This weekend was full of graduations and parties.

My brother graduated from college and Joel’s sister graduated from high school.
We are so proud of both of them.  They have accomplished so much and are really seeking God as they plan for their futures.  
My eyes flooded with tears at one point during the high school graduation.  The tears just kept coming and coming and they wouldn’t stop.  I couldn’t help but feel so sad that we would never be sitting through Cora’s graduation.  I sat there wondering what Cora would have been like. What would she have accomplished during high school?  What would her talents and passions have been?  What would her character have been like?
That evening I sat and cried to Joel as I told him about all these dreams that I had for Cora that are crushed.  I would never get to see my baby grow up and graduate.  While Joel was feeling sad for the same reasons that day, he gently reminded me of something.  He reminded me that Cora already has been promoted.  Her promotion to heaven is so much more incredible than any high school graduation I could dream up for her here on earth.  She is in the best place she could be–in the arms of our Savior.
But it still stinks to be left here without Cora.  Feeling at times like we are barely surviving. While it was Cora’s time to go home, it is not ours yet.  God hasn’t completed His work in our lives.  So we keep pressing forward.  Resting in His sovereignty even when we don’t understand. And looking to see how we can live for Him even in the midst of grief–until the day when we too receive our “heavenly promotion”.  
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, 
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

To man belong the plans of the heart, 
but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue…

In his heart a man plans his course, 
but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:1,9
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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:01 am

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - Jess, Congrats to your brother and Joel’s sister on their graduations!

    I keep trying to think of the ‘right’ thing to say…I can’t imagine sitting there amidst all of that hope and feel sorrow at what might have been. Cling to Joel’s words that Cora has received the ultimate promotion. Cora is there in everything you two do and that will never change…no matter what.

    *hearts & hugs*

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:15 am

    Trisha - Cora did fulfill her purpose here. Now she will live a beautiful life. She will never have to struggle with all of the issues we face on Earth. She will never have to be sad. She will never be tempted by Satan. She will never know what it feels like to lose a child. She will only know joy. She will always be happy. She’s safe and sound forever. It’s hard, but ultimately, that’s the best gift that a Mommy can receive.

    I felt the same way that you do when I lost Nathan last year. I just kept thinking of everything that I will miss and not get to share with him. But it does get better. God will replace the saddness with joy. You will be different a year from now.

    Here’s one of the best quotes that I’ve heard since I lost Nathan:

    The best way to have Heaven in your home is to have someone from your home in Heaven.

    Lots of love to you from a mommy who understands.

    Trisha
    trisha_larson@yahoo.comReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:20 am

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - Cora’s life, her great promotion has helped to lead you and Joel to your greater purpose. The life of your family, the story of your struggles and strength and faith continues to impact the lives of so many.
    Thank you again for your candor and courage.
    Prayers and tears for you both,
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:32 am

    The Mumaw's - Thinking and praying for you daily. She has been promoted to the most ultimate place!!!My students from Lakeview loved your thank you card.
    Love, Amy Marinello Mumaw
    Pickerington , OhioReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:32 am

    Michelle - Graduation is truly a wonderful time. A time to ponder potential and bask in accomplishments. Cora has fulfilled more in such as short time than most people do in a long life time. You and Joel have as well! You have been promoted too. You are still teaching, you just have a bigger class and more difficult subject matter. But your pupils are eager. Leading all these people and their hearts to love more and be better Christians. That’s a tough job and you were choosen specifically because you do it better than we ever could have.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:46 am
  • May 19, 2009 - 10:57 am

    Toni :O) - Still praying for you and sending you love and hugs (( )) (( )) (( ))for strength from Michigan.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:59 am

    Marla Taviano - Prayed for you guys just now. It stinks that each new day has the potential to bring up a flood of new emotions–Cora will never do this. Or this. Or this.

    Praying for God to splash His peace all over you today. That you’ll truly be able to rejoice that sweet Cora has been spared so much heartache in life. Even though you haven’t.

    Loving you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 11:03 am

    hoosier68 - Such honesty and clarity in your thoughts. Cherish your strong husband as he helps you along. Still keeping you in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 11:04 am

    Misty Rice - I can understand if a child goes to heaven much sooner than a parented imagined, and they are left behind to attend other children in the family. But it is SO hard to understand why parents of only children are left alone and empty, with the loss of their only child. I am deeply sadden for you.

    I cried at my sons kindergarten graduation….

    So many people laugh at that stuff (kindergarten graduation), but I cried, because I knew the reality of the situation while sitting there. I knew the reality that some moms and dads will never see their child go to kindergarten. I was sad because those parents sitting during the funny kindergarten graduation, there was a child or children in that very room that may not make it to the high school graduation…. and then college.

    Im sad because although Cora is in the best place, you were not there to greet here with open arms too in heaven. She is up there, safe and happy….. but not with her mommy and daddy.

    Today…. I pray extra prayers that God continue to get you through each day, and that God bring sunshine into your lives very soon.

    God Bless.

    PS: But I smile knowing she was promoted, and crowned the highest accomplishment human can receive…. ETERNITY.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 11:23 am

    The Morris Family - Your right, your work on earth is not done, and according to the Lord’s will, many sweet babies and children can come forth and grow up with such loving parents and you will have opportunity to tell them of their brave and cherished sister that fought a courageous battle and the Lord providentially worked her work in a short time but with great glory unto the Father!!! May He bless your womb!!
    Cindy
    (Joel’s mommy)ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 11:28 am

    Candice - I can see how almost everything must remind you of Cora. Joel had such a beautiful point. What a blessing to have each other to help get you through. Thank you for writing. I hope that our comments offer some support. Love & Hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 11:49 am

    Lacie and Stephen - Wow! What a way to think of it! Right after my daughter died, I had lots of moments that I would cry for what I was missing out on not seeing her do. It does get easier but never goes away. I cried as I read Joel’s words. They were so true! I wish I would have realized it like that earlier! *sigh* Someday our work on earth will be done and we will be greeted by our daughters and others who have gone before us. Until then we keep on doing God’s work! Thinking of you!

    Lacie
    Wichita, KsReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 12:23 pm

    Trasie Bressler - I believe she was promoted with honors.

    Many Blessings!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    wicker0407 - Still praying for peace and comfort for you. Your family and sweet Cora are never far from my heart.
    Summer in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 12:57 pm

    Kristen - I sat here looking at my computer screen for a long time, trying to figure out what I could say in response to your post. But, I guess I agree with the others: Joel said it best. So, I’ll just say that I pray for your family daily and I hope that Joel’s words will continue to give you comfort!ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 1:25 pm

    PamperingBeki - I have nothing to say really.

    I can’t possibly imagine that pain.

    I think of you numerous times a day. I think of how unfair it is that you have to go through this. I pray that God never puts us through it. I pray that He grants you peace and comfort.

    It’s just not fair.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 1:45 pm

    amy - I’m hoping this doesn’t sound trite, but I’m praying for you and think of you so often.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 2:12 pm

    Susy M. - Congratulations on the graduations but Joel is right on. We are here on borrowed time to hopefully serve the Lord. It is heartbreaking to loose a loved one especially so young and full of life. My heart aches for you both even though you know she is in a better place; you want her with you! God Bless you both!ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 2:18 pm

    Anonymous - Congrats to the graduates…how tough it must have been…seems though that Joel is as amazing as you are.
    there are no words..
    You, Joel and Cora continue to be in my heart, my mind and my prayers..

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 2:57 pm

    Laura - it has been a while since I popped in…

    thank you for reminding me, once again, to rely on the Lord.

    And in regards to mothers day…you may not feel like a mother, but you are a mother. Your heart has Cora’s prints all over it. You are forever changed. You are a beautiful, beautiful mother.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 3:54 pm

    Mammy - Precious sister, I stumbled onto your blog a couple of weeks ago and have checked back several times because your courage amazes me. Although I do not know your entire story, I have read enough to know that you are trusting God through one of the most difficult journeys we are ever asked to make–the loss of a child. Please know that I am praying for you and look forward to the day when I can meet you and your precious Cora in heaven. God knows and He cares. Blessings to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 4:10 pm

    Anonymous - Hey, I was at that Pitt State graduation! At the Saturday one, at least. Maybe you were at the Friday one.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 4:27 pm

    mom2wendy - The “misssing part” is really difficult. It has been 31 years since my son Mark died at age nine. I still have the “I can’t stand it days,” but through the grace of God they pass. Please belive me when I say, it does get easier with time. Time is a good friend to those with broken hearts. Jess, you are light to others and Cora is a sweet and pure beacon. Please know, I do understand how you feel. ((hugs))ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 4:36 pm

    Julie - Thank you for sharing what you were feeling that day. I’m crying with you and am so thankful for the way God has allowed you to maintain an eternal perspective in the midst of deep, deep pain. I love you!! You are a blessing.

    JuReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 4:46 pm

    jen christians - Wow… Your heart… your words… your faith…all amazing…and so is the legacy left by your sweet Cora. Bless you and lots of prayers for you and Joel and you struggle with your loss. I can’t fathom that pain.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 5:24 pm

    Courtney - Congrats to your family on their graduations. I wanted to tell you about a really sweet web site for families who have lost children. If you get a chance please visit namesinthesand.net.
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 6:01 pm

    texasinafrica - Peace of Christ be with you.
    Peace of Christ be with you.
    Peace of Christ be with you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 6:38 pm

    blairspage - Congrats to everyone on the graduations! How awesome!

    I have been praying my little heart out for you! But, Joel is so right… she had the most wonderful promotion of her life! Even though you miss her and wish for all of these wonderful things… when you get sad… just picture her dancing in heaven with the angels. She is smiling upon you!

    Hugs – TiffanyReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 7:14 pm

    Shoebee - While reading your post about missing out on Cora’s graduations, I was thinking the same thing Joel reminded you. Cora has Graduated. She has had the ultimate Graduation Party.
    It is hard grieving. It’s during these darkest times that God is the most comforting. Keep you eyes to Him, and seek His comfort.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 8:41 pm

    The Carroll's - I’m so glad that you and Joel still have one another. Praying for you still.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 8:42 pm

    Sherrie Kulwicki - Jess, I too have lost a child and know your pain and loss of the dreams and life you had planned. In Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven, he states that he believes we will get a chance in heaven to finish what we started on earth. I think that means you will get to raise Cora in heaven. Isn’t that a thought? Nothing lost or wasted in God’s economy. Just a little delay. Praying for you, SherrieReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 8:59 pm

    Anonymous - We are praying that the hollow feeling and painful disappointment will become less severe.
    We love you and pray for you every dayReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 9:08 pm

    Aimee Bakke - I love that verse! I have it posted above my desk at work and it keeps me focused on God’s plans not my own.

    Still praying for you and thinking of you daily!

    Aimee in MinnesotaReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Christina - That is one of the most touching and wise things I have read. You will continue to help each other through these times. It is so good to know the truth and be a little comforted by it (maybe more as time goes on), and I think it is good to still be able to say how much it stinks as well. I pray that each day will bring healing, that God will teach you all you need to know and provide you with all you need to have to accomplish all he has for you to do.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 10:05 pm

    Kathy - http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/

    I’m so sorry for your loss…I read your blog and cry and I also read the above blog and cry…your children are so beautiful…the spohrs story is as heartbreaking as yours, and I hope you find some comfort that you are not alone…with love, KathyReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 12:35 am

    forever folding laundry - You’re right – she did receive the ultimate promotion. And in her eyes, the time until you receive that same promotion will pass in the blink of an eye.

    Still thinking of and praying for you…

    ~KeriReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 10:23 am

    Anonymous - Dear Jess
    I applaud Joel on his wise insight of the meaning promotion. It has given me some peace.I have gone to a graduation recently and cried through the whole thing wondering “what if” too. I am a mother who shares your pain and has followed your blog for encouragment. I want to thank you for that. I would love to contact you on a personal basis but not sure how.
    Thank you again for your encouragment, openness and constent faith.
    God speedReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 11:18 am

    Beckypdj - When I feel those thoughts of what if’s or we don’t have, creeping in, I tell myself, Peyton has reached his destination before us. We went on vacation a few months after his passing and I wanted him there so much, but I can’t take him anywhere better than where he is. I just miss him so much. Hugs to you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 1:39 pm

    mandi @ it's come to this - I know nothing I could say will ever sound “right”, but this post reminds me so much of my family. Six years ago, my husband lost his brother (he was two weeks shy of graduating high school). Alot of people made that same comparison that Joel did for you – Even though it’s true, it was a hard one to hear … especially for his parents – they had dreamed of seeing him graduate. BUT & most importantly they had prayed for his ultimate graduation & his ultimate “promotion”.

    I hope you’re still feeling everyone’s prayers & support – b/c you definitely have them!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 2:03 pm

    Karina - I have no wisdom, only virtual hugs and an enormous feeling of empathy. That must be because you have a gift for writing; you make your experiences belong to all of us.

    I can only think you MUST be going to have more children, or why would you be left behind to endure such torment?

    Joel sounds like a wonderful husband, a rock for you. I think of Father’s Day around the corner…and how every event seems to tighten the screws on the two of you.

    I am so so so so continually sorry for your loss and for your endless sorrow. I wish there was SOMETHING I could do for you. :(ReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 4:31 pm

    Anonymous - My heart simply is broken for you. I just saw your blog today and have a daughter the same age. I just cannot imagine how you feel without Cora. What a beautiful little girl that was so brave. I pray for God’s comfort for you. in college, I read a book called “Lament for a Son” about the pain of losing a child. It has been years since I read it, but perhaps there could be some comfort in reading it (it is about a father who lost his college age son). God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 5:49 pm

    The Morris Family - There is a little one year old girl in Texas that was dx a few weeks ago with NB, I did not know if you would like to encourage them….I know our family an I am sure yours as well were so grateful for the support with your Cora and our little Joel as they both fought this beast of NB.

    http://www.carepages.com/carepages/LaylaGrace/updates

    I think you have to make password and all, but it should not be too hard, I guess if it does not work I can e-mail you the address again, here is mine, 13blessings@sbcglobal.net

    CindyReplyCancel

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  • May 20, 2009 - 10:05 pm

    Natalie H. - My brother died in Iraq at the age of 20, two years ago this monday – memorial day. About 6 months after he died, I was at a wedding and in an appropriately happy mood. Then it was time for the mother of the groom and the groom to dance and seemingly out of no where tears began streaming down my face. I realized that I would never get to see my brother dance with my mother at his wedding. And being he was my only brother, my mom’s only chance of such an opportunity was gone. All these things – the dream of graduations, marriages are such a loss to those of us left behind. WHERE can our hope be but in Christ? It is only in Him that we will see, hold , and dance with our loved ones again. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!ReplyCancel

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  • May 21, 2009 - 7:39 pm

    Momofgirls - You are remarkable! You are so encouraging! I am praying for you, and will continue!ReplyCancel

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  • May 21, 2009 - 9:26 pm

    Karen - hi,
    I have been following your journey since January. I have written before – I told you about how Cora’s story inspired me to pursue a nursing career. So here is my update. My husband was injured on duty in February (he is a police officer) and he require a major surgery to repair his knee. Immediately following his surgery and the news that he would be out of work for 4 to 6 months recovering, he lost his job entirely. I have been a Realtor for the past 8 years but the current economy has made it extremely difficult to make a living in that field. Some days I think it is just fate: Me being so touched by Cora, my husband being injured and me having to care for him and meanwhile needing to find a new job that would pay the bills…
    Anyway – I started back to school this spring and at the same time I started applying to our local hospitals for some practical experience (as well as some tuition assistance) I finally was hired a few weeks ago to a GREAT job in the hospital closest to our home. It is like it was meant to be. I was so afraid I wouldn’t be hired or that I would have a long commute but that didn’t happen. i was afraid I would be stuck behind a desk but that also didn’t happen. I got a job working with the Physical Therapists in the Physical Therapy and Rehabiliation Dept. I get to follow the therapists all day visiting patients all over the hospital in their rooms. I have been in ICU, the ER and every floor in the hospital. I have met some of the most incredible people and have a chance every day to make a difference in someone’s life. I love my new job and I am so looking forward to nursing school. I still intend to pursue Pediatric Oncology (because of your darling Cora) or maybe Hospice to help families facing dark days.
    I am hoping to make a difference somewhere. I wanted you to know that you made a difference to me. Cora made a difference to me. Her purpose on this earth – to someone who never met her was so very powerful – and I wanted you to know that.
    I think of you often and hope for the very best for you. xoxo from virginia – Karen (karen@lulufish.com)ReplyCancel

