The Macs

Monday, March 5, 2012


Today she would have been four.

I wish I could tell you that we partied and celebrated the day away...remembering our sweet girl, but that wouldn't be true. We did our best to plan a day that would allow us to spend time together as a family and celebrate Cora's precious life. But I would be lying if I didn't tell you that today was really tough. We miss our baby girl everyday. But today we were missing her like crazy.

I am finding as we face these anniversaries year after year now, that Cora's birthday is a harder day for me than Cora's heaven birthday. I think it is partially because along with Cora's birthday come all the happy memories...the day I became a mama...having a daughter...cheering Cora along with every milestone she reached...loving that little girl with all of my being...all the things I miss the most. And while we do celebrate Cora's life, celebrating this day without her is so painful. As we make plans and gather our pink party supplies the hole that she left in our family is so glaringly obvious.

I am also learning that I can't approach Cora's birthday with high expectations. I think Satan knows that we are weak on this day in particular and for some reason there is always something that doesn't go like I was hoping or had planned. Something that seems to make the day a little harder than it already is. Last night both boys were up in the middle of the night at the same time because of colds. That never happens. Usually Griffin is the only night owl around here. We started the day off very tired...all four of us. We were going to visit the cemetery over lunch while Joel was home but Griffin was sleeping. He really needed to sleep so we decided to wait until Joel got off work to go. And then this afternoon Joel had some things come up at work that caused him to be later than he had planned which caused us to rush to do the things we had planned before it got too dark.

Today I had to choose joy even when my heart was feeling sad and disappointed. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I can't be the mama to my sweet four year old daughter, I had to choose to be thankful for the gift that Cora was to me even for those short eleven months. She truly was a gift and changed my life forever. Instead of being frustrated that Griffin was sleeping at lunch and the day wasn't going as planned, I had to choose to be thankful that he was actually sleeping...even if it was in the middle of the day instead of at night!! :) Instead of being mad at Joel for being late, I had to choose to be thankful we got to spend time together as a family and make the most of what was left of our evening. Choosing joy can be hard. But I want to determine to trust God even when it is hard...even when it doesn't necessarily make sense to me. I had to choose to trust that He would give me the grace to make it through another birthday without my girl. And I will have to daily make the choice to trust Him over and over again.

But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, "You are my God!" My future is in your hands. Psalm 31:14-15

I am not telling you about today to make you feel sorry for me. Cora's birthday is what it is. Each year we are learning how to approach her special day and celebrate her life. And each year we are choosing to trust God again to give us the strength to face the sadness that inevitably comes with celebrating your daughter's birthday without her. But we did celebrate. And we had two little boys who brought many smiles to our faces in between the tears shed from missing their sissy. Here is a little glimpse into our evening of celebrating four.

The boys and I picked up flowers and balloons this morning to take to the cemetery. Levi learned that Cora would be four today and we decided she would like pink (because she is a girl of course). So we picked up four pink balloons and some pink tulips. 

I love that Levi was excited to pick up things for his sissy's birthday. I love that Levi says Cora's name so clearly and talks about her turning four on her birthday. The Lord uses my little guy on these hard days to encourage my heart in so many ways.

We watched the balloons until we couldn't see them anymore. Levi sent them up to heaven to Cora. And then he decided he wanted them back. :)

Levi showed the flowers to Griffin and found the perfect spot to leave them for Cora.

We made it to Cora's Playground just as the sun was going down. We spent time just running around and playing together. Griffin was sleeping in the car and missed out on the fun.

We had to drag Levi away when it got too dark. We ate a late dinner out...Mexican food...because it is our favorite and would probably be Cora's favorite too, right?! And then we went back home, sang happy birthday and ate a few cupcakes before bed.

And that was March 5, 2012.
Happy birthday to our sweet Cora Paige!


Blogger Andrea {kerubo mama} said...

That was heartbreakingly sweet. May God continue to give you His peace and His joy, even during the impossible times. You guys are incredible. Happy Birthday to a beautiful girl! xoxo

March 6, 2012 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Wanting What I Have said...

I am weeping as I read...praying for God to
Comfort you. I love that you keep on celebrating precious Cora Paige! We recently lost our baby at 17 weeks pregnant-NOTHING like what you have gone through, but I know a day doesn't pass when I don't, at some point, think about what would have been. The pain is deep and it hurts and I feel my flat belly and I watch as my friends go on in their pregnancies and my heart aches. All that to say, I know it's no where near the same thing, but my mama heart aches deeply for you and I love that you celebrate your sweet daughter. Praying God's peace and comfort for you.

