The Macs

Monday, September 28, 2009

many thanks

Wow! Where do we start? It is impossible to thank everyone who was involved in the playground project. I so wish that we could. These are a few thanks that we shared the day of the dedication...

We can’t tell you how loved and supported it makes us feel to see all of you here today. God continues to pour out His love to us through the body of Christ.

There are so many people we could thank today. It is hard to know where to start. We wanted to take time to specifically thank a few:

Ben Hutton & Hutton Construction--general contractor

Joel, Jason, Eric & PG Playgrounds

Kompan--playground equipment


House of Glass

ProFencing Co.

USA Shade

Sherwin Williams

Ian Johnson--designed Cora's Playground sign

Joe & Kasa--sign

Exquisite Gifts & their helium company--balloons and helium

Evan LaRue--sound system for dedication

Julie & Heather along with MANY Etsy vendors

(Julie started the Etsy fundraiser with her messy flower pins. Many Etsy vendors joined her in raising money for Cora's Playground. Heather stepped in to help organize the fundraising. It was so great to meet these two ladies in person! What a blessing to our family they have been.)

Sara--stickers for seed packets

Kris, Debbie, Janelle and the Grace Community Church Staff

Grace Community Church

Whether you donated your time and labor, gave to the project, or even prayed for our family, you all had a part in Cora’s Playground. Thank you.

Today is definitely bittersweet for us. Our hearts are heavy, as we would trade this playground to have Cora back with us in a second. While we don’t understand, it wasn’t part of God’s plan for Cora to be here today.

But the awesome part about today is being able to look back and see how God has worked so mightily in our lives and the lives around us through tragedy. We are so thankful to have this playground as a remembering stone for our family. Cora’s Playground will always serve as a reminder to us of our sweet Cora’s life and how purposeful her 341 days with us were. It will be a place that we can always bring our family and tell them of God’s love and faithfulness to us.

Thank you so much for being a part of that.

Most of all we just want to take time this afternoon to thank God for all He has done. Thank you for being here to join us in praising Him today.


Blogger k and c's mom said...

God is faithful. We are grateful. Thank you for this post.

September 29, 2009 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger forever folding laundry said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your beautiful girl's 341 days will not be forgotten, nor will her impact on others be slight. Continuing to keep you in prayer!


September 29, 2009 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger jonahbonah said...

you are a very special family!!

you are on my mind almost daily...i'm still praying for yoU!


September 29, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

How inspiring to witness people coming together in love in such a special way!


September 29, 2009 at 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your special day with us Cora will never be forgotten and your faith and strength continue to inspre me everyday! Will continue to keep you all in my prayers!
Summer & family in California

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

Praising Him for all He does, even through our heartaches and tradgedies.

September 29, 2009 at 2:30 AM  
Blogger purejoy said...

and thank you for your willingness to share this confusing, painful, yet redemptive story with us. yours is a gift so treasured in my heart. always remembering cora. . .

September 29, 2009 at 5:09 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Jess, thanks for sharing the pictures of the dedication. I had to be in Oklahoma with my parents that week-end but thought of you all while I was gone.

Love you so much!

Paula U

September 29, 2009 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Beckypdj said...

I love it when you say "sweet Cora". Thank you for the post

September 29, 2009 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Kristin Stegent said...

The dedication looks like it was so sweet. I love that you released 341 balloons. The playground is the cutest I've ever seen. I can only imagine the bittersweet you must feel though!

September 29, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

So, so, so awesome. God is amazing. Continuing to pray for you as you miss beautiful Cora!!

September 29, 2009 at 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Toni :O) said...

Love this post and thank you, as I'm sure it was incredibly difficult to share this. We will never forget sweet Cora...ever. May God continue to bless all three of you and I will always be praying for you. Hugs to you all.

September 29, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger christine said...

the playground is beautiful,
just like Cora.
You are one special mommy.

September 29, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger beckley said...

still weeping with you.
grace and peace be yours through the pain.

beautiful playground.