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  • May 26, 2009 - 5:05 pm

    Amber Bradley - I know this might sound crazy…You don’t even know me, but I want to share something with you. I have been reading your blog for months. Your lives have touched mine in ways I could never explain. I am so thankful for the impact that your little Cora and you have had on my life and yet I have never met you. I have become a more patient mother and realized in ways never imaginable that I need to enjoy the little moments that are sent my way and be stronger in my faith. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have been touched immensely by your strong faith in our Heavenly Father and his plan for your little Cora. I believe in God and Jesus Christ as well and would like to share something with you if you wouldn’t mind. It is like the Bible. It is called “The Book of Mormon.” It like the bible was written by ancient prophets. It is another testament of Jesus Christ and has carried me through many trials in my life. I would love to send you a copy if that is alright. I truly believe that one day you can have the chance to raise your little Cora. Some day, on this earth, after our Savior comes again. Please email me if it is okay for me to send it to you. My email address is amberlue_marie@yahoo.com

    Sincerely, Amber BradleyReplyCancel

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  • August 19, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    missing milestones » The Macs - […] grow up and the woman she would become. Three months after she died I attended my sister-in-law’s high school graduation and remember the tears just streaming down my face as I sat there. They wouldn’t stop. The […]ReplyCancel

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You Etsy ladies are so kind.  

My mail box was full with over forty Mother’s Day cards this past week.  My mom was asking me if I had gotten any cards.  She asked if they were from people I knew.  Some of them were from my dear friends and family, but a lot of them I didn’t recognize the names.  She smiled and said that they were from the Etsy vendors.
So thoughtful…
I looked back through the cards and recognized many of the names of people who had sold items for Cora’s Playground.
Thank you for making me feel so loved during such a tough week.
You all are the best!
And of course thank you to my sweet friends and family who remembered me and prayed for us this weekend too.
Speaking of Etsy…I know we are a little behind with our shop.  We are still sewing dresses.  We have about 10 dresses ready, and 10 more that are almost done.  I’m not sure if we will post this week because it is crazy busy around here with two graduations this weekend.  I will keep you updated, but look for more dresses coming next week.
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  • May 13, 2009 - 9:49 am

    hoosier68 - Think of you each and every day :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 10:11 am

    Heather - I am so happy this made you feel loved! Nobody could possibly be more deserving.ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 10:24 am

    Tina - I am so glad that many many people remembered you on Mother’s Day. I, too, received a surprise Mother’s Day card in the mail and it really touched my heart as well. Thoughtful gestures like that really do make a difference.

    Hang in there. I think of you often.

    TinaReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 11:14 am

    Anonymous - I have read your story and it has touched me!! Cora is so beautiful. I don’t know how this works but I am so going to be buying dresses from you. They are beautiful and like nothing I have seen around here (Wisconsin). I know they are not ready yet but when they are I will be your best costumer. I know people are going to want to know where i got the beautiful dresses from.

    What a beautiful thing to do for Cora! Thank you for sharing your story.
    Jennie jln17@att.netReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 11:47 am

    shepherdsgrace - You and your faith are beautiful…

    may our Lord continue to comfort you and hold you through this in many sweet and amazing ways, where you say, “only He would know”

    thanks for sharing your heart with us,
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 11:57 am

    Anonymous - Thanks for sharing with us.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 12:28 pm

    meg duerksen - so….your mail box was full of cowboy cards then?
    :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 1:09 pm

    Ginger - i cant wait to see new dresses. I hope I am able to snatch one up.ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 1:11 pm

    Robin in Benton - Hi Jess:

    There were a lot of us thinking and praying for you. Hang in there!

    I was wondering if we could get an update on the fundraising for the playground???

    Hugs to you
    RobinReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    Karina - How sweet of the Etsy sellers!

    If there was a way to camp out over night in a virtual sleeping bag, I’d hunker down and get in line…I have yet to snag a dress, but I am going to keep trying!!!

    Big hugs to you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 3:56 pm

    Caty Weston - You are in my thoughts and prayers every day. I found you through Kaleigh Anne Freeman’s website. She passed away Sunday night. I just you should know (if you didn’t already).ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 3:58 pm
  • May 13, 2009 - 7:30 pm

    Rebecca - You are such an inspiration! Thinking and praying for you every day! Hugs to you from Michigan.ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 8:49 pm

    Anonymous - Just more prayers…and smilesReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 12:17 am

    The Schilling's from PICU - I thought of you and prayed for you even harder on Mother’s Day. I knew it would be a hard day for you both. Our kids just wanted to come hug you! We all said a prayer for you two at lunch time outloud! Wasn’t sure what to say so I didn’t get you typed to. I am sorry, I need to just pick up the phone and call! Your words are so honest, open and faithful to the Lord. I admire your strength and love so much!

    Please take care and know we miss you all! Give the kids a hug for us on their big graduation day!

    hugs and prayers!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 10:41 am

    Anonymous - I wanted you to know that while she is not with you, you are still one heck of a mother. Your daughter is proud of you, proud to call your her mother, and always will be.

    Keep your head high, and know that you will ALWAYS be a mom, and you should always celebrate Mothers Day, because you had one wonderful little girl.

    Have a great day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 11:41 am

    Fab Fabrics - You’re story is so inspiring and your love for your daughter touches my heart dearly. I would love to donate some fabrics to your cause. Please comment me or send me a convo on Etsy and I will be happy to send some fabric your way!!!

    Etsy username: MyFabFabricsReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 11:45 am

    mommaof4wife2r - thank you so much for posting this…i am so gla dyou are still being held in prayer and honored by so many! you all are so awesome!ReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 7:14 pm

    Nan - I’m glad you felt the warmth of your friends and the prayers of those who care about you… even those who don’t know you.

    I wanted to ask you and Joel to pray for this family: http://rebeccacooks.blogspot.com/

    I am asking you to pray because I believe you know more than most just what kind of prayers they need and how badly they need them.ReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    blessedmomto7 - Thanks to Beki, I got to see the sight of Cora’s Playground! I posted about it on my blog :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 9:37 pm

    A Mother's Nature - You are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your beautiful posts.ReplyCancel

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  • May 15, 2009 - 8:20 am

    Lauren Kelly - Awwww, soooo sweet!!!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 15, 2009 - 9:27 pm

    PamperingBeki - Thinking of you tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • May 16, 2009 - 8:17 pm

    Todd and Courtney - I am so happy you received tons of cards! I thought of you all on Mother’s Day! I’m sure sweet Cora was cheering and smiling & telling you happy Mother’s Day over and over again :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 16, 2009 - 8:41 pm

    Casey - We made a luminaria (sp) for Cora for last nights Relay for Life in Charleston SC. The little girl on my team is a neuroblastoma survivor and colored the bag herself for Cora. I’m glad people sent you many well wishes on Mother’s Day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 16, 2009 - 8:45 pm

    Anonymous - You are such a wonderful, loving Mom, and your posts move me to tears every time. You write with the grace you live your life with. Your words are open, honest, and yet so full of faith…you continue to amaze me by your strength. I know in my heart you will be blessed with more children, and they will be as lucky as little Cora is to call you Mom. Your life was blessed to have Cora in it….but she too was blessed with wonderful parents. Leslie in CTReplyCancel

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  • May 17, 2009 - 1:46 pm

    The Mumaw's - I just got your thank you card . I can’t wait to read it to my students at Lakeview JH, they will be so excited!
    I continue to pray for you daily.
    Amy Marinello MumawReplyCancel

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  • May 17, 2009 - 7:07 pm

    Anonymous - I am so sorry for your loss. I have just read your blog for the first time. I lost my son 8 years ago this month and some days it still feels like it was yesterday. Even though I had 2 dreams where Jesus let Jimmy Jim come back and say goodbye to me, it has been the worst feeling in the world times infinity. I now have 2 sons (6 years and 11 months) and the crying comes less but my heart will always be missing my world even though I know he is an angel in heaven. I do believe he also knows the families of people that I meet or read about so now my Jimmy Jim knows your Cora and will take care of her. My heart goes out to you and your husband. I’m glad you keep her spirit alive. May God bless you. Someday the hurt will hurt less, but there isn’t any rush to that. My 6 year old was very sad to read about your daughter too. He misses his big brother even though they never met. I will keep you all in our prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 17, 2009 - 9:32 pm

