The Macs

Thursday, February 10, 2011

two years later

So loved.
That is how we feel two years later.
Thank you for remembering with us.
Thank you for your cards, texts, e-mails, comments, and calls.
Thank you for taking the time to share how the Lord has used Cora to change you.
What a blessing to hear how God continues to use our sweet Cora's life...
even two years later.

I love these words from a sweet friend...
The love of a parent is a powerful thing.
The love of your Father is an almighty thing.
Truly, Cora Paige has been a messenger of her loving God.

Tuesday was tough. The days leading up to Tuesday were really tough too. It is amazing how all of a sudden the tears just come again. A reminder of the days when I didn't think my tears would ever end. As much as I would love to only remember the happy memories, I remember the horrible ones too. It is impossible to not be reminded of what was happening during those 17 days we were in the hospital with Cora. It is impossible to not be reminded of how sick my baby was. It is impossible to not be reminded of the surgeries, test results, and hard conversations with doctors that took place. It is impossible to not be reminded of the intense feelings of pain that we felt as we said goodbye.

And yet as we continue to grieve, I am reminded of our sweet Cora Paige who truly was and continues to be a messenger of her loving God. She has forever changed my life and has touched so many other lives as well. I am reminded that God has a purpose in my pain, even though I don't always understand. I am reminded that two years later, He still understands my tears and offers me great hope and comfort. I am reminded that my Heavenly Father loves Cora more than I ever could and in His sovereignty had a perfect plan for her short life.

Yes, I still grieve. 
Yes, I still cry.
Yes, I still miss my baby as desperately as I did two years ago.
Yes, I still struggle to let go of my plans and dreams for Cora and our family.
Yes, this time of year may always be difficult for me as I remember.
Yes, it is just as hard for Joel as it is for me.

But we hold on to HOPE. 
We rejoice that our Cora is with Jesus.
And we cling to our Great Comforter.

So, we made it through another anniversary. Honestly I feel so much relief. It is so hard to know what to do or say or feel on those days. Nothing seems right. Nothing feels right. Levi probably wondered why in the world his mama was squeezing him so tight on Tuesday. Someday he will understand that his big sister forever changed his mama. She is the reason why I treasure each moment. And for that I am so grateful.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, I am praying for you. With all my heart.

February 10, 2011 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Auntie Mip said...

Jess...I do not know you, having been following your journey since Cora was diagnosed, and grieve right along side of you. I am much older than you. I am a pediatric oncology nurse. I lost my brother to cancer when he was 7 and I was 5. I stand in AWE of your great faith. I am a Christian and rely on my faith as you do. Outside of my mother and the grace with whic she raised us, never definign us by our David's death, I have never seen ANYONE with your grace, maturity, and truly awer inspiring faith. Your sweet Cora Paige looks down on you loves you and has such pride that you are he mommy. Yes it is ture, no one can love Cora like our heavenly Father, but know one can love Cora like her mama either. I can come up with no other word beyong are a gift Jess, such a precious precious gift!

February 10, 2011 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Christian, Kerri, & The Boys said...

These are some of the exact words I uttered during my loss even though not as great as yours. Thank you for you post! You are amazing!!

February 10, 2011 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Jess, I have been following your blog since you lost precious Cora. Your journey has been such an inspiration to me. I cried for you in the days after you lost Cora, rejoiced with you when you announced you were expecting sweet Levi, and have prayed for your family for the past two years. I have read and followed a lot of blogs online where unfortunately children were sick, or have passed away. I have prayed for each of these families, but for some reason little Cora has touched my heart beyond what I can explain. I think it may be because I had a little girl just a little younger than Cora when she went to be with Jesus. Your testimony and faith have been such an inspiration to me. Through your own grief and suffering you continue to minister and encourage others. I hope you know that precious Cora continues to be remembered and loved, as well as you and Joel. I pray that God will continue to heal your heart and bring you comfort.

February 10, 2011 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger 609rollinghillsdr said...

You ARE loved. More than you know, because sometimes it's just so hard to explain how much! This family is forever changed by your family and your sweet Cora Paige!

