The Macs

Saturday, September 26, 2009

cora's playground dedication

On Sunday we gathered in the church parking lot to dedicate Cora's Playground.

I can't tell you how loved we felt to be surrounded by so many friends and family. Even seven months later there are so many who are still walking this hard road right beside us.
We are blessed.

We had the opportunity to thank the many people
who were a part of this project.
Our pastors shared a few thoughts.
We sang together.
It was such a special time.
Thanking and praising God for what He has done.

We watched with tears as those 341 balloons floated away.
A reminder of our sweet Cora's life.

And then we celebrated...

With cupcakes of course!

Even a few Etsy ladies were Kansas.
Heather, Megan, Julie, and Sarah were all at the dedication.
Megan was wonderful and hosted the three girls all weekend.
I LOVED meeting these ladies who have invested so much time and love into our lives.

I am so glad they are not strangers anymore.

And now this dream of having a playground is complete.
Thanks to so many people.
We would have never imagined that this beautiful playground would be the end result.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3

Thank you Megan for capturing this day in pictures for us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always so encouraged by your blog. Praise God that He holds us through the difficult times in this life, and there seem to be so many! I wish that I could give you a big ol' hug...many prayers and love to you from Georgia!

September 26, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The playground is beyond gorgeous - just like Cora. Look how many smiles she is bringing to all of the happy children on the playground.

September 26, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

I love, love, love the "Cora's Playground" sign. Wow! What a legacy your sweet little girl is carrying on. Kelly

September 26, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

A sweet playground in honor of a sweet, precious girl. What a blessing you, Joel, and especially Cora Paige have been to myself and so many others.

Our family still remembers you in prayer, and we cannot wait to meet the newest member of your family.

September 26, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger JD said...

What a beautiful celebration, Cora must be so proud of you both...

Our prayers continue!

September 26, 2009 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I am so glad you were surrounded by love and uplifted by prayer on such a bittersweet day. Still praying for you!

September 26, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Hi Jess and Joel.

My spirit has been lifted by your beautiful post. The playground is enchanting, and I am sure that children will use and abuse it with absolute joy, for years to come. God is doing great things through your family.

Thank you for sharing these moments, heartbreaking and joyful, with all of us. God's love is far -reaching. He's reaching the world through your family.

With love and prayers,

P.S. Jess, you are positively gorgeous!

September 26, 2009 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Megan did such a great job capturing the moments of the day! Watching those balloons float away, brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for staying strong in your faith through your journey!!! Your lives speak loudly for Christ! Sending you hugs xoxo

September 26, 2009 at 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Toni :O) said...

Looked like a beautiful day and I'm proud that I helped in some small way by purchasing something that helped build that amazing playground. So much goodness will come of sweet Cora's life. You are both so amazing to me and I think of you both so very, very often and pray for you both and sweet baby Mac. I wish I could have been there to share in the special day but you were not far from my thoughts on that day. May God continue to bless you and give you the strength and support you need. I love that you have such wonderful friends to lean are all quite a group. Thanks for lifting them up like you do! Hugs to you all!

September 26, 2009 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Thats so wonderful the playground is finnished - it looks great. Looks like the kids already love it. The balloons were beautiful, I love the colors. You look great as your belly bump.
I think of your Cora and say a prayer for you and your husband everytime I see the burpcloths I bought from you.

September 26, 2009 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Trasie Bressler said...

Simply lovely!

September 26, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

What an amazing way to celebrate Cora's life! Your post brought tears to my eyes. May Cora's playground bring great happiness, while creating new memories. Thank you for sharing this special day. Hugs!

Stacey from CA

September 26, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger 3LittleByrds said...

What a beautiful dedication that I'm sure sweet Cora was looking down on. Everytime I look at your blog I smile at Cora's sweet face. Such a beautiful angel she is.

September 26, 2009 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

What a long road you have/are traveling. So thankful for this bright stop on your path. Bless you all.

September 26, 2009 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am always encouraged and inspired by your post. Tears stream down my face at what the 341
balloons represent..what a truely bittersweet time. Love the "Cora's Playground" sign..I am so very sorry for your pain. Thank you for continueing to share with us, your journey.


September 26, 2009 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

The pictures are so beautiful and touching! What a special day. That is an amazing tribute to Cora.

September 26, 2009 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

what a beautiful, encouraging post. you guys are so uplifting even through your hurt. what a beautiful playground. you are so blessed with family, friends, and a wonderful church family. and you look so fabulous pregnant!

September 26, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Suzi K said...

The playground is beautiful. I think of y'all all the time. Still praying here in Texas.