    Blue Sunshine - Hey, I just found your blog today. Actually, on etsy. I have been so busy lately that I haven’t been on any of my usual sites. I started to read your blog and am still drying tears from my eyes. This brings back so many sad memories for me. My first child was a baby girl and she died 4 1/2 years ago. It is still hard especially when I hear a child that has the same name as her, or when people don’t think of her as a child of mine because she is no longer here with me or when her birthday rolls around every Dec 1st. I was curious though, and I hope that I am not prying, but what did your baby girl die from? I know she had cancer but the last post before she passed seemed like she may have been doing better if not stable. Then, next thing I read she had passed on to be with Jesus. I also read in one of the newspaper articles, that she passed from treatment complications. I hope that this is not too personal of a question! I hope that your husband and you along with your family and friends will find peace with all that has happened and always trust in God. I know that when my baby died, I was very angry with God. I will pray for your family and you continuously. I pray that the two of you will be able to move on and continue building your family as you had planned and if God wishes it so.ReplyCancel

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  • May 17, 2009 - 9:58 pm

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • May 17, 2009 - 10:04 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of you

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 18, 2009 - 12:49 am

    Anonymous - I am so sorry for you and your husband. You are amazing parents. You inspire me to be a better mom. I wanted you to know that I check on your blog daily since I started reading it. I say prayers for you both every day and night. Thank you for sharing with us. We all wish we could do more for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 1:01 am

    Maria Cristina - Join our society that will teach you how to make extra cash and build a six-figure a month business on the internet.

    If you want to make money online, join the society before it’s too late.

    http://www.mom-gets-rich-now.com/ReplyCancel

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Today has been a really hard day.
It is now on the list of top 10 worst days of my life (as my mom would say).
I knew it would be hard for me, but I didn’t expect how hard it would be on Joel too.
We both walked through today thinking about what Mother’s Day would have been like if Cora was still here. I knew that Joel would have had so much fun with Cora making this day special for me. We talked about some of the things he thought he and Cora would have done for me. It is hard to let go of those dreams.

Last Mother’s Day we stood in front of our church family and dedicated our little girl to the Lord. We were so in love with Cora and we truly wanted the Lord’s best for her life. We were committed to seeking His guidance as we raised her. 
As we dedicated Cora that day, we had no idea how short our time would be together. We had no idea that the Lord would call our little girl home so soon. We had no idea that He would ask us to walk this hard road without her.
We prayed that God would use Cora’s life to glorify Him. He did. I am still amazed that God could use a sweet 11 month old little girl to impact so many people. He had a plan for her life. A BIG one!
I am so thankful that the Lord chose me to be Cora’s mama. I wouldn’t trade those precious 11 months we had together for anything. And even though I don’t really feel like a mom today, I am so thankful that I am Cora’s mom.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:20 pm

    Judy - I can’t even tell you how many times you crossed my mind today. So many! You have been an incredible mommy to Cora and you definitely still are as you honor her memory. I wish I could say something to take the sting out of this day for you…but instead just know that another mommy is praying for you. Praying for Joel. Praying for your family and all who miss Cora so deeply.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:22 pm

    mrsgingergrl - I’m so so sorry. You don’t ‘know’ me, but i thought of you and your beautiful little Cora today. She is in my prayers, as are you and your husband.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:22 pm

    Wendy - I have thought of you often and prayed for your comfort today. God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:23 pm

    Anonymous - I prayed for you often today. My prayer was for you to feel God’s presence as you walked through this difficult day. Happy Mother’s Day! You are most certainly still a Mother.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:23 pm

    onlymehere - Yes, you are Cora’s mom, now and forever. My mom said she used to struggle when people asked how many kids she had. She lost two to tragic deaths, a girl at age 4 and a boy at age 14. Finally she decided that she would always be their mother and instead of questioning how many kids she had, she would respond with all of us, nine in total. I have been so touched by your story and Cora’s life. She is with God and touching more lives now than she may have had a chance to if she lived until she was 100. I hope this note brings you some peace and eases the pain you’re feeling bz that’s how I meant it. God bless you all. CindyReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    Prokosch Family - You were in my thoughts and prayers many times today…I can only imagine how hard today was for you and your husband. God bless you and know your little girl is watching down on you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    Anonymous - I am so sorry this has been a hard day — a worst day –and I sure wish I could think of something to say to make you feel more whole. I pray so fiercely that you and Joel find peace….I know it will come in time. Not that it will ever be good, but that you will find some peace with things. All I can do– in some little way– is send my prayers and love to you. I also want to say that you and Joel have pretty amazing mothers.

    Liz from WIReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Becky - I’m just another stranger following your blog, but you are in my prayers. Wishing you the Lord’s peace and comfort.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    All Doll(ed) Up - You were one of the first people I thought about today when I woke up. I remember seeing you at the hospital, and again and Cora’s service, thinking, “man, she is an amazing mom. God really trusts her and loves her to put her on this journey and give her Cora.” Jess- I have prayed and talked about you today. I hope you know that I truely belive that you have experienced true motherhood, the way Mary did. To love so much, and to let go. I know I don’t get to see you much, but I think of you often, and fondly. Happy Mother’s Day, to an amazing mommy! Thanks for making me a better mommy too…ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Mama Sons - You were in my thoughts today. I pray that the days will only get eaiser for you. You are and will alwasys be Cora’s momma.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:27 pm

    Anonymous - While we don’t know each other I want you to know that I am praying for on this difficult day. Keep trusting in God who will continue to carry you through these trying times.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:27 pm

    Julie - I thought you often this week!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:28 pm

    The Boccias - You were on my mind SO MUCH today, even more than usual. I couldn’t sleep very well last night and I cried thinking of you waking up and facing today. So thankful that you know where to find strength. You are an amazing mother with the most beautiful heart. Praying for you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:37 pm

    anna - so sorry for the hard day you went through today. we continue to pray for your family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:37 pm

    PresentlyDeMo - Hey Jess. As Adam was singing worship this morning, I was thinking about the words to the songs (esp Blessed Be Your Name) and thinking about you and how hard this day must be for you. Then I thought of all the other mommies in the church who have lost their babies (who weren’t necessarily babies at the time) and how they were feeling. I was definitely praying for you and Joel today. Dave’s message fit so well with how you and Joel were stewards of Cora while she was here, and you did such a great job with her. Praying that you continue to feel God’s presence.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:41 pm

    Jess - and what a wonderful mom you are – still loving and cherishing your sweet cora girl. i wish it didn’t hurt so.

    lifting you and your beloved joel up to the Lord in prayer today. hoping you had a moment where you felt the love of the Father touch your heart.

    my kiersten girl and i will be faithful during schooltime to keep your family in our prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:43 pm

    JANE - I thought about you today and knew it must have been excrutiating.
    But I’m so glad you see just how special Cora was for God to use her to help so many. And you will forever be known as Cora’s Mom!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Megan - I know today must have been hard for you and your husband. So sorry!!

    You are (still) an amazing momma!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    Paige - I’m so sorry. You all seem like such lovely people. I hope you found some comfort today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:50 pm

    Anonymous - Bless you and Joel today. Little Cora was thinking of you and watching over you. The love you all have for each other is so beautiful. You ARE a mom to a baby in heaven, and even though that is so difficult, it is so selfless and special too. Take care and GOD BLESS YOU.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:50 pm

    Sheri - I have been following your blog for a while, but have never posted anything. I just wanted you to know that I can tell from your blog that you and your husband are amazing, kind people as well as parents. May God bless you with more opportunities to have children who are amazing and wonderful, just like precious Cora. Thank you for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:52 pm

    Ashley - I am so sorry that today was difficult and painful for you. We don’t know each other, but you have been on my heart and in my prayers all week leading up to today. I pray that you would simply feel the nearness and tenderness of our Father as he grieves with you, and that he would pour out unexpected blessings onto you and your husband that bring you joy.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:53 pm

    Vera - You are an amazing mommy to sweet Cora, even now. I am praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:53 pm

    Anonymous - Oh you dear sweet mother of Cora, my heart aches as where you were 1 yr. ago. I don’t understand this trial at all. Too hard to understand. I do know you are amazing. You are a wonderful mother to your beautiful Cora. May loving Angels be with you today and always, one of those Angels being Sweet Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:54 pm

    Scarlet O'Kara - You have been in my prayers today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:54 pm

    Team Martins - Wishing I could borrow her from Heaven for you right now. My mother’s heart wants to do something, anything to make this day not so hard.