March 6, 2012 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing your faith through the pain. What a heartfelt tribute to your beautiful Cora. She has touched so many lives! Happy 4th Birthday, sweet Cora!

March 6, 2012 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Selena said...

As the tears fall so heavily down my cheeks, I am aware that I have no words to comfort you. Nothing that I can say will take even an ounce of pain away from you, Joel, nor your family.

What I do want to say, however, is thank you. Thank you for sharing your family. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thank you for sharing your faith in our God. Thank you for sharing scripture from His word. Thank you for loving Him and praising Him in a time when it seems unbearably hard. Thank you for reminding me that the small things in life are truly small. This world is not our home and our treasure is in Heaven. Cora is in Heaven, and some day, she will greet you with open arms as you love her up, once again.

And then sweet Levi and baby Griffin... I'm sorry your nights are leaving you weary, but God has rest for that, too. May you continue to find HOPE in HIM and may He continue to show Himself to you each and every day.

I will be praying for you and Joel, praying that God will meet all of your needs at this point in time. I pray you can get warm and comfy in His loving palm as He continues to carry you through this journey of life until you meet your baby girl in the beautiful Heavens above. How beautiful Heaven must be... sweet home of the happy and free. Happy Birthday, sweet Cora... I can only imagine a pink birthday party with Jesus. :)

Love, Blessings, Hugs,and much Sincerity.

March 6, 2012 at 1:32 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I have tears in my eyes. I konw how it is to miss someone you really love. I lost my sisters in a bad car accident about 3 years ago. I miss them soo much. On their birthday (they were twins) i alway bake muffins and bring them after school to my best friend, we celebrate together and we eat muffins. You said, that Coras birthday is more painful than her heaven-birthday.
When i look back and see these two girl in the hospital in the age of 2, i start crying, everytime.
Ok, the story...
My dad, Lotte and Paula and i, we were on the to my grandma. It was dark and it was night and my dad was tired. I fall asleep and the twins were asleep since a long time, then he drove very hard against a tree. I can't remember anything of this evening in the car. My memorys start in the ambulance again. I couldn't move my legs and my whole body hurts. I didn't know what happend to my dad or my sisters. these 10 minutes to the next hospital were one of the longerst minutes. When we were in hospital paula and i came in the OR. they did a 9 hour surgery on my back and a 14 hour surgery on Paulas brain. I woke up, she didn't. When my parents told me that Paula didn't woke up from surgery and that she is dead now, everything crashed i my life, everything i was hoping for died. My sister was dead, my little sister! We had the accident on 25/3/2009 and Paula died at 26/3/2009.
We all hoped that Lotte would wake up again. 3 painful days in hospital, after 2 days i start moving my legs again. i was sittin next to Lottie the whole time holding her hand and stroke her hair made me feel good, i thought she would feel that i'm here and that i always would be here for her. on 29/3/2009 the docs said, that there is no brain reaction. and my parent decited to turn the machines of. In the afternoon i had to say good bye to my other little sister. Knowing that this is the last hug, the last kiss, the last touch was so, i can't discripe the feeling, it was like someone's killing me.

The days after my sisters dead were so hard, i had to stay in hospital for 3 other days. But i didn't recigniced much, i know there were docs and my parents, but i was in my own very painful world. when we came home, i didn't ate anything, i slept the whole time and i collapse 3 times.
Knowing that they will never be on my wedding, they will never see my kids or be their godmothers. i would give anything, anything to have them. If somebody would give me the chance to have them i would kill. Why is the wourld just soo scruwed up?
Remembering these weeks after my sister dead are harder then everything, and that's why it hurts sooooo much.

Stay Strong and be happy for you other kids, i'll try to be happy too.
Happy birthday little Cora, maybe you'll meet Lotte and Paula one day, give them some hugs from me.

(Jess, sorry about my bad english, I'm german...)

March 6, 2012 at 3:40 AM  
Blogger Clutter-Free Classroom said...

I've been following your blog since Cora was hospitalized and am always amazed by your honesty, courage, and positive attitude. As someone who watched that playground be created in Cora's honor from afar, it made me smile to see your family enjoying it with your sons.

March 6, 2012 at 3:50 AM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

I cried. God Bless you Jess and Joel and thank you for sharing your journey with all of 'us'. I will pray for peace for you.