Much Love,

September 26, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Brown Apples said...

amazing! it is absolutely amazing!

September 26, 2009 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger purejoy said...

what a sweet day and i know it will give you continued joy every time you see children enjoying themselves on cora's playground. what a lasting tribute, and it looked like a wonderful day!! (and you look precious!)

September 26, 2009 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Shana Putnam said...

This is an unbelievable and amazing thing.

September 26, 2009 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing this day with me. You have been in my thoughts and prayer. I bet Cora and Jesus are smiling down at you.

September 26, 2009 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger Heather | Cookie Mondays said...

it was an amazing day! so great to honor cora with your family last weekend. the trip was truly a blessing, and i'm so glad we're no longer strangers, too!

xx heather :)

September 27, 2009 at 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the playground Cora is so proud yall

September 27, 2009 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I was blessed by the weekend in Kansas for the playground dedication. Cora's life and your faith and strength continue to be an inspiration.

September 27, 2009 at 1:15 AM  
Blogger starnes family said...

I'm so happy to see the final product. Lots of hard work....lots of love.

September 27, 2009 at 1:48 AM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

Dear Jess

The playground is WONDERFUL. BUT, I loved the photos of Joel's arm protectively on your shoulder and to see Baby Mac making his/her presence known in your tummy bulge. You look so healthy.

Your beautiful girl may have only been here on earth for 341 days but she changed the world.

God Bless and prayers for your happiness, peace and comfort.

Good night from Australia.

Michelle x

September 27, 2009 at 6:19 AM  
Blogger Beckypdj said...

What a a special time of celebration. Congratulations on everything. You looked radiant and I liked seeing your baby bump. I know you miss Cora so much. You will have joyous times again especially playing on Cora's playground with her new sibling.

Hugs to you and your family

September 27, 2009 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

It was a beautiful day, Jess.

You are beautiful.

September 27, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Misty Rice said...

So many tears flowing right now down my face this Sunday morning.....

as tears flow and I see the pictures.... I am again reminded how sweet life is. How important to LOVE is.

The playground is beautiful.... I LOVED seeing all the children with bright eyes and smiles playing on it.... they do not know what brought on that playground, but we do and it is just beautiful.

Today I will be attending a Edna Mae's Foundation even. I will be photographing it again also. She is the 19 month old of a friend of mine that just passed last month from a pool exercise.

Today is such a bittersweet day.

Please pray for Edna Mae's family as I continue to pray for your family.

And I love the BELLY!!

September 27, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

That sign is so cool! The playground is perfect!

September 27, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger A womb for rent said...


September 27, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

What a beautiful dedication! You look beautiful with your baby bump.

Hugs from Buffalo!
=D melanie

September 27, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger A said...

What a beautiful testament to Cora's life! You look so beautiful, too. I love the pictures of Joel standing behind you with his hands on your shoulders!!

September 27, 2009 at 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the completion of the playground. What a sad, but joyous occasion for you all. It looks wonderful and you will have it to share with others for years. Cora's siblings will share it too when they grow with families of their own.

September 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you for sharing! Still think of you and Cora everyday! And I'm lovin the baby bump!

September 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger k.mart said...

It is so beautiful.

So very, very beautiful!

September 27, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

The playground looks beautiful!

Great job momma : )

September 27, 2009 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Roberta Rollins (Kerri Price) said...

It is hard to say goodbye to a butterfly,
especially a small one.
We want to hold and keep butterflies for our own.
But sometimes a butterfly cannot stay
in the garden we have made for it,
to live among our roses,
no matter how hard we have tried.
Butterfly wings are made of light.
When we say goodbye to a butterfly,
it is only for a moment.
We place our butterfly in the palm of a gardener
who knew in Gethsemane,
that eternity would also break our hearts.
A butterfly teaches us the meaning of life
and the power of love.
Saying goodbye to a butterfly is hard
…but when a butterfly closes its eyes,
it has always only gone to sleep.
Sweet dreams, my little butterfly.
I will rock you in my heart.
---Heather Jorgensen

This says it better than I could.

September 27, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

Blessings to you and your family!

September 27, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Beautiful post. Beautiful playground. Missing Cora. Praising Jesus!!

September 27, 2009 at 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect dedication just like your perfect little girl.

September 27, 2009 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Kristi REDISKE said...

I am so glad you posted about the dedication-I knew it would be very hard but it sure looks like God had all the Glory. I wanted to be there so bad-I was in Newton on Friday and Saturday but had to be back in Arkansas at my own church Sunday morning. I did drive by Coras Playground-it is so neat. I am still praying for you all.

