of you guys all the time and pray for your hearts, as they're still mending.

Glad to see that you're still around.

March 31, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 31, 2009 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Drew, Taylor, and Caroline Clayton said...

I think of your situation and faith a lot you are very inspiring!

March 31, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Your posts always make my heart ache. I cannot, cannot imagine what you 2 are going through. And the way you talked about the sled really put a large lump in my throat.
I think about firsts a lot and I can understand how painful that must be. I'm sure you'll always have those reminders and it most likely will always be hard. Just remember all the firsts you did have with her. First July 4th, First Halloween, First Christmas. You did have some amazing moments and although it was painfully short, I'm sure they were awesome.
I have shed tears for her as if she were my own.

March 31, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Micah said...

Keep being strong and being an inspiration to everyone around you. Your light is shining so bright right now for Jesus!

Still praying!!!

March 31, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Whimsical Creations said...

hugs from buffalo!

March 31, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger angie c said...

You will have ups and downs for sure... and I'm so glad you are surrounded by so many people (both real and blog-world) to love on you during both the happy and sad times! I think of you guys daily, and often at church as well. I think of you worshipping the One who loves us and is real and true and HOPE everyday. There is much despair in this world...yours included. but the HOPE that you are clinging too is what will get you thru. Thinking of you-Angie C.

March 31, 2009 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

My heart continues to ache for your loss. I think of you, Joel and Cora everyday and pray for you. I love my Cora's Playground pendant and it reminds me of a sweet little angel who left this earth too soon but left such a big impact on those around her. I am praying for you Jess and Joel.
Hugs and prayers,
Heather~On the Homefront

March 31, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) said...

Jess,

I'm pretty much in agreement with what all of these lovely folks have said before me. We are strangers, but your journey with Cora has made us united in one way...

We think of and continue to pray for you and Joel and your family often. Take care. <3

~ Heather

March 31, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

you are doing a great job as a mom to Cora. She is looking down on you smiling at the great time she got to spend with you. I can't imagine what you are going through but your strength is inspiring!

March 31, 2009 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Midwest Mommy said...

I think about you often and pray for you.

March 31, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger dg darling said...

Just wanted you to know that I am still praying for you daily. Though we have never met, I think of you often and I think of Cora often. Frequently when my own baby girl gives me a big grin I think of your sweet Cora and send up a prayer on your behalf. May the Lord continue to help you get through your grieving process...

Misty-UT

March 31, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger The Di Vito's said...

You are an amazing woman! You are so lucky to have had the time you did with Cora, and she was lucky to have you guys too. She will always be with you in your heart! God bless you & Joel, you are always in my prayers.

March 31, 2009 at 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Suzie said...

Oh my...you are both so strong!! What an inspiration...you are so real and I really admire that about you. Thank you for posting...even though I am a stranger, you have been on my mind daily. I just received my Cora's Playground necklace and I wear it proudly and tell your story to whoever asks!! He is doing amazing work!! Don't ever feel obligated to blog, but if it help you, then by all means do it. Praying for your heart to heal with time. Hugs from Iowa!!

March 31, 2009 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Melody said...

I am so glad that you realize how important it is to grieve. As hard as it is and how much I truly wish you guys didn't go through all of this, you are allowing God to heal you and move in your life.

((hugs)) You are in my prayers.

March 31, 2009 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger mushroommeadows said...

The thing about grief is that the battle is never quite over until we get to heaven.

Something that I discovered is that in my own grief, I sometimes mistaken rest to signify the end of the battle. On the contrary, the rest is the time we have to prepare for upcoming battles. Keep clinging to Jesus and when those battles resume, you'll be safe.

Stay courageous!

March 31, 2009 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger 41wray said...

"Bless your Hearts" (a favorite Aunt 'Cille quote)
Sweet Jessica I thot of you guys, the sled etc when I read about the snow. Just know what a Godly inspiration you guys are to ALL of us. I'm always inspired and strengthened by you strong faith. Your Calif. cousins continue to send love and hugs and prayers for you all.
Sharley

March 31, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Auntie Mip said...

One of my favorite Bible passages seems so appropriate to share with you today. I just found Cora's site yesterday. I am a peds. oncology/Onc PICU nurse....never in 21 years have I seen neuroblastoma move so fast...3 weeks. That is just not enough time to absorp the news let alone come to terms with Cora fying to the heavens. I am so very sorry for the both of you and your families. I hope this passage brings you some peace. You are both prayed for every day!

