I have days when I beat myself up for not recording more of our memories with Cora. Not the big things like statistics and milestones, but the little details...the funny stories, the daily routines, the everyday. As I cried about all the things that I had already forgotten, a sweet friend recently encouraged me to write down memories as they come to mind. So that is what I have been trying to do.
Cora's first Christmas was busy with lots of celebrations and lots of traveling. It seemed like a little "much" at the time, but looking back I am so thankful that all of our family got to spend time with Cora, some even for the first and only time.
We celebrated Christmas on New Years Day with my family. My parents got Cora a Chicco activity table. It had a piano on one side and then you could flip it over and it was a lego table. The only picture I got of her was when she opened it with her daddy. She LOVED it. I am pretty sure it was her favorite toy.
I remember Cora was feeling yucky that day. Which is the reason we have so few pictures. She wasn't too interested in smiling for the camera. She pretty much only wanted to sit on my lap.
But, this is what I really want to remember...
That afternoon when we went home Cora and I went into the house and Joel started unloading all of our gifts. Joel brought Cora's new activity table into the house and you should have seen her face. Her eyes got so big and she let out this loud shriek. It was like she was saying, "Wow, I actually get to bring that toy home!" It was so cute and we laughed and laughed at her.
Every morning after she would eat breakfast, she would go straight for the piano. She loved standing up and pushing all the buttons. She would carefully walk around the piano to the coffee table and then back to the piano again. She loved the music and the noises. She would rock back and forth to the music. I was envisioning a future pianist.
When we checked into the hospital our families asked if they could bring any toys for Cora to keep her busy while we waited for surgery. We had them bring her piano and once again she thought it was so great. My heart aches looking at this picture. I long to spend just a few more minutes with that happy little girl who seemed to have no idea how sick she was. And I wonder what was going on in my head as I sat there with Cora. I remember being so tired and fighting back tears all day, but trying to be strong at the same time. I had no idea how my life would soon be changed forever.
It was hard to pull that little piano out again, but we had a feeling it might be a favorite of Levi's as well. He is almost the exact same age right now as Cora was when she first opened this toy.
We were right. He loves it too. Just like his sister. But instead of delicately walking all around it and rocking back and forth to the music, he has found a whole new purpose for the piano. Levi pushes this thing all over the house often dragging lots of toys along with him. Instead of making music it is often crashing into walls as he maneuvers around the house.
I love that Cora and Levi have the same favorite toy.
I love that they both love it for different reasons,
showing their unique personalities.
And as there are so many little details about Cora's life that I can't remember,
I am thankful for these sweet reminders.
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I deleted some of the original e-mails that were sent to me about making a hat for Levi. Oops! If you are still wanting to make Levi a hat, knowing that some will be donated, please send me another e-mail. Thanks to those of you who have already contacted me. I am thinking that I might need to have Levi try on all the hats for you before we take them to the oncologist!