March 6, 2012 at 4:56 AM  
Anonymous tami said...

i will always remember the day your sweet girl was born... it was a mom to mom morning.

happy birthday, cora. enjoy the balloons from your little brothers! they are precious little boys!

March 6, 2012 at 5:36 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Thank you for the encouragement and hope you give even in the midst of your pain. You are an amazing example of choosing joy and I thank you for showing that to me. God bless you and your sweet family!

March 6, 2012 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Brittany said...

I sit here with tears in my eyes because I too know what its like to let go of the child you know and love. I completely agree that their birthday is so much harder than their heavenly birthday. Their birthday is the day you should be celebrating and rejoicing but instead you are grieving for your child and what might have been. You are instead thinking about what they would have been like instead of what they are like. I too have 2 little boys here on earth with me that love their older brother and help ease the pain but that pain will never totally go away. It's like an amputation that you will always have but you learn to live with. I am praying for you today and remembering her with you.

March 6, 2012 at 6:03 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I am moved by your words,your strength and your faith. Happy birthday dear Cora. MayGod bring peace and comfort to you.

March 6, 2012 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

You are truly an amazing person and Mama! May you and your family find much peace and happiness. Enjoy those precious little boys and God bless and take care. xo

March 6, 2012 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger DianeTaylor said...

Jess i am so sad for you all on this day. can i ask your readers for prayers for my family? Last Thursday march 1st, my life forever changed. My only child, my miracle boy, 24 year old Jonathan Paul Daily, was called to Jesus whe his apartment caught fire. Sadly he did not survive. I am so shattered and broken and lost right now. Planning a funeral for my amazing son is just surreal. If you have any scripture that helped you get thru your loss of Cora I could sure use it today. My email is My faith is still strong but being tested with every minute that passes.

Thank you so much and God Bless your sweet Cora. I hope she is showing Jonathan around heaven today.

March 6, 2012 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Praying for you all each day.
May God's peace continue to comfort you.

March 6, 2012 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Cari said...

I know on Caden's birthday nothing goes as planned...mans it seems that life gets in the way. Choosing joy is hard, but it is a great reminder... On the hard days, and in the everyday. I am so encouraged that God shined through your hard day...praise and glory to Him!

March 6, 2012 at 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this post. It is so sweet yet so painful to read but so many lessons to be learned from it. May God's peace comfort you and your family every day.

Evelyn in Newport News, VA

March 6, 2012 at 7:45 AM  
Blogger Kristina Lewis said...

Your family has changed ours. Fly high sweet Cora.

March 6, 2012 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

What a neat post, Jessica. It's so encouraging and inspiring to see how you find the joy and hope in life. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. You have such a sweet fam.

March 6, 2012 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger Kathy Apple said...

Happy Birthday sweet sweet Cora. As a Mom it just brings tears to my eyes thinking about what you have been thru and what you are still going thru with each anniversary that comes and goes. You and your family are just amazing and strong. You are an inspiration and I love reading your blog. Thank you for sharing this emotional day with us.

March 6, 2012 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Rob and Andrea said...

Wow Jess, lots of sweet comments from loving family, friends, and blog followers. Some people sure have a way with words. I just read your blog post through tear-filled eyes. I look forward to your almost-daily updates about your sweet boys, but when I noticed your absence in posting, I felt an overwhelming urge to pray for your family. Pray that all was well, that everyone was OK. Now I see that you were taking time to reflect, spend time with your family, and celebrate Cora's life. I cannot fathom the pain you must feel each day, but am so thankful that you have two sweet boys to keep you going each day! I hope you can feel the prayers coming your way. Hugs!

March 6, 2012 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

My heart aches for you reading this...I can't imagine how hard it must be celebrating without her. Lifting you up to the only One who can hold you in the palm of His hands...

March 6, 2012 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Miss Harriet. said...

What a sweet and special way to remember her Birthday. It is so wonderful that she is such a big part of her two little brothers lives. They will grow up with these precious memories. Keep trusting in God. I am praying for peace and comfort for you all. What a special family you are. The Lord is using you and your story in great ways! What a blessing you are to so many.
Sending lots of love. x

March 6, 2012 at 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Sweet Birthday Cora!

Hugs to you and yours!

March 6, 2012 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Sarah Johnson said...

Praying for you! Birthdays are terribly hard. I know she was smiling down on you from heaven. Hoping you have a better day today.

March 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Allisha said...

I think of you every March 5 because my little girl has the same birthday. Emme turned 14 yesterday. You make me so thankful for her everyday. May God bless you and your family.