"Against all hope, in hope I believe..." Romans 4:18

March 31, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Continue to trust in God and know that prayers are being said for you and Joel each and every day. My heart aches for you knowing how much you miss your sweet baby Cora. I promise to continue to pray for you both.

Take good care and God Bless.

With thoughts & prayers,
Stacy

March 31, 2009 at 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just miscarried our twins this weekend and so appreciate your post reminding me that Jesus is the rock that we can cling to when everything seems upside-down.

March 31, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Allen and Debby Graber said...

Jess,
This song has been going through my head for over a week:

A refuge for the poor
A shelter from the storm
This is our God
He will wipe away your tears
And return your wasted years
This is our God
Oh this is our God
Oh this is our God

This is the One we have waited for
This is the One we have waited for
This is the One we have waited for
Oh this is our God


A Father to the orphan
A healer to the broken
This is our God
He brings peace to our madness
And comfort in our sadness
This is our God
Oh this is our God
Oh this is our God

We listened to Cora's mix all the way to Arkansas and back. God really speaks through these worship songs. They speak to the soul. I wholeheartedly agree with "Pampering Beki". We're there to hold you up!
Debby

March 31, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Beav's Wife said...

still praying. i think of you guys all the time.

March 31, 2009 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Susie (So Blessed) said...

Praying for you as you continue on your grief journey...

March 31, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Jess,
you don't know me (I am a friend of a friend of yours & have been following your blog for a few months.) I just wanted you to know that I think of you and Joel and pray for you often. as a mother of 3 girls, i can't even begin to imagine the heartache you feel. you are an amazing girl and such an inspiration to SO MANY and although God is using this is mighty ways, I am deeply saddened it is so painful for both of you. It would be easy for me to tell you to keep pressing on...I have no words for you except thank you for sharing so honestly and so beautifully.

March 31, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger lgraves said...

cheering you guys on ...
the Graves'

March 31, 2009 at 9:14 PM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

We haven't forgotten to pray for you and your family during this time. You stay near to our hearts.

March 31, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Cristy said...

Jess...

I think about each day. We are praying for you.

Hugs and love...

Cristy

March 31, 2009 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger James' Full House said...

I think of you all daily. You continue to be in my prayers.
There is a book I read called Silent Grief, it helped. It didn't make me feel better but it helped me understand.
God is right there walking beside you. We are here praying.
It was good to hear from you.

Brandi

March 31, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Lipstick said...

Thank you for sharing how you really feel. I grew up with the thought that you have to hide your real emotions. That is so wrong. I can't even tell you how much I appreciate you sharing your true emotions.

March 31, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger The Jones' said...

Sooo glad to know your still here! Sending you hugs and prayers always!!

March 31, 2009 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

Thinking, loving you and praying for you so much. Your in my thoughts all the time. The "FIRST" you miss so much, allow me to and remind me to APPRECIATE all my first and not so happy moments that much more. Tonight, while rocking baby girl she out of no where vomited a huge puddle all over me, herself and the floor and we both just had showers. I took a deep breath, smiled at her and just hoped in the shower with her and washed us both us again, before putting her to sleep. Then a thought of Cora ALWAYS comes to my mind and I pray for you.

I know that doesn't make it any easier for you....but I just really want you to see how you and Cora have BLESSED so many like me. THANK YOU.

Sending big hugs.

God Bless.

March 31, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Thinking of you everyday and sending prayers on your behalf to the One who can comfort you.
Angie in TX

March 31, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

You don't know me, but I continue to be so, so impressed with the way you cling to your faith during this unimaginably difficult time.

I am a Christian woman and you are a great example for me.

And, I'm sure you know this, but remember -- God knows you're human. HE KNOWS that you are going to grieve, for a long time, and it will be extremely difficult for you. I think you have amazing, amazing faith in the midst of extremely sad circumstances.

And, even though I don't know you, from reading your blog, I can tell that Jesus will say to you someday - "Well done, good and faithful servant."

March 31, 2009 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Ray, Megan and Ruby Denise said...

praying for you in your sorrow. i remember you and your sweet Cora at 1:00 every day. my heart is sad for you tonight after reading your post, i wish there was some way to take away your pain.
my mom died on a Sunday (Easter Sunday of 2006)...without realizing it, I get ansy/anxious/irritable/discontent/angry/sad on Sundays...Easter is hard because it is Easter...it changes days...so there is the date of her death and the date of Easter...