September 29, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job Mom and Dad.Cora's Playground is took your heartbreaking tragedy and inspired so many of us, to be better, to look at our faith..

Thank you for continueing to share.


September 29, 2009 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how you touch my soul with your love and faith in our devine Heavenly Father's plan. I hurt for you each and everyday. I hurt for Cora not able to be here with you. I know she is safe, but I too often question why she didn't get to stay here alive with you to be safe? I hope one day all will be answered to those of us who were faithful in contining our journey through the heartache and pain. May God continue to bless you as your serve him without any doubts. May your Sweet Cora always watch over you and be near you. I know Angels are on this earth. I have felt them in my life. May your sweet Angel be allowed to hold your hand during your life, that you may be guided back into her presence. That day will be Glorious!!!
All my love,

September 29, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...


September 29, 2009 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Praying for you today. :)

September 29, 2009 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Baylee and Blair's page said...

God is so giving! Even though you might never understand why he took her so early on. You have a beautiful angel looking down on you and your family from heaven.

Big Hugs and prayers - Tiffany

September 29, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

Wonderful words for a wonderfully sweet baby. I'm so glad God's hand has moved so mightily for you guys & Cora. He is great. Praying many blessed & joyful days to come full of sweet memories. And that you'll feel the gentle guiding of God's hand as you continue on this terribly hard journey. Hang in there...

September 29, 2009 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing Cora's playground dedication with us, Jess. May many children be blessed and come to know Jesus through the sweet seed of Cora's legacy your love for your daughter....

September 29, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Andolicious said...

I love the Cora's Playground sign. What a cute sign for such a beautiful angel. I hope God continues to comfort you and your husband.

September 29, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Monica Serrano said...

Joel & Jessica-
I have never met you, and to spare me seeming like some crazy person randomly sending you a message I tried to see if you site would let me send a private msg. And as it wont I am going to chance looking crazy! :-) I heard about your daughter through Shannon Kirtley's Facebook page when Cora first became ill, and have read your blogs every couple of months since she passed. And I just want you to know that your princess has touched my heart in more ways than you can imagine( as well as many others I am certain) My Mother passed away last August from cancer, leaving behind a loving husband 8 of us children and 3 grandchildren. Her name was Paige! We also experienced a very quick time period from diagnosis to sending her to heaven. She told my dad once while staying in Houston for treatment that she will never once feel sorry for herself or let anyone hurt for what was happening to her. Because everyday that they were in Houston they had to walk through the childrens ward and see all of the innocent young people who were receiving the same treatments as she was. She said that she would never feel sad for her own illness because she knew that she had lived and saw things that those babies would never be able to experience. I think of your Cora every time I become angry and sad about losing my mother, because she hurt more for those little children that were sick than she hurt for herself. And when I do Im not so sad anymore, because she didnt want us to be, because she had lived. Obviously this is more difficult some days than others, but Cora and your family always comes to my mind when I miss my mother. You and your husbands strength is the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed, you may not feel like it somedays but it truely is! Some days I struggle with the fact that God choses the most beautiful creatures to call home too quickly. Knowing my mother Paige as well as I do, I know that she is enjoying your Cora Paige in heaven! I hope I dont seem to "crazy stalker" like because in fact we have never met, but my heart was dying to tell you how special your little girl is to me!

September 29, 2009 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Such a wonderful post. Cora will never be forgotten. The playground is just beautiful.

Thinking and praying for you always!

September 29, 2009 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

I read your post with tears rolling down my face..... What a tribute to Cora and to you both. It seems just like yesterday we met in the hospital.... I still think of you daily and find myself checking your blog often, just to feel close to you and your family again.... I know that had to be a very hard day for you all, and bittersweet does about sum it up.... 341 days filled with love, laughter, and hugs from sweet baby Cora will NEVER be forgotten for any of us.

love to you all!


September 29, 2009 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger F.Y said...