    You have strength and beauty that surpasses anything I can imagine. What a light you ALL have!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:56 pm

    Kristi - I still pray for you and think of you often. I am sorry that today was such a hard day for you. I cannot imagine the pain you must feel. Cora is so blessed that you are her mommy. You will always have the legacy of being a good mom to Cora.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:01 pm

    Melanieshea - My prayers are with you!!! Hugs coming your way!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:01 pm

    Melody - I am so so sorry. It pains me to think today was so hard for you, and I am so sorry! I am praying for you. ((hugs))ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    The House Family - You and your family have crossed my mind many times today. You are an amazing mother, you are most definitely Cora’s Mommy still! I’m so inspired by your strength, God’s grace is very evident in your life. I prayed for you just now… one day at a time. God bless you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:13 pm

    forever folding laundry - I’m so sorry it was a hard day. You were in my thoughts today. Your time on earth here without her will seem long, but in her little angelic eyes it will go by in the blink of an eye. I’m sure she was celebrating you today.

    ~KeriReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:20 pm

    Lori - I thought of you and prayed for you today, Jess. It isn’t the same thing at all, but my husband and I struggled for three years before conceiving our daughter, so I do know that mother’s day can be so incredibly difficult for a lot of people. May God bless your grief and bring you the peace and healing that only He can give.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:25 pm

    Steve & Nancy - I thought of you and your family today. I am sure Cora was feeling your love on this special day. God bless and keep up your positive attitude! You are an amazing girl! God never forgets your pain. He knows your every thought. He will reward you in many ways. Much love to you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:25 pm

    Steve & Nancy - I thought of you and your family today. I am sure Cora was feeling your love on this special day. God bless and keep up your positive attitude! You are an amazing girl! God never forgets your pain. He knows your every thought. He will reward you in many ways. Much love to you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:40 pm

    Lovely Little Flowers - I’m almost 30 minutes too late but I am praying for you on this hard day…I don’t know you and you don’t know me but I pray for you often…You gave your Cora to the Lord a year ago and He is using that devotion to show His Love to others I pray that you felt His hands around you today.
    Amy HollandReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:55 pm

    Becky - I’m so sorry that today was such a hard day. I am so sad for you and your husband. I am thinking of you and sending my love your way.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 12:04 am

    Anonymous - You and your family have been in my prayers today. I have thought about you so much lately and knew this would be one of the most dreaded days for you. Cling to the hope that God gives and YOU WILL have the opportunity to celebrate with your precious Cora again one day. Cora’s short life is still working for the good of the Lord. May you have peace.

    A blogger in ArkansasReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 12:18 am

    Misty Rice - I wanted so badly to write to you today and let you know that you were on my heart ALL DAY. I have goosebumps reading your post and tears in my eyes. Although you may not ‘feel’ like a mother day…. on beautiful mommy, YOU ARE! You are Cora’s mommy last year, yesterday, today and forever and ever.

    My heart aches with you….there were so many times that Cora’s face popped in my mind. Then I instantly thought of you.

    Often Joel is forgotten about, because as a mom I relate to you and my daughter to Cora. Oh how my heart aches tonight for Joel too. We often forget that these men who are supposed to be so strong and not show emotions…. are people too and he is hurting also.

    I pray, pray, pray…. and PRAY for you you all.

    Happy Mothers Day Jessica.

    God Bless YOU sweet sister.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 12:27 am

    HighlandGhillie - Thinking of you on this difficult day. ♥ and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 1:18 am

    Alice - you will always be a mom. cora’s mom. I am sorry this mother’s day was hard for you. I am sure she is looking down on you and is very thankful for her momma.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 2:59 am

    Candice - I thought about you a lot today, imagining how hard this day would be for you. I’m so sorry. Keeping you in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 5:28 am

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Continuing to pray God’s comfort as He carries you….

    You are a beautiful, precious mother…ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 6:10 am

    Erica - oh jess you crossed my mind last night and i cried and prayed for you. i’m so sorry i didn’t think of you sooner in the day so i could have been praying for you longer. i don’t know you but feel like i do, the way God lays you on my heart it’s the same way He does with my close friends.

    i was also wondering if you have read the shack or if anyone has suggested it to you? i think it would bring a lot of healing, the book changed my life.

    happy (late) mothers day to a wonderful mom, and a beautiful example to us other moms of how to draw our strength from our Heavenly Father, in all circumstances (good and bad). love to you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 6:37 am

    hoosier68 - So, so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers EVERY day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:10 am

    Heather - I thought of you so many times yesterday and prayed for strength for you to get through the day. You ARE a mother, you are Cora’s mother and you are an amazing mother, never forget that! I hope that you found some joy in remembering how special Cora is on Mother’s Day and I continue to pray for you and Joel everyday.
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:30 am

    Anonymous - No words. Just lots of prayers.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:41 am

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - With tears streaming, my prayers and love continue to go out to you both.
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:50 am

    PamperingBeki - My Mother’s Day gift every year is a little garden that my husband and kids plant for me. I wonder if Joel could plant a little flower garden for you from him and Cora, that would be a late Mother’s Day gift?

    You are the perfect mommy for Cora. I’m so sorry that the day was so hard for you. You crossed my mind a hundred or more times during the day and I prayed.

    Take a big breath and consider that one more terrible milestone that has passed as you start a new week.

    God bless you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:50 am

    Julie - I know we don’t know each other, but you are never far from my mind. Your sweet Cora has touched my heart from the moment I heard her story. She is one special little girl. Never forget you are her Mom…and you are a wonderful mother to your daughter. I know yesterday was hard…I wish you didn’t have to feel this pain. It is something no parent should ever have to feel.

    Know you are thought of many times each day. Saying many prayers for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:53 am

    mommyof2sons - I thought of you so many times yesterday! And I prayed for you. Yes, you are Cora’s mom FOREVER. And she was SO lucky to have you!! HUGS!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:54 am

    Megan - I thought of you and prayed for you many times yesterday.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:59 am

    Andrea - Praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:59 am

    Anne - I so appreciate your honesty through this blog. Thank you for sharing your grief and allowing us to grieve along side you. I’m praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:00 am

    CM's Mommy from MD - i don’t usually leave comments but I had to tell you that you were in my prayers yesterday. We are strangers but your story has touched my life.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:12 am

    Rachel - You crossed my mind yesterday as you cross it often. You are someone to admire…the strength you show is amazing. You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:23 am

    Lauren Kelly - I know you were probably feeling a wife range of emotions yesterday! Praying for you and we love you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:31 am

    Kristin Stegent - I’ve thought of you a lot around this Mother’s Day. I can only imagine the hurt of that day for you and even Joel. I am so sorry!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:39 am

    Jenae - Thinking and praying for you always, especially today!!! Our #1 goal as parents is to make sure that we will someday be reunited with our kids in Heaven, no matter what happens on this earth. You and Joel have already accomplished that!! And your sweet Cora is safe in the arms of Jesus. Even knowing all of that, I know it will never take away the ache in your heart. Happy Mother’s Day, Jess!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:50 am

    Courtney - Mother’s day is always a hard day. I do have three healthy children but, mother’s day will never be the same without Dylan here to share it with. We still include him in every way possible but, I want him here to hug me and say I love you mom. Always praying for you and Joel.
    Courtney MayfieldReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:51 am

    Anonymous - You have crossed my mind so many times in the passed few days. I have prayed that with the Lord’s help, you would find yesterday tolerable.

    Thank you for taking the time to update your blog. I am sure at times it is the last thing you want to do. My family and I will continue to be with in in prayer.

    The Hunecke Family
    Batavia ILReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:54 am

    Ethansmom08 - My heart is just broken reading your post…I am so sorry that you had such a difficult mother’s day. I know your precious Cora was looking down on you from heaven and loving her mommy so much! What an amazing family you, Joel and Cora are…and always will be!

    I pray for you all the time.
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:57 am

    Whimsical Creations - Hugs! I thought of you many times on Sunday.