'there will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, no more fears - there will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more - We'll see Jesus FACE to FACE - but until that day...I'll hold onto you always'

He is holding on to you! He will never let go! He sees each tear that falls!

March 31, 2009 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I feel like you're stronger than I could ever be...I'm just speechless at your strength! I pray for you every night....sending hugs your way!

March 31, 2009 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger The little things said...

I pray for you daily and know from some sort of same type of experience that grief is real and grief is hard- ride the waves girl...

March 31, 2009 at 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Even though I don't know you guys, after reading your story about 10 days into your ordeal, and then reading about Cora's (almost) final rest (until that glorious day when we will all know true rest forever), for days I couldn't think of anything else. I had a hard time functioning in my own home, it was strange and so gripping. Slowly as the days went by, and my own life "took over" again, thoughts of your sad, inspiring, beautiful, heartbreaking story were not so strongly in the forefront of my mind. We had a move to focus on, packing and stuff, my parents were coming, and other things were going on. But each day I thought of and prayed for you guys. I didn't spend hours crying, though. (I hope that's not too strange coming from one who has never met you-I was just so affected by the suddenness of it all and then the faithfulness of you both.) The other day I saw a picture of your family again on someone's blog, a friend of yours, and it all hit me again, just the sadness of the whole thing. Your sweet family, so happy, and now...so much change. I thought to myself how funny it is that there are stages to sadness. I've never experienced something like what you are going through. There have been hard things, but not a loss like that. And you are so right about clinging to the Rock, there is only one. I think of you every Sunday, especially. I thought this Sunday that they might be more difficult. I thought of the Sunday that is coming up, where we will celebrate the risen Lord, the reason for our hope, the answer to our questions, the final victory over the enemy, and conqueror of death. I thought it would be hard and also a wonderful blessing to worship on this upcoming Easter. I pray that it is a blessing to you, that you will be blessed because you are loving and blessing the Lord. We sang "Blessed Be Your Name" on Sunday and I thought of you all-that is one of my favorite songs. It's so powerful. Remembering the faithful believers in Scripture who were able to call on the Lord in their trials, and still lift up his name above all other names, giving him all glory and honor, helps so much when things are hard. I pray that you can continue to do the same thing, together as you take one day at a time, or even one minute at a time. Well, I have written a novel here, sorry. Many prayers cover you-Christina

March 31, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I thought of you the other day... I had an appt. near Wesley. As I turned the corner, tears just started. It took me a few seconds to realize why I was crying. I can't even begin to imagine the number of things that bring tears to your eyes.

We love you guys so much. You continue to inspire all those around you.

March 31, 2009 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger ran shae said...

you keep clinging to that rock, and we'll be here praying for you. hold on!

March 31, 2009 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

You inspire me so much.

March 31, 2009 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger michele said...

hang on tight to the Lord and each other. may God richly bless you as you walk through these days. your deep faith is inspiring.

March 31, 2009 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I'm sure I can speak on behalf of all us "anonymous" bloggers that don't know you personally-----your friend, "PamperingBeki," stated it best!!!

We love you and think of you everyday. We continue to pray for you every day.

Thank you for sharing your testimony with us all as you are on this journey. But listen to your friend, Beki!

God Bless you and your sweet family!

March 31, 2009 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

Continuing to pray for your family.

March 31, 2009 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger carollai said...

grieving is so hard. i'm glad you have God to draw strength from. i myself am figuring out how to surrender all and finding that it's easily said, hard to actively follow.

April 1, 2009 at 12:20 AM  
Blogger wicker0407 said...

I check your blog often and Cora is never far from my mind or my heart. I do not know you but I thank you so much for sharing sweet Cora with me. My daughter is 15 months old and I could never imagine losing her, especially so fast I would never be able to be as graceful as you are. You and Joel are such an inspiration to me and my family. You show such raw emotion in your post. You have truly restored my faith in the Lord as well as humanity.Seeing how selfless all the people who don't even know your family have been touched by your sweet Cora and donated for the Playground. I still don't understand why God took her from you but her mission is surley clear and she will be remembered forever. God Bless and you will continue to be in my prayers.