March 6, 2012 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger ~Rachel said...

My heart aches for you all. I have no idea how you all get through these things. But, I can tell you that I am so appreciative that you blog for us to read about it. Each time you describe your trust in God when I am certain the task of trust is tough, I am brought deeper into my relationship with God. I am inspired by your faith and your honesty.
I pray that you feel peace today and always.

March 6, 2012 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

happy birthday sweet Cora.

March 6, 2012 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Caroline H said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. Praying for you and your sweet family to see the sunshine through the tears. Happy Birthday, Cora!

March 6, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger The Sieberts said...

happy birthday Cora-i'll bet she's having the best bday ever with her savior! hugs to you both :o)

March 6, 2012 at 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

I cannot even imagine how hard that day must be for you. It is so awesome that little brothers will have that playground to play on!

March 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

my heart breaks for you and your sweet family!

March 6, 2012 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

So sorry for the heartbreak this day brings, yet so glad you are able to truly focus on the only One who can bring hope in sorrow. Praying for you guys she loved those pink balloons from her brother. Sweet & sad...

March 6, 2012 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I have been following your blog for some time now but rarely find the words to comment. I'm a Peds ICU nurse but also a mom and I sometimes struggle so much with what I do. The sweet patients we see pass away. My heart hurts so much for the parents and I think about them throughout the years, and wonder where they are on their grief journeys. I of course did not have the honor to care for your family but your blog gives me so much comfort and inspires me more than you could imagine. I am in awe of your faith. I cannot even imagine the amount of strength you must find on days like these, but God has given you an amazing heart. You are a wonderful mother and just know there are so many lives you are touching, even nurses like me who are weary from all of the sickness in the world. You give us reason to keep moving forward. Thank you!

March 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

I love that you included the boys so wonderfully in cora's birthday. That is so special that they will grow up knowing her and loving her and missing her right along with you

March 6, 2012 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous molly said...

Your strength and faith in God always astounds me and sometimes even knocks me back. Even after hearing of Cora's death, which seems like so long ago, every time I come here and read a post I feel uplifted, knowing my God is bigger and stronger than anything in this earthly world.

March 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Beth Ann said...

Happy Birthday, precious Cora! I've been reading your blog for are such a sweet family and your faith is inspiring to me. Choosing joy...a great reminder that it doesn't always come naturally but that we sometimes have to make the conscious decision to choose it. It is there for us if we keep our hearts open to it. Great lesson for us all...really speaks to my heart. Thank you.

March 6, 2012 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

what a beautiful post. thank you for reminding me that i need to make better "choices" for joy in my daily life.

March 6, 2012 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Darlene R. said...

I am reading a book right now called "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigth DeMoss. Your post was such an encouragement. You chose to be thankful, even when one of your toughest days wasn't going as planned. I am working on that! :)
I don't know you, but I pray for you and your sweet family.

March 6, 2012 at 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my heart breaks for all the missed birthdays.... Praying for you all. Happy Birthday sweet Cora!

March 6, 2012 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Townsendpartyof5 said...

Tears are streaming down my face like the day I read that you lost your Cora. I have been praying with you and your family (from Chicago) since Cora went into the hospital.
You are so beautiful, Jess. YOU are such an inspiration to me. YOU are witness to God's immense love that I don't always have a clear image of. Thank you for being an instrument of God's faithful love to you. I dedicate my day today to you, keeping Cora constantly in my mind and in my heart. Love to you all!

March 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your honesty in the painful moments. Choosing to trust and choosing joy isn't always easy but it is always worth it! Thank you for letting us journey with you. Grief is that surprising companion sometimes. Praying you will continue to experience our Father's grace in amazing ways as you trust and choose joy.
Katie T.

March 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger workingmama said...

I pray that God will wrap His arms around you during this time. I thought about you last night at Bible study. Our group is going through the book of James and James 2-18 really spoke to me. But as I was listening I thought of you and how I know that God has, and will continue, to use Cora's life to bring Him glory. Sending prayers and hugs your way.

March 6, 2012 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Alli Unruh said...

Happy 4th Birthday to your sweet Cora. I love the way your family celebrates Cora, and how you are teaching your boys to know her. So special. Thanks for sharing.

March 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I am in tears reading your post. You have such a beautiful family, and the way that you remembered Cora's birthday was so special.

March 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger The Stanfields said...

Blessings on you and your family. Thank you for sharing these sweet birthday moments.

March 6, 2012 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Trinity said...