    Happy Mother’s Day to an amazing mommy!!
    {{hugs}}ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 9:04 am

    Robin in Benton - I knew in my heart that yesterday was going to be a hard day for both of you and prayed for God to make it a little easier. I think your realization of how God has answered your prayer that Cora’s life be used to glorify him – and how abundantly that has happened – is his way of answering. God bless and keep both of you on this walk – I am continuing to pray for you.

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 9:24 am

    HD - happy mother’s day. i am so sorry you are having to go through this day without your baby girl. trust in God. lean on your husband. you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 9:44 am

    Marie - You’ll always be Cora’s mom and this day will always hold special meaning for you. Thank you so much for being honest with your feelings in front of so many people. You are truly an amazing person. I’m so sorry it was a hard day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:06 am

    Allen and Debby Graber - I also thought of you a lot! Infact, I have a little something for you. You all weren’t in church yesterday so I’ll get it to you sometime.

    I remember when Al’s mother was in the hospital her final week, a nurse asked her how many children she had. She said 12. She included all of us in-laws. So sweet!

    Yes, Jess, you are mother!! Cora is much alive and one day she will run into your arms to greet you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:08 am

    Kelly - I thought of you first thing yesterday morning and prayed for you!
    Cora’s life is still having an impact. And you are too as her mommy. You are an amazing example of grace & strength to all of us fellow moms.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:14 am

    Lacie and Stephen - It is so hard to face a Mother’s day without your child with you! I have been there. For me that first Mother’s day didn’t even make me feel like a mother even though I was a mother to a little girl in heaven and one on the way. I have been there before! I am so sorry that you have to go through this! Know that Cora’s life has made a big impact on SO many people! Those you know and those you don’t know! We all love you with the love of the Lord and are here as you make this journey in your “new” normal that life is now.

    In Him,
    Lacie
    Wichita, KS
    Mommy to Babe B. (Stillborn July 11, 2007) and Jesstine (age 9 months)ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:19 am

    Marla Taviano - Praying for you! Love you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:37 am

    Sarah - I prayed for you a lot this past weekend…and you and your family were on my mind all day yesterday.

    Your strength and faith in God is inspiring.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 11:16 am

    Karina - As I spent Mother’s Day cleaning up after three children with the stomach flu, I thought continually of you and Cora and was thankful for every messy, tear-filled, sleepless moment. I also thought of how I would probably never have heard of you or Cora if it weren’t for the agonies you are going through. There is small consolation in reaching so many people; I am sure you would still trade this for having your baby in your arms. But, whatever it means, you are now in SO MANY more people’s hearts and thoughts. I ache for you in your pain and wish I could understand…ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 11:31 am

    Holly - I’m sorry the day was so difficult. You are a wonderful mother.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 11:34 am

    Kasey - Still praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 11:53 am

    Jenny - I thought of you and prayed for you several times yesterday. I am sorry that it was such a hard day for you. Cora was so blessed to have you as a mommy. I will continue to keep you and Joel both in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 12:16 pm

    jennifer rogers - As I sat at my computer last night reading everyone’s mother’s day tributes my mind wandered to you and I wondered how Mother’s day was for you….I don’t even personally know you but I feel like I do! I am so sorry for you loss, I know that the first mother’s day without my child was heartbreaking so I can somewhat empathize with you but I will never ever say that I know what you are going through. I am again so sorry for your loss and I thank you for sharing your faith and courage with the world.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 12:37 pm

    Kay - I am so sorry for your loss! We lost our son to NB at age 4. But he is still my son and I am still his mother. That doesn’t change. I think of you often and can’t imagine what you went through in such a short amount of time. (our son lived 1 year and 3 months after diagnosis) Again, I know there isn’t a thing I can say other than I’m sorry and I’m praying for you all.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 12:59 pm

    Todd and Courtney - I think of you all every single day. We don’t know one another but I have a 6 month old little girl that looks so much like Cora to me. You all are so loved and you are the best mommy in the entire world!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 1:00 pm

    mandi @ it's come to this - You were in my prayers so much this weekend, but I never thought about how difficult it would be on your husband – of course he was looking forward to helping Cora give you a wonderful Mother’s Day. I can totally see how difficult it would be for him on Mother’s Day just like you. Still praying for you – Cora’s mama.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 1:55 pm

    The Mershawn's - Hey guys. We’re still praying for you. My heart is so heavy for you right now. The pain does seem unbearable. Cling tight to His promises, and remember how He loves you. Praying the pain will ease, and that sweet memories will flow. Hold tight to each other. You’re the ones who know most how terribly hard this is. Keep running…ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 3:00 pm

    meg duerksen - you are a mom.
    once you are one…you are never NOT one.
    you were such a wonderful mommy to sweet cora.
    you did the best job.
    no one else could have done better.
    she was your gift.

    it must have been an awful day.
    i am so sorry jess. i prayed for you many times…and i still will.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 3:42 pm

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - You’re still a mom, hon. It doesn’t matter what day it is of the year, Cora is always going to be your baby girl. You were on my mind a lot yesterday and you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. *hugs*ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 5:02 pm

    Laura - Love you so much. Hope to see you soon.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 5:20 pm

    Laura - My heart breaks for you. This is a tough journey you are on, I can’t even imagine. You are in my prayers. God bless.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 5:33 pm

    Anonymous - I have never written to you before, but I thought about you yesterday. I want you to know that I prayed for you and I was trying to imagine what you & your husband were going through…Thank you for sharing your life on this blog. I pray God’s richest blessings on your life.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 6:25 pm

    Anonymous - We’ve been so inspired by your strength. Although, I’m sure for you guys it seems very difficult to find that strength, especially on days like these. It’s amazing how Cora, a sweet 11 month old touched so many lives. Reading your blog always brings me to tears.

    ~Praying for you in Saint Louis.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:50 pm

    Beav's Wife - I thought about you so much yesterday and knew it had to be horribly difficult for you to get through. Love and prayers, JennyReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:24 pm

    Anonymous - I sat in church yesterday and thought of you. I love being a Mom also and while I know that Mother’s Day is meant to honor all moms…. it seems to cause so much pain to those who have lost, never had and want, or may never have children. Needless pain. But, I believe that God will bless you and your husband with more children and you will always be Cora’s MOM and nothing can ever take that and your wonderful memories away. My prayers are with you that God will relieve you of this horrible pain of loss and replace it with the sweet memories of love. You have the sweetest, most generous heart… Blessings sweet young lady!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:25 pm

    Anonymous - The first of everything is so painful after a loss. I am told that it will get easier and I live for that and for the memories to become sweet instead of painful.. I pray that for you as well.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:28 pm

    wicker0407 - Just wanted to let you know you and Joel are in my thoughts and prayers. Your sweet Cora really touched my heart and I pray for peace and understanding for you and your family.
    Summer in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:44 pm

    Heather - Jessica and Joel,

    Man, I am sitting here crying for you!! My heart just aches as I read this post.

    I sat at church on Sunday morning thinking of you and praying for the God of comfort to comfort you. We sang blessed be the name of the Lord on Sunday and I just thought of you and singing that song at Cora’s funeral.

    I am so sorry that you have to go through such big time pain!

    Love love
    HeatherReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:46 pm

    vickisherbert - You are continually in my prayers. And you are a mom. A loving mom who has been asked to give back to God her most precious gift, and then has shared that gift with many by sharing your heart through this blog. God’s blessing to you in the days and months to come.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 8:48 pm

    Leah - Believe me Cora’s life has touched many people…many people your family has never met or would even recognize if you walked by them. I have been so touched(to tears many times) by her life and your journey and your strength as you cling to God in this tough, tough time. It is so hard to understand sometimes…

    Praying for you dear one.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 9:43 pm

    Ruthie - You were on my mind SO much yesterday and in my prayers. My niece, who is only 6 weeks old, is named Cora, and I always think of your Cora when I see her or think of her. I prayed most of all that God would really fill you and Joel with happy memories of your sweet girl yesterday. Praying for you…

    RuthieReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:02 pm

    Anonymous - Just thinking of you Jess, Joel and Cora…wishing that I could help ease your pain. My heart hurts for you…
    Praying for you everyday.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:27 pm

    Lipstick - I read you all the time, and I always struggle with comments….I just never seem to be able to convey how deeply your lifestory touches my heart.