Summer in California

April 1, 2009 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

I check back here often and think of you guys and Cora frequently. Praying for you always.

April 1, 2009 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Steve & Nancy said...

Oh bless your heart for even writing this post! I think of you and pray for you. Let yourself be sad, be angry and cry...it's ok. God knows your pains. I am so proud of you for sharing your true feelings with us. I don't know you personally, but wish I did. You are an inspiration. I will keep praying for you and your family God bless!

April 1, 2009 at 3:45 AM  
Anonymous Toni :O) said...

Sweet Jess....you have such a way of writing where I am able to feel your pain as well. I continue to pray for you and Joel and wish so hard that your days and nights get easier. That your grief eases a bit and you continue to gain more strength towards peace. I hope you and Joel find comfort in all of us praying for you the same way you give us comfort in keeping us updated on how you are doing. I too cherish God and I'm so thankful that He is there standing beside you both and helping to hold you up. Sending you much love and hugs of strength from Michigan as not a day goes by where I don't think about you and your struggles to come to grips with such a devastating loss. We ALL miss Cora and I hope the playground fundraiser was a complete success!

April 1, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Christina (aka - Tina) said...

Thinking of you and praying for you still.

Your blog friend from Missouri,

Tina

April 1, 2009 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger Miranda @ Traveling Treasures said...

Love and hugs to you.

April 1, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Megan (mommyesquire) said...

By far one of my favorite verses. Continuing to pray for you.

April 1, 2009 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Kristin Stegent said...

Thank you for sharing what you are going through and what you are feeling!

In the worst time of my life (which was nothing compared to yours!), Jesus became my very best friend and the love of my life. My life will never be the same because of Him then...and the sweetness He and I still have.

May He wrap you up and carry you...and may He become your very life, breath, song, and love...even more than ever before.

You are beautiful, Jess, and I think of you guys almost daily and ache for you so often!

April 1, 2009 at 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since finding your blog around the time that Cora was diagnosed, not a day goes by when I don't think about your family and pray for you. My heart is so very sad for you. I continue to pray that the Lord will provide you with strength and encouragement during these hard days. (((HUGS)))

April 1, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

I thought of Cora and her sled Saturday while I was watching it snow and knew that you and Joel had to be thinking about it too. While I worry about how you are doing (even though I've never met you) when you don't blog, please take care of yourself. Grieving is a hard process and you are more brave than I would ever be able to be with the way that you are sharing it with all of us. Please know that we support you and pray for you constantly and that we are there for you - don't feel obligated to blog all the time to be there for us. Love, hugs and prayers to you

Robin

April 1, 2009 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

It has been awhile since your last post and I have been wondering about you. It's good to hear from you again. Funny thing is I want to help you, but I end up here and you help me. I always hope to write something so profound but they are lost to me. I love reading your scriptures and versus. They inspire me to be try and do better. Still praying for you and your family.

April 1, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Don, Aimee, Kaitlyn and Kysen said...

Every time I sit and read your blog, I have the image of the one set of footprints walking on the sandy waters and the words of my favorite poem come to mind "Footprints". For some reason, I have always found this poem so insiprational and such a testimony of God's love for us in times of deep sadness. I can just imagine God holding you and Joel and walking you through this path of healing. We are not expected to be able to do these times by ourselves and that is why we are so lucky to have God as our Father. I ache every day for you as I hold my two year old....I ache for you when I think of you seeing little girls play, or wearing dresses. I ache for you and Joel even though you are in Kansas and I in Colorado. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I know that life will NEVER be the same for you, but the promise of Easter is among us and I pray that its meaning will empower you to continue to let God carry you through this storm.
Here are the words to my favorite poem that I have read so many times. I even have them posted on my blog so I remeber to read it every day. GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY!

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Aimee

April 1, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

You are an inspiration to so many. I know that God is holding you tight through all this. Continuing to pray for you and your family every day! Love and prayers...

Marsha in VA

April 1, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I'm still here too...just checking in and praying for you!

April 1, 2009 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I think of you and your family all the time...