February 10, 2011 at 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the day I logged on and was looking for an update and I saw those simple words..."cora is with jesus today". My heart sank, I felt like not only did she loose her battle, but WE ALL did! We were all behind you every step of the way. I still continue reading your blog and love your unconditional faith and love. Its truly inspiring and amazing. You are such a strong person and I continue to keep your family in my prayers.

February 10, 2011 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger B In Real LIfe said...

you are right. Cora's sweet life and you generous vulnerability is bringing God GREAT glory.
I can't imaging how difficult these days are. So thankful for HIS grace...only HIS grace would allow for healing, joy, peace, and sadness to coexist.
Again, thank you for your very generous vulnerability.

February 11, 2011 at 12:07 AM  
Blogger Nirupama said...

I don't know you, but I am praying for you. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am really in awe of you.
I have been in the position to give bad news to patients with cancer and honestly, I am terrible at it. I never know what to say or do, usually I am choking back tears myself. Anyway, it really helps me alot to read your story.
Aside from that your sense of gratitude now is inspiring. I hope I can keep at least a small piece of that in my heart as well when my baby is trying my patience.

God bless you and thanks again.

February 11, 2011 at 1:26 AM  
Blogger flower power momma said...

We remember your journey and darling sweet Cora. Even when we don't know you personally, we remember.

May God bless your broken heart and tender spirit.
" oh how He loves you."

February 11, 2011 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Hang in there, tough girl! You are a shining light to so many, as is your precious Cora. As I've said before, your faith is such an inpiration to us all. Cora was lucky to share her short life with such amazing parents.

Sue X

PS. While nothing close to losing a child, I found the second anniversary of losing my husband so much harder than the first. I trust that God will teach you how to live with the hole that Cora's death has left in your heart and that with time the hole will heal to become a scar - never to be forgotten, but easier to live with.

Big hugs all around x

February 11, 2011 at 4:21 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I have been following your blog since right around the time Cora became ill. Since then, your words have inspired me. Your faith has inspired me. You and Joel are so strong and I have nothing but complete respect for both of you. The way you word your is just amazing. You have such a grace about you. I can tell that our loving God is speaking to me through you at times; and you are right-Cora's short but sweet life is bringing God glory!
When I woke up Tuesday, one of the first things I thought of was the anniversary of Cora going to Heaven. I said a little prayer for you and cried a few tears. Just please know that I will continue to pray for you and your family during these tough times. I do rejoice that you have sweet Levi-what a gift from God!

February 11, 2011 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

I've been reading your blog for several months. I just wanted you to know that Cora has touched my life too.

Your post has touched me as I've started to have a harder time the past few days with my loss (my baby Jacob) too. It is always hard, but some days just knock you down.

February 11, 2011 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Beautiful Jess! Your words are always an inspiration. I still pray for you and your family and think about Cora every day. Cora touched my heart in a way that I cannot explain.

February 11, 2011 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Candice said...

Thinking of Cora and praying for your lovely family!!

February 11, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger nichole said...

As a parent of a chronically ill child, I relate in ways. I am always so grateful for your posts for you inspire and encourage me in ways not many can. Thank you for your faith!

February 11, 2011 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You are so strong. I think of you often and squeeze me kids a little tighter too! Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us. It does help me to remember what is important in regards to my family!

February 11, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Auntie Mip expressed my feelings exactly! There are no words that can take away that pain but just know there are thousands of people that continue to pray for your precious family even though they do no know you personally. I am one of those! God Bless you and yours!

February 11, 2011 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Susy said...

Our prayers are with you and your family. Cora was such a gift. Levi will one day see a picture of Cora and know how much she meant to so many people; even those she didn't know.

February 11, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Danyele Easterhaus said...

that little cora paige and you all have just laid an impression on our hearts here in indiana forever. the Lord is mighty and is using that sweet little girl for His glory to this very day.

may God continue to bless you all and may you continue to feel His peace.

February 11, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Selena said...