    Of course, it is just impossible to look at the pic of your husband holding Cora and not have tears streaming down one’s face. All I could think is…this year, Jesus is holding her instead.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 11:02 pm

    Stewart Family - I thought of you many times yesterday. I can’t imagine how tuff the day was but I knew you would get through it. Still praying for you!!

    I recently moved from Utah to Texas and drove through your town. I have kept up with your blog for so long that I almost felt like I should have been stopping in to say hello. I was hoping that the church would be seen from the highway. I was a part of the Cora Paige Project and I was so hoping to see the place that the playground is going to be built. Maybe one day :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 11:37 pm

    rentz - Continuing to pray for both you and Joel. Thanks for clinging to Jesus. It’s such a testimony to us.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 12:05 am

    Todd and Courtney - Hey Ya’ll. I’m not sure you’ll get a chance to read this comment as it’s way down the list but I’ve posted a couple times before. I read this quote and thought I would share:
    “The best way to have heaven in your home is to have someone from your home in heaven.” So sweet!
    It came from this blog: http://thegledhillfamily.blogspot.com/
    They just lost their sweet little girl to a heart conditionReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 12:08 am

    Christina - “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse makes me think of you. And I read it the obvious way for a long time, and then one day I thought,”What if it means that if we delight in the Lord, then He will PLACE the PROPER desires in our heart?” And the reason it makes me think of you is because I can’t think of anyone that delights in the Lord like you do, in spite of all of the pain and the sadness, the questions and the mystery; you still are in awe of God, and love Him, and bring honor to His name, praise Him, and submit to His will. I’ve never studied the verse in its original language so I don’t know what its full meaning is. But I pray God will indeed give you the desires of your heart, because the desires of your heart seem so focused on serving Him.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 7:21 am

    Sarah Furlough - I got to spend one Mother’s Day with my son, Logan. He passed away 2 weeks later. Mother’s day is always somewhat bittersweet, even though I have Logan’s twin, Cooper and their little sister now too. It’s always hard to celebrate occasions without him, but like you, I am so grateful that I was chosen to be his Momma!

    Thinking of you, and celebrating Cora’s life!ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 7:24 am

    Saminda - Yes, you ARE Cora’s Mum and always will be. She loved you so much, she knew how loved she was by you and her Daddy. Big hugs to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 7:53 am

    Ang - You are such a strong woman!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 11:38 am

    Ginger - I just found your blog today and read the whole blog. your little baby Cora is a beautiful baby. I will continue to pray for you and your family during a very difficult time in your life. I wanted you to know that your dresses are beautiful. I went to order one for our daughter and saw that they were all gone. I can’t wait for more to show up on etsy.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 11:58 am

    Falling Around - I’m in tears for you. I am *so* sorry you had to celebrate Mother’s Day without your sweet Cora.

    Prayers,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 2:30 pm

    spear-britney - Oh, I am hurting for you.
    Wish I could do/say something to help ease the pain.
    Praying..ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    Tammie - I’ve been following your blog for a while, and I thought you might like to read this:
    http://greatestblessing.blogspot.com/2009/05/dear-mommy.html

    I hope this will lift you up from your sorrow.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 6:55 pm

    Kyndra - I thought of your family several times on Mother’s day, knowing that it would be a tough day for you. You have been in my prayers for months. Your testimony to the power of the Lord and your unwavering commitment to Him is an incredible witness to a world who needs Him. I feel so blessed every time I read your blog.

    I know this is a difficult journey for you. You are and always will be a mother. The presence or absence of children never changes that. I am certain the the Lord is smiling down on you and saying “Well done.”

    You will remain in my prayers.

    Kyndra (Klassen) BrownReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 7:23 pm

    Tonya - God bless you. Your faith absolutely amazes me. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Elizabeth - I was thinking about you all weekend, Jess. You ARE a mother – a brave one!ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 8:31 pm

    ang - Pray for you daily, but especially for you on mother’s day. You are a wonderful mom-Cora couldn’t have asked for better parents. So sorry you have to go through this.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 9:20 pm

    Al's World - Prayed for you all day…you are and always will be Cora’s mom!ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Emily - I, like many others, have had you on my mind. Sending good thoughts and prayers from Olathe!ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 9:33 pm

    The little things - I was thinking of you on mothers day and each day inbetween… Holding you up in prayer….ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 12:41 am

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you tonight.ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 5:46 am

    Barbara Myltschenko - I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, and never commented, just reading along with the rest of the world. I just wanted to say how much of an inspiration you guys are, as parents and as a couple. Thank you for sharing with everyone.ReplyCancel

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  • May 13, 2009 - 2:00 pm

    Marlene W. - Praying for you both. I couldn’t even write anything on Mother’s day, your words just broke my heart. But I am lifting you up in prayer. May God bless your heart in a wonderful way today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 15, 2009 - 3:23 pm

    Brittany - Praying for you through all the BAD days!!! I thought of you so often on Mother’s Day. May He Bless you and hold you tightly when it hurts the most.

    Blessings,
    BrittanyReplyCancel

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  • May 17, 2009 - 2:08 pm

    The Tulip Lady - God bless youReplyCancel

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  • May 19, 2009 - 7:18 am

    Miss Charity - God Bless you and your husband. Your strength and faithfullness to Jesus through this time is amazing to me! You are an inspiration, thank-you! I will continue to pray for you always…ReplyCancel

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Being a mom is by far the best “job” I have ever had. 

Before Cora was born I was a kindergarten teacher. I taught for four years. I loved being a teacher. I loved working with kids everyday. But, when I became a mom there was just no job like it.
I resigned from teaching in May. I went back to work for three weeks to finish out the school year. I knew I could do it for only three weeks. But even for such a short time I hated being away from my baby.
I LOVED being a stay-at-home mom. I have always wanted to stay home with my kids. Joel and I had planned on making it work so that I could stay home when we had kids. It was something that was important to us.  I loved being with Cora and experiencing all the daily routines together. I loved watching her grow and learning new things. I loved being there for all of her “firsts”. It was amazing! I loved telling Joel about our day–no matter how uneventful it really was. I loved being a part of a mom’s group at church and joining a Bible study with other young moms. Of course I had my days and moments when I needed to get out of the house or needed a break. After all, I am human. But really, I loved it!
I think that is why I am having such a hard time transitioning to this “new job”. 
I had thought about teaching again or working with kids in some way. I loved it before. But, I just wasn’t ready to make that commitment yet. I wasn’t sure I was even ready to be around kids all the time. I prayed a lot about it. I prayed that the Lord would make it really clear to me if I was supposed to work again.  I didn’t really want to work, but I wondered if it would be good for me. About two weeks after I started praying about it an opportunity pretty much fell into my lap. It wasn’t working with kids or like any other job I had ever had.  I was so hesitant, but Joel and I felt like that was what I was supposed to do–for now. So, four weeks ago I started working part time. This is my fourth week to be back to work. I am working three half-days doing receptionist type stuff. I work with wonderful people. I know a lot of them which is so nice. They know that my life is not “normal”.
Even after praying through this and taking the job I REALLY wrestled with God. Especially the first week. I started questioning. Why? Why would God want me to work in an office instead of be a stay-at-home mom? Why would God take my daughter away from me? Why? 
You know that job that I described earlier? Being a stay-at-home mom. THAT is the job that I want to be doing. Being Cora’s mom and staying home was part of my plan. Losing her and going back to work was not part of my plan.
Sometime I get to the point when I am so frustrated with my emotions. The point when my heart fills so full of despair because of what has happened. The point when I struggle to understand how such a horrible thing could be part of God’s loving plan for my life. That is when I have to fall back on what I know about my Lord. Who He is and what I know to be true about Him and His character. He does love me–more than I could ever comprehend (Romans 5:8). Losing Cora was part of his plan for my life, even though I don’t understand. And He promises in all things to work for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He promises to make ALL things new (Revelation 21:5). He promises me a HOPE and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). And he promises to walk beside me and comfort me along the way (Psalm 23:4). How great is our God! (2 Samuel 7:22)
I am trying to take this new job, just like everything else, day-by-day. I am praying that the Lord will help me to be content with where I am at. To take this time to grow closer to Him and listen to His voice. And I am praying that He will bless us with more kids some day…
…so that I can go back to that job that I love so much.
You can’t beat being a mom! 
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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:24 pm

    PamperingBeki - You are a mom, through and through.