September 27, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

The playground is awesome! I can't imagine how much you miss sweet Cora but God grant you peace and strength! You are an amazing couple!

September 27, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

You guys are amazing, the day must've been such a tough one. I'm sure you're very proud of how Cora's playground has turned out and I'm sure it's going to be loved by so many young children.

Sue x

PS. Your bump is looking great, you're looking fabulous!

September 28, 2009 at 3:21 AM  
Blogger SouthernGalsBoutique said...

I LOVE the playground, all of the bright vibrant colors!!! What a great dedication.

September 28, 2009 at 6:09 AM  
Blogger Lauren Thomas said...

Hi there! I have been following your blog for a while now, and I just don't even know any words that could possibly comfort you. But, today in my devotion, the power verse made me think of you. Have a great week!

1 Peter 4:12-13, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (NIV).

September 28, 2009 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

What a beautiful dedication. I am so glad you were able to do something so wonderful for you sweet Cora and so many people were there to support you and celebrate beautiful Cora's life. God Bless you both, you are continually in our prayers!

September 28, 2009 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Amazing. I don't have the words to express what is in my heart.

Thanks for posting this.

God Bless you, Joel, and the new baby and my God take special care of Cora.



September 28, 2009 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

Awesome post Jess. It was a beautiful dedication in memory of a beautiful baby girl.

September 28, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

I have followed Cora's story and although not the ending we hoped for, we know so much good has come out of this. God did not give Cora cancer, but He was there to get you through. We are on a cancer journey with our daughter Ellie and as hard as it can be on some days, I am so grateful for all the good.

God Bless and all the best with the new baby


September 28, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Karina said...

I, too, am proud to have contributed even a teensy bit to this project by buying Cora products on Etsy. It feels good to be able to do something, however small, in face of a sad and unpreventable loss like yours. Many hugs to you, Joel, and the new baby-to-be.

September 28, 2009 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Nashville TV Show said...

Your family has been such an encouragement & now this is just a permanent testimony of that! I absolutely LOVE the "Cora's Playground" sign & that you sent balloons off & ate cupcakes. What were the envelopes/packets in the buckets? Your family continues to be in my thoughts & prayers. Can't wait to see pictures of Cora's big brother/sister playing on her playground one day soon!

September 28, 2009 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

what a beautiful celebration of your little girl's life. it warms my heart to see the body of Christ embrace one another like this.

September 28, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

You don't know me. I, of course came across your blog shortly after Cora was diagnosed with cancer. I check your blog all the time and think about you and your family often. I don't think there is anything more heartbreaking than the loss of a child, especially someone as young as little Cora. I know you hear this all the time, but you are in my prayers. God bless you, your husband, and that sweet, precious baby on the way.

September 28, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger sassy said...

what a beautiful day, i can see and feel the love all the way here in Canada!
You look wonderful and glowing.

September 28, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Run26.2Mom said...

I am a new commenter on your blog but have followed your story for a few months. Although I have not commented, I do pray for you and your family. I find your strength and faith to be amazing! You have made me look inward a little harder and make some changes. The pictures you have shared of beautiful Cora always shout out "joy" to me. To an outsider looking in Cora lived her life here with a big smile and joy in her heart. What amazing parents you are and will continue to be!
The playground is a perfect place to let Cora's joy and love be passed on to other little ones. May joy and peace continue to return in your life.
Peace, Susan

September 28, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Happiness Is... said...

What a beautiful celebration for a beautiful life. I know it was bittersweet, but I cannot conceptualize a prettier or more perfect playground and day to honor sweet Cora's life.

September 28, 2009 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Creationship said...

beautiful. so, so beautiful.

September 28, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Princess Martha said...

Wow! The day looked like a huge sucess, you & your helpers have done so well with the playground. What a gorgeous honour for your precious Cora. Ps You look great!

September 29, 2009 at 1:24 AM  
Blogger Jessica Davis said...

it is a beautiful playground for a beautiful family!
I"m so glad you had such a great dedication. God Bless

September 29, 2009 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

As a contributor to Cora's playground, I wanted to thank you for sharing the pictures and description of the dedication. I don't comprehend the whys of children being taken from their families and the devastation that is left in that wake. I deeply admire you for the memories you have cherished and the productive way you have given back to your community in Cora's honor and memory. May you always feel her presence in your hearts and may her spirit lighten your feet as you walk this road till you are once again reunited with your beautiful daughter.

October 2, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Alyssa Hollis said...

I am so inspired to read your blog. Its just amazing. your family is beautiful.

December 27, 2011 at 11:38 PM  

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