God is so pleased with your faith in Him, and with your heart that so lovingly shines for Him. You are doing a great job of continuing to share the good news; the ultimate gift of Heaven. I am so sorry for your's and Joel's pain, as well as your other family members, however I am thankful for your Christian example. You always remind me of the most precious gifts we have received from God (other than His son)... our babies. Thank you for sharing your heart and Cora's story. I am certain that her legacy will continue to touch the lives of many. May your HOPE continue to carry you with great strength as you go through each and every day. Take care of you and Joel, and big boy Levi, too. (He is so stinkin' cute!!!) :) Praying for you.

February 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are amazing. I hope if I am ever faced with something as tragic, I can be half as strong and positive as you are.

February 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Two Buckaroos said...

You are an amazing person. I found your blog thorough a mutual link and have followed your post for a few months. Although I don't know your famiy personally, my heart aches for you, I have shed tears for you and prayed for you. I have two toddlers and find myself seeking the Lord harder than I ever have before by your humbling story. Praises to you for using our Father to help you through your tribulations, one day you will be reunited in Heaven with your precious angel. Many blessings, Michelle.

February 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sweet, sweet words. Thank you.

February 11, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Trisha Larson said...

Sadly...I can relate to it all! I am grateful for the perspective that God has given me through all of this but still wish that I didn't have to learn it this way


February 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Wanting What I Have said...

I don't know what to say, just wanted you to know that you are on my heart. I am praying for you and Joel.

February 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Stef said...

when I am going through a deep valley (though I've never had to walk through one this deep) I remind myself that Jesus wept. He grieved, He begged His Father not to have Him go through the torture he went through. He felt anger, pain, sadness and worry.
Those emotions are good. I'm glad you've felt grief and peace all in one. God is so good that way!

God bless you!

February 11, 2011 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger The McBrayer family said...

wow- this is precious. What a beautiful portrait of your love for Cora. Praying for you in Georgia. Love reading your blog, and love looking at pictures of that sweet baby boy- he is as cute as it gets!! God Bless you sweet Jess!
Kelli in Atlanta

February 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Thank you, Cora. Thank you so much. Praying for you and Joel!

February 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

Thank you for sharing your journey. Our prayers are with you during this anniversary. May God bless you and your family!

February 11, 2011 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger elisabeth moyer said...

dear jess,
i think i found you through the ashley ann/meg blogs a year ago or so. the first time i read your family's story, i cried and cried and then cried some more. through your blog, i am always reminded of God's love and His grace. thank you for being so vulnerable with us. it is beautiful.

February 11, 2011 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I found your blog when Cora was diagnosed and have been following you since. What an inspiration you have been to me over these two years. Your faith and peaceful heart are a model to me. Cora was a little bit older than my daughter and we have a son who is days apart from Levi. I lost my mom to cancer before I had kids when she was 50 years old. Cancer is such a horrible disease! Last May, my sister and I walked in our town's Relay for Life...we lit a candle for my mom and for your sweet Cora Paige. Praying for you often!

February 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

yes cora was a messenger to many of us.
in so many ways....brought so many together...did so much good in short little life.
i remember very much of those days too and it makes me ache for you and joel.

what a gift cora was to all of us.

February 12, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

Been praying for you guys...with a heavy heart. But rejoicing in the hope we have. I know you must miss her intensely...and I'm sure Levi didn't mind the extra love. Glad you have him to squeeze, while you remember his sweet sister.

February 13, 2011 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Mae said...

Thinking of your family.

February 13, 2011 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thinking of you and sweet Cora! You are an amazing example. But I know its hard.

February 13, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Colbert Family said...

You're amazing and I love your precious family! Cora will never be forgotten and the impact she has had on me and sooo many others will be remembered and celebrated for eternity. And you have glorified God in the most painful of days and you will get so many crowns in Heaven for your faithfulness. Watching you walk this journey has helped in our journey as our 5 year old daughter just finished her treatment for leukemia. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly and for being a true example what it looks like to follow Christ with all that you are, no matter what you are going through. You are amazing and I am praying for God to continue to carry you and pour His blessings out on you and your family.

February 17, 2011 at 10:13 PM  

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