April 1, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Jess, What you are going through is the worst type of grief. It is great that you talk about it and know to let it out. Remember all the little things about cora that made you laugh. Know that she is not in pain. When my Aunt lost her little boy she was grief stricken for quite some time. I told my aunt about you and she told me, Her doctor told her to get pregnant and have a baby. She said she couldn't even think about that. When they day came that she did have another baby, when she felt ready,(girl this time) her heart got a little lighter. She said that she got to share the love with her little girl and she told her all about her big brother. The sadness of missing him will always be there, she said you learn how to live with it. I hope some day that the love you have for cora you will be able to share with many more babies. She will always be their big sister and a special angel for them. You seem to have great support from you family and friends. May God bless you all. Heidi, Coral Springs- Florida

April 1, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Falling Around said...

Jess,

Though I've been on a bloggy break, you have remained in my thoughts and prayers. I was so sorry to read that Tony's dad passed away. It just doesn't seem fair that one family should suffer so much grief and loss in such a short period of time, but I know God has a plan. I will be praying for Olivia and her children... so sad.

Thank you for continuing to share your journey with all of us. Your posts bring inspiration and perspective to those who read them. And though our hearts are heavy and broken for you, we can never truly know the pain you face day to day. But I hope that you get some small comfort in knowing that your readers are loving you and praying for you daily.

XOXO's
Christy Klein

April 1, 2009 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

I have checked your blog daily and am greatful for your return. Again I will say that your faith is inspiring. It can't be said enough. I know from my own heart that this greif thing really sucks. It physically hurts in the pit of your stomach. I am praying for you and just know that with time the hurt will go away a little everyday.
Wishing sunshine in your days to come, Steph in CA

April 1, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger The Carroll's said...

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:3

You are a display of his splendor! Praying and thinking of you always.

Sarah

April 1, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Kelli said...

Sending a prayer and a hug your way!

April 1, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger amyflew said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you both and not a day goes by where I don't lift up your family in prayer. I agree with PamperingBeki, don't feel like you have to all this stuff for other people, it's important you and Joel take time for yourselves and allow the Lord to lead you. Know that we are all praying for you (including lots of us you have never met)! You are both amazing people, thank you for your honesty it's inspiring.

April 1, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Continuing to pray for you both....

April 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Brian and Staci said...

I think of you all the time. I'm in awe of your strength. Praying for you from Crazy Weather Oklahoma too ;)

April 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Grace Halsey said...

A friend let me know about your blog and you have been in my thoughts and prayers for a while, but this is my first comment.

We lost our son at 19 weeks (2nd trimester) last fall. I read two books that were helpful and I wanted to pass the titles onto you in case you feel like reading what other contemporary Christians have had to say after they walked through loss.

"A Grace Disguised" by Jerry Sittser and "Holding onto Hope" by Nancy Guthrie.

You have all you need in Christ, but sometimes it is helpful to be reminded of that over and over again. May God grant you the grace to be closer to HIM now and forever.

April 1, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

I'm so very sad at how painful this has to be. It stinks. But I'm still praying. Praying for better days to come, full of sweet, peaceful memories.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
Psalm 91:1

Stay there, and let Him hold you. He loves you both so dearly. As real as your love for Cora, He loves you more. And He understands how deeply, sharp and painful it is.
Praying for you both!
Amber

April 1, 2009 at 2:30 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

Another beautiful post. I found your blog through Etsy and am so glad I did. It's such an encouragement to see such strong reliance on God and His plan. Even when it hurts, He knows and is there. Your posts are a solid reminder of that. Thank you.

April 1, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
OpenID maryvigil said...

Jesus be near... Bless this mama and her hurting heart. Bless her with peaceful sleep, restful moments at your feet, dear friends, good fod, soft tissues and tender memories of her precious one. Be with her husband. Bless him with strength, patience, understanding, love, Godly men, good food and peaceful sleep. We love you and give glory to your Name. Amen

April 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Karina said...

I'm sure you will have a very rough year (at least - grieving takes time), and it seems unfair that you must suffer so intensely and there's not a thing any of us can do to fix it. These are surely the darkest days; it has not been long enough since Cora left for you to feel relief, and time must stretch before you long and sad. The only things I can say: I haven't forgotten your shining daughter; you and Cora have taken a permanent place in my heart because I am a mother too; and even though I am anxious when you don't post (I imagine the worst, that you cannot even peel yourself out of bed in the morning for grief), I feel guilty when you pop in to say you are still there - after all it is none of my business if you don't feel up to posting, who am I but a stranger anyway?? Pampering Beki already said it so well. Please take care of yourself and Joel - we can keep.

April 1, 2009 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Tonya said...