I accidentally stumbled upon your blog and spent hours going through it. Your story is an inspiration to anyone who suffers great loss.
I am a muslim,and in our religion we believe children who die go straight to heaven and they are looked upon by a prophet and angels. We also believe a mother who loses a child has a home built for her in heaven straight away for all the pain she has endured.
What you have done to overcome your loss is admirable, and I wish you happiness in your coming days with your upcoming birth! :) Best of luck and wishes.

September 29, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anne in California said...

First read your blog several months ago when I began clicking links on a friend's blog. One lead to another and then to yours. My heart resonates with your story and grieves silently for you and your husband. Thirty-eight years ago we walked in your shoes. Our seemingly healthy and precious first child--Matthew--developed undiagnoseable symptoms. A one-week hospitalization (pre- CATscans, MRI, etc.) uncovered nothing but anemia. Eight weeks later we buried him. An autopsy listed neuroblastoma as cause of death. Our world turned upside-down and inside-out in such a short time. The years have passed and the Lord blessed us with four more sons, and already five grandchildren. Christ is the Healer of broken hearts. Continue to cling to Him. The pain will not always feel so intense, though you will never forget. Recently in a conversation with a pastor I shed tears thinking of all those who don't know Christ and will not spend eternity with Him, will not be reunited with loved ones who have gone to heaven before us. I said, "There but for the grace of God, go I. I don't understand why I'm so blessed." He repeated some of my words back to me: "the grace of God," and told me that we must stop there because we can't understand God's grace.

I Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Praying that God will continue to comfort you through His Word and the messengers of His peace who surround you.

September 29, 2009 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Jerri said...

Thank you for sharing your "sweet" Cora with all of us! You are truly a blessing and it is amazing how the playground turned out! May God give you sweet peace!

September 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

May the Lord be praised for his faithfulness, and for yours!

September 29, 2009 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger  The Morris Family said...

His Word is so rich to our hurting hearts......I read this scripture and would like to share how God spoke to my own heart and hope it encourages yours too!!

Praying for you daily!!

who is left among you that saw this house
in her first glory? and how do ye
see it now? is it not in your
own eyes in comparison
of it as nothing?

Haggai 2:3

You see, sometimes I think back to the "former" and "think" to myself that what we had was so right, so good, we were all together in our house, on our little farm, it was all "perfect." I think back to the former and remember our house in all of her first glory, like the verse says. What I do is compare the former to the now. If I "think," so to speak lower, I am thinking in my mind that I will not find now with equal delight and pleasure of what I thought we had. It seems like I am thinking, "God messed up, this is nothing compared to what I use to have." But what I need to do is think "higher," thoughts. I need to see the now as, even better and if for no other reason, it is because God himself has worked this plan for our family, for our house. There is no answer to the question above in the verses, I guess those people could not "think higher" either about the temple that once was and now needed finishing and they were weary, they were comparing the glory that use to be and so longed for that same glory. It is as if the Lord knows we will question and compare the former and the now. He is Omniscient, He discerns our thoughts. So in verse, 4- 5, He tells us to be strong, to work, He is with us, His Spirit remains among us. I need to "think" that the Lord is fully able to grant and give a "glory" even now. That He can give me delight and joys and pleasures even though Joel is not here with us. In verse 9, it says, the glory for this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. I can not answer if our house, the former, was not giving God all the glory it could have, but I am confident that in the now, God will get the glory, not because of anything of us or about us, but its because His plans are being carried out in and through a death. That is what He desires, for His glory to be manifested and our good comes from all His workings and plans. So, I want to "think higher" for the now and rest peacefully that it is better than the former. It will be an exercise of my spirit, heart and mind for sure!! Do you see how through scriptures, He is our Counselor?

September 30, 2009 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I just found this blog through Stellan's blog. God bless you all as you welcome your new little one! Are the dresses available yet? I would like to purchase one but did not see them on the etsy site link. Don't want to miss out! :)

October 1, 2009 at 4:00 PM  

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