Happy Birthday to Cora. My heart weeps for you. I imagine as much as the pain feels here on earth to lose the ones we love, God will make greater the joy in heaven when we are reunited. I am sure there is nothing God loves more than seeing loved ones reunited eternally. Until that day, you are doing all you can and I continue to read your blog looking forward to the uplifting that comes from each of your posts.

March 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crying with you today and in honor of another little one who shares Cora's birthday now. My friend Alison found out at her 20-week ultrasound in October that her son's kidneys weren't functioning properly, meaning that he had no amniotic fluid and little chance for lung development. The high-risk OB chose to induce her at 37 weeks, which was yesterday, March 5th. Baby William was born at 7:17pm, crying and breathing at first, but his lungs weren't able to work together properly, and he died around 2am. Praying for your family and for his today and remembering that God is faithful. Thank you for your reminders of that and for the resources you have shared to help a grieving friend. I will be drawing on those in upcoming days!

March 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Alyssa said...

As our Gracie’s angel-anniversary gets closer & closer, as well as her 2nd Birthday, I continue to find strength & hope in reading your blog. Thank you so much for sharing the raw emotion with all of us. May God bless you & your family.

March 6, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your sweet little family. As always, your posts remind me to be thankful for all that I have. I really needed that reminder today, so thank you!

March 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I have read your blog for years now and have never left a comment. We lost our first child at birth in 2006. While I am not thankful that any other mother has faced the loss of a child, I am thankful that others understand what it is like to celebrate the birthday of a child in heaven. Praying God will coninue to lavish his grace and blessings upon your family.

March 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Jessica, this post brought tears to my eyes. I am thinking of you and your sweet, adorable family at this tough time. And through the tears I am smiling because I know your precious Cora is looking down on you and the boys everyday. She is happy. She is without pain. She is your sweet guardian angel, always.

Happy 4th Birthday, Cora Paige! God bless you, sweetheart xoxo

March 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Wallace, family of 5 said...

I cried the entire time I read this, I think about you guys often. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult Cora's birthday is for you and Joel, but how sweet it is that she will always have sweet little brothers to send her pink balloons up to heaven :) Happy birthday Cora!

March 6, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Andy and Jenni said...

Your words are always encouraging, and your honesty helps me. Our daughter would be five tomorrow, and although she was too sick to celebrate when she was here, we're anticipating a hard birthday without her now. Thank you for modeling faith and positivity through hardship and heartache.

March 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Rebecca CA said...

March 5 was my dads birthday and also the day he went home to live with his Saviour. On the day he passed away my devotional verse was Jeremiah 29 10-11 The first part of the verse says after 70 years and then I have plans for you to prosper... . He died on his 70th birthday and it just spoke to me. I am sorry you lost your little girl but I know that she had a great person to share her birthday with

March 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

thanks for allowing your story to impact so many. happy birthday sweet Cora.

March 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Brigid said...

My heart hurts for you. We had a very similar day Oct 5th, when my Maeve would have also been 4. We too visited the cemetary and sent balloons up to heaven and celebrated with cupcakes. Its so bittersweet. I too love to hear my daughter talk about the big sister she never got to meet. Keeping all of you in our prayers and thinking of Cora on her birthday. I am sure she is having quite the celebration in heaven!

March 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

...lovely post. I can only imagine as the time goes y how hard it must be. There aren't any words to really escribe what you must be going thru. Celebrating and remembering the time that Cora had with you guys, here on earth is important. :)

March 6, 2012 at 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Your unshakable faith is so inspiring and beautiful.

By the way, how did you choose Cora's name?

March 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Happy Birthday Cora!

There aren't words to describe how amazing I think you both are or how much my heart continues to break for you missing your sweet Cora.

Continuously praying for comfort and peace.

March 6, 2012 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger jandkland said...

I will never forget Cora. We donate to Cure Childhood Cancer partly in her memory. You are right that being joyful is a choice. Happiness, maybe not so much. External stimuli can make us happy. But joy requires a deliberate choice to focus on the good of God and of life. And I can't imagine how difficult that must be when such a brilliant piece of God and life--your sweet little girl--is missing. But I pray that you will continue to find the strength to make this choice...every day if you have to.


March 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger brandonlk said...

Happy Birthday sweet baby Cora!!

March 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I've been following your blog for awhile but haven't commented before. I just want to thank you for your encouragement and let you know that your story spurs me on to choose joy and thankfulness when I'm having a hard day with my little ones. Blessings to your family.