Praying for you sweet thing. I, too, know the pain of losing a child...nothing in the world compares to it. It's just so not the way things are supposed to happen. Your faith and strength in your grief are an inspiration to all who stop by your blog.

Bless your sweet heart.

April 1, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger mom2wendy said...

The "missing" part is most difficult. Walking through life without Cora will always bring pangs of deep saddness and great joy. Your written message is beautiul. You have given a voice to other grieving Mothers who have no ablity to express. But, by reading your words, they are able to make sense of what they too are feeling. You are giving a wonderful gift to other grieving souls simply by writing your honest thoughts. Bless you.
Mark's Mom

April 1, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Lynn Jones said...

Love to you two from Arizona. I think of you in so many circumstances and know how hard so many things must be to get through without tears. Of course no one expects you to. Your honesty is humbling and I pray that when you share it ministers to you in multiples of how richly you minister to us. God bless you, Jess.

April 1, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger timmonstimes said...

You are incredible! You don't know me but I pray for you daily and think of you daily.

A friend of mine and I keep up with your blog and we both have babies...we cry for your loss a lot but are amazed each day with your strength!

I love the stuff in your store and will have to get my daughter, Corinne, a dress! Love from Texas!

April 1, 2009 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I still think, and speak of you often. I ache for you and pray for you as you endure this grieving process. It is not an easy thing to do, but you are definatly doing it right. Our Savior is proud that you have chosen to cling to Him at this time instead of turning your back. What faithful children of God you are!

April 1, 2009 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't really say anything that hasn't already been said. I don't know you, but I have been thinking and praying for you every day since I first read your blog when Cora was in the hospital. Even though I don't know you, I even see little girls at church that are Cora's age and it makes me sad. I can't imagine how it must be for you. God bless you and Joel, may God continue to be your rock.

Ashley

April 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Ashley Broach said...

I have posted on here before and check in on you ...I too lost a sweet baby about three months ago to a brain tumor...he was 18 months old. The grief is unbearable, and about 6 weeks in, I felt the worst. I guess that's when the shock wore off for me. Like you, I also have found much comfort in Scripture and love Psalm 143: 4-8; it helps me through some of the rough spots. Praying for you sweetie, and your precious Cora. Ashley (Webb's mommy) ashleybroach.blogspot.com

April 1, 2009 at 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

As always, your family is in my prayers. All of you, including Cora. I hope that you are able to find some solace sometimes. *hugs*

April 1, 2009 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Sheryl from Colorado said...

Hi Jess,

I am so sorry that your grief is so raw. My prayers are with you! I have something special for you that I made and want to send it to you. Please get back to me so I know what address that I can sent it to soon! Praying for peace and a healed heart. mvanduren@msn.com

April 1, 2009 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

I continue to lift you in prayer. I pray that the Lord will wrap His loving arms around you and comfort you!

April 1, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Townsend Crew said...

We continue to be inspired and blessed by your journey. We check your blog every day, but think of you a thousand times a day. We pray that your journey is made lighter by the many prayers and inspiration sent to you. Cora continues to teach us incredible lessons through you, her blessed parents. You will always be her parents. Parents of an angel!

April 1, 2009 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger wenbren explains it all said...

I got the pink Cora's Playground pendant, and I loved it I put it on the first day it arrived!

April 1, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

still praying :)

April 1, 2009 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

Praying for you tonight.

That's all.

April 1, 2009 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger JANE said...

You are an amazing woman. To be called to be such a witness for our God. You inspire the rest of us to be better. And I know I am better and stronger in my faith from reading your blog and knowing Cora's story. You are always in my prayers.

April 1, 2009 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always in my thoughts and prayers.

Kim

April 2, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous The Faulk Family said...

Praying for you every time God brings little Cora's story to mind. You are such a witness, even in your grief...

April 2, 2009 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

Stopping by to say hi to a sister..... thinking about you TODAY.

April 2, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger lucyseay said...

Thinking of you and praying for you daily.
Lucy Seay
Zeeland, Michigan

April 2, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi-while I agree 100% with your friends, you are NOT obligated to blog, post etc on our behalf! I can not imagine the pain you are going through. My heart breaks for you. However for those of us who do not see you around, at church, stores etc it does our hearts good just to know that you are OK. So even though you don't have to and as painful as it must be, THANK YOU for taking the time to let us know that you are ok. You have touched my life more than you will ever know. You, Joel and Cora are always in my thoughts, heart and I will continue to pray daily for you and your families.

Kim

April 2, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

My daughter has been living with a chronic, life-threatening disease for nearly 4 years. She looks seeminly normal on the outside, but an unpredictable war rages inside and I spend every day with some anxiety about her overall well-being. It requires an exhausting amount of brainpower and energy to keep her alive.

Since following your blog, I've been challenged to ask myself if I would be as faithful in my deepest moments of sorrow...and I don't know the answer.

Both of you are an inspiration to me. Cora's battle happened so fast. One day, one hour, one minute life was ordinary -- and the next it was forever changed.

"Ordinary" seems impossible to ever achieve again.

May God bless every day of your journey.

April 2, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Still remembering and praying for you all. This Easter will take on a new and very special meaning.

April 2, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think of you and your family often. You all are in my prayers!

April 2, 2009 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger lauren said...

you and your husband are an absolute inspiration.

April 2, 2009 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you
your faith is so strong. That is a reaffirmation to me as to how reliable our Father is. If He has strengthened your faith to that degree in your situation, then my faith can grow, too.
thank you for your example

April 2, 2009 at 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I weep with your every post. From one mommy to another, I am praying for you.
Your sister in Christ,
Amy in Washington state

April 2, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I am so sorry. I still pray for you and your husband. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. I am glad you have Jesus to cling to.

April 2, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
OpenID ChinaSue said...

www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com

Her words are inspiring and honest like yours....

April 2, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Ethansmom08 said...

I think of you, your family, and Cora everyday...your story, grief, and words are so real and eloquently spoken. Cora's life and story have had such an amazing impact on my life...I continue to pray for you often.

And I whole heartedly agree with the others that have said you don't "owe" us anything...just get to things in your own time and when you are ready.

Prayers,
Sara

April 2, 2009 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Marlene W. said...

Thinking of you and Joel and continuing to pray for you daily. I thought of you when I was listening to a song by Poor Baker's Dozen:

Be my bread and water
Lord you know I need you
Lord you know I want you
To fill me with your love

I love that song. I pray that you will be continually filled with God's amazing love for you.

April 2, 2009 at 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jess and Joel,
Jess, you are so honest about the
grieving you are walking through...What courage it takes to be real and honest about your journey. Please keep writing about your journey, whether here on the blog or on paper....Also, you are not
alone, consider finding a group of parents who are experiencing this same very difficult path. Blessings and take care of yourselves. Thinking and praying for you both. Diane

April 2, 2009 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from PICU said...

Jess and Joel,

We continue to pray for you! I wish there was something we could do to make the days less painful! you are such an inspiration to us and have taught us a new way of life with God in it stonger than ever, and for that we are truely blessed! thank you! I think of you both everyday and hope for brighter days! Please know we are here for you! love and miss you!

April 4, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

You and your sweet Cora are still in our thoughts and prayers. I can't imagine the grief you and your husband feel, but God can and feels it right along with you. I'm so glad you're able to cling to your faith. Your family's story has touched my heart, and Cora will never, ever be forgotten. Your faith, grace, and reliance on God serve as an inspiration for me, and show me how I want to live. I wish you peace and love.

April 4, 2009 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers! You are so strong, God has special plans for you & Joel. Thanks for sharing your life with so many and being a Light in this world.
xo,
Steph

April 4, 2009 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger ARK said...

You are such an amazing woman of faith! I don't know you but have followed your story and am praying for you all. Every time I think of you I say a prayer. I love your dresses, you are so talented.

April 5, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Miss Em said...

I find myself praying for you and Joel everyday. I generally pray that you will find peace today and to make it through another day. Believe it or not, your grieving is normal and you are so right some days are harder then others and all of it is exhausting. I lost my little one two and a half years ago and found myself sobbing in church yesterday. I think the thing that frustrates me the most is the complete lack of control of my emotions. One minute I am fine and the next I am a heap on the floor smothered by grief. I just read what I wrote and not entirely sure that I am being helpful, so I will stop here. I am truely just trying to tell you that I know your pain and that in time it will ease but I would never really want it to go away completely because it reminds me of the love I have for my son and that God holds him and me and loves us so much and we are together that way for now. I am so blessed to know Cora's story and I know God has so many amazing things for you and Joel. Sending my love to you.

April 6, 2009 at 1:56 PM  
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