March 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I am praying for you, Joel and the boys as you continue your journey here on Earth without sweet Cora. Praying for God to grant you all peace and comfort until you meet again. Happy Birthday pretty girl!!! You continue to bless so many people as you celebrate in Heaven with our Father.

March 6, 2012 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Happiness Is... said...

What a sweet way to honor and remember and celebrate your little girl. I literally have tears on my cheeks for you, but at the same time I am so happy that He is using Cora in such a wonderful way - you are inspiring, your faith is contagious and I know that her life will continue to touch many forever.

March 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

As I sit here with tears in my eyes, thank you for sharing Cora's fourth birthday with your viral friends :) I'm sure the boys will hear many, many stories about their older sister and love her just as much as you and Joel do. Hope the boys feel better, and are sleeping through the night soon :)

March 6, 2012 at 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Tara said...

I thought of Cora and your family throughout the day yesterday. Happy birthday to your sweet little girl:)

March 6, 2012 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Auntie EM said...

When I think of you and your sweet Cora I think of how much of an impact her life had on you and your family. I hope and pray you will find comfort in knowing so many are thinking of you and remembering your beautiful daughter.

March 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

What a beautiful post and an amazing way to celebrate your sweet baby girl. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story, you are touching so many peoples lives!!

March 6, 2012 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Auntie Mip said...

Jess your perfect faith takes my breath away. I know you feel anything but perfect. That is your humanness talking. From the outside, reading your story, feeling your pain at Cora's death, knowing how you suffer that she is four, four years old and not here with you yet you praise God is breathtaking. I stand in awe.

Happy Birthday precious Cora Paige. How proud are you of your mama and papa?

March 6, 2012 at 10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess and family-
I cried and cried reading this post, even though i never knew cora or you. I think its the way you talk about her, I can tell she was such a wonderfull little person and you had so much lover for her. At the time I was reading this post, the banner on top of your blog were all pictures of her. She is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen, she looked so happy. God bless you and your husband and sweet boys. you are a beautiful family.

March 7, 2012 at 2:56 AM  
Blogger Kirsten Anderson-Delaney said...

Oh, this makes me cry! I cannot imagine your pain, yet I rejoice in your joy. What a wonderful attitude to take, when you could choose so much.

Cora is so deeply loved, and I believe that she knows it-100%.

March 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

You are amazing...what a perfect day! Much love to you and your entire family...your strength will always inspire me.

March 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A life so young released to Heaven...Left on earth, we wonder "Why?" But some are sent among us briefly...Some have spirits meant to fly. Remembering Cora Paige and wishing her a beautiful "angel" birthday!

March 7, 2012 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Mikaela said...

Thanks for sharing! There really isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of your family and squeeze my kids a bit tighter in memory of your sweet Cora Paige. (My daughter is 10 days younger than Cora) Every time I think of you I pray for you and your boys. Praying you continue to blaze ahead in God's strength and for His glory. It's worth it!

You have done an amazing job being completely honest, yet humble in sharing your journey. God shines brightly through YOU! Hugs!

March 7, 2012 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger The Schilling's from Cimarron said...

Sweet Macs.....
Praying always for you! Your faith and lives still to this day impact us in sooooo many wonderful ways! Thought of sweet baby Cora on the 5th! Thank you for the pictures and sharing her day with us too! May you continue to find love and peace in your hearts.
Take care always!
Love you:)

March 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

And I'm in tears! Thank you for sharing with all of us. May the Lord continue to give you His Peace that surpasses all understanding and strength and may He continue to be glorified in you. You are one amazing mama!

March 9, 2012 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger 2 little monkeys said...

A few days late... Happy Birthday Cora! I love reading your blog and admire your strength! God bless you and your family.


March 9, 2012 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

I can't help but cry with you. I still remember Cora and think to pray at really random times like in the grocery store near the check out. Kelly

March 11, 2012 at 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww happy birthday sweet cora! this was such a moving post. thank you for your heart. you are such a blessing!

March 16, 2012 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Jess-that picture at Cora's gravesite with Levi is breathtaking. I have been reading your blog since Cora first became sick, I participated in the Etsy fundraiser, met wonderful people as a result of that and have prayed for you and your family ever since. Cora's story has stamped my heart. She will always be in my heart and the hearts of many. You are an amazing mother and an amazing example of Christ's love. God bless you!

March 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

Much love to you and your family.

March 22, 2012 at 6:37 PM  

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