    As hard as it is to go to work several times a week, I think God knows that it’s better for you than being home. It forces you into a different thought process for a bit.

    God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:27 pm

    Devon - even though cora is not here with you, you are are still her mom and always will be!

    i still struggle with the “whys” and i’ve finally concluded that there is no good reason, in my mind. no good reason for my sweet boys to not be here…for your cora to be gone.

    so we rest in Him. beautiful words.

    i dont know you but i think of you often…ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:30 pm

    Anonymous - You are always close to my heart and thoughts. Thank you for writing tonight. Praying for you and your family–

    another MomReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:32 pm

    Marla Taviano - I am so inspired by the strength you have to get through each day. I know it’s not your own–God shines through you so brightly!

    Praying for you as Mother’s Day approaches. Praying you know that you’re still a mom–even if your baby’s waiting for you in heaven. Praying God continues to love on you and strengthen you. Praying you get to be a stay-at-home-mom again very soon!

    Love and hugs!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:38 pm

    Lacey McKay - Hi Jess,

    I just wanted to leave a note and let you know that I think about you daily. Your story has impacted my life in a huge way, as I’m sure it has many, many others. I have found my way back to God since I started reading about Cora. I read my scriptures daily, something I have never done in my entire life. Your trust in God is so strong and it has been a great inspiration to me. I cry for you and Joel and I pray for you every day. I can’t tell you how much you have changed my life and I wish only good things for you as you move forward through this most difficult time.

    I too ask God “why” he took her from this world at such a young age. I believe that you will be together as a family again someday.

    ((Hugs))ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:42 pm

    Marie - you really can’t beat being a mom, that’s for sure! that was a beautiful post that gave much glory to our awesome God…thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Susan - You have been on my heart this week, with Mothers Day approaching, and knowing it will be yet another hard day for you.

    I am so sorry still that you lost your sweet Cora. It’s just not fair, and I know you’ve had those thoughts. You are handling this horrible loss with such grace and remarkably maintaining a love for God that shines through your writing.

    One day, in His time, His plans will be revealed. Until then, you are still a Mother and always will be.

    I know the day won’t be happy, but you deserve to be honored so…Happy Mothers Day…to a lovely lady who was a wonderful Mommy to Cora, and who any baby will be fortunate to call Mommy.

    Many blessings, prayers, and love,
    Susan in IndianaReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    Holly - Being a mom is the greatest blessing I’ve ever experienced. It hurts when your blessing is taken away from you. God loves us more than we can ever fathom. His will is always good. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:48 pm

    wicker0407 - Jess,
    I think about you and sweet Cora on a regular basis. I know in my heart you will get your dream job of being a stay at home mom back again very soon. I can not even begin to imagine all the things you have been through but your strength and grace shine through on each and every post. You and Joel are still in my prayers always!
    Summer and Family in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:01 pm

    Kathryn - I think about you & pray for you often. My heart aches for your empty arms & i can’t imagine how hard the coming Mother’s Day may be for you.

    My arms are empty, also. But i never got to hold my little one. I lost her before she was big enough to take a breath. Mother’s Day is difficult for me as well.

    But you have touched my heart in a special way. I cried when i read that Cora was gone. And it has hurt to think how hard this is for you. I pray that God will provide special grace for you to make it thru Sunday, & every day besides. He does give us many promises & he keeps his word, even if we don’t understand. We see only such a small part of the picture.

    May the peace of the Lord be with you & may he shower you with blessings.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:02 pm

    Anonymous - I will be praying for you on Mother’s Day.
    I just became a grandmother 2 weeks ago…my daughter taught Kindergarten….and is a stay at home mom only until this school year is over.
    I read your blog daily and think of you often…what a sweet and wonderful person you are. God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:03 pm

    Robin in Benton - I know that some day you will have the opportunity to return to that best job ever – and until then know that God has led you to this job for a reason. I know that this Sunday Cora will be blowing kisses from Heaven to her Mommy on Mothers Day.

    Thinking of you and praying for you often.

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:06 pm

    Anonymous - I hope the jobs helps ease the pain a bit…being focused on something else a few hours a day much be somewhat of a mini-vacation. I know you will get your dream job back. You are an amazing person and mother and God will be sure to bless you with more. He knows how great you are. Take care and hug your mom extra tight this Mother’s Day. Lean on your family and remember the good.
    Bless you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:13 pm

    Anonymous - Although God’s plan seems SO unfair, you seem so willing to give Him the glory. Your emotions are so REAL, askin why, is okay and I believe God expects this, He knows how you will feel tomorrow, and in the days and years to come. He also has a plan for you. I don’t know God’s plan, so it would be unfair for me to say that I KNOW you will be a Stay-at-home mommy again soon. I CAN just pray that God places more children in your loving arms while He holds your precious daughter in His. While this plan would not HEAL your wound, mask your pain, or bandage your heart, it would help you feel “normal” again. It would give you someone to read Cora’s books with and read their books to Cora. It would fill your home with something you SO desperately miss. May God’s plan for you be revealed soon. Although we don’t know His plan we can pray that He will bless you and comfort you in a way that only HE can.
    A SISTER in CHRISTReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:29 pm

    texasinafrica - Sometimes a routine is a bit of grace. It helps to break up the days and gives you someplace you need to be. It means there are people depending on you so you’re not alone with your thoughts all the time. I’m thankful for that gift in your life.

    I don’t have answers about God’s plan or why Cora is gone. Having lived in central Africa, I’ve seen mothers lose their babies in numbers that are almost impossible to fathom, most of them in ways that were entirely preventable if they hadn’t been born in one of the poorest, most dangerous places on earth.

    After awhile, I stopped worrying about God’s plans and started thinking about how to be the hands and feet of Christ to prevent it from happening again.

    I don’t believe that pain and suffering in and of itself glorifies God. That turns God into some kind of cosmic sadist who’s just out there messing with us. But God knows what it is to feel pain and sadness. So it may not be that God is glorified because of Cora’s death but rather that God is glorified and good is worked in you despite her death. And I think that’s okay.

    Hang in there.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:32 pm

    The Moffats - Jessie – Praying for you as you are working and adjusting. Thinking about you lots this week. Love and hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:08 am

    Maureen - I have been thinking about you this week, asking the Lord to be ever near to you. After having a still birth in 2001 @ 31weeks I ache when you talk about the emotions of the heart. I am so very blessed to hear you articulate standing on the promises of God. He is so big and I am always so blessed by reading your blog. My continued prayers are with you.

    Praying in WA,
    MaureenReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:16 am

    Christina - Oh, Jess, your words are so powerful. Your trust is such an example. I will pray your own words, that you will continually fall back on what you know, who you know God to be, that you will remember His ultimate promises, lean heavily and fully on Him, cling to the hope we have in Him, and continue to praise His name with all of your pain and any joy that you find in your days. I think it is beautiful that you express your desire for more children, and whatever God’s timing is for that, I will pray for it as well. From a human perspective, you deserve a family, no, a family deserves you. What a woman God has made you to be.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:35 am

    Jess - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:39 am

    Jess - You have got to be the strongest momma I know. You love our God and that is amazing. You aren’t bitter after such a loss, you are AMAZING & so is Joel. Thank you so very much for sharing your feelings. I have ran across a ton of blogs about sick babies and even sick twins, I have twin girls. My girls are a month younger than your sweet baby Cora. I found Cora’s story on craigslist and I decided to read from the very first post. Cora’s story has crushed my heart into a million peices and has also been the most uplifting blog I have ever read. Thank you! You and Joel are so amazing. Happy Mother’s Day, you are the best!

    JessicaReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:51 am

    Anonymous - You two are incredible… what a journey and impossible load!… BUT the Lord has been right beside the both of you every step of the way. You are so strong & although I have never walked in your shoes, from my perspective, you couldn’t be doing a better job!!! Good for you. :)

    Prayers & well wishes,
    Nichole from TulsaReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:52 am

    Rory and Jess - wow. you are amazing! I admire how you’ve dealt with this tragedy and the loss of sweet Cora. I wish you the best with your new job, and even though I don’t know you I think about you and little Cora often, as her and my daughter were close in age. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through and are going through. I pray for you often and hope the days get easier for you…

    (another) JessicaReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 1:11 am

    Steve & Nancy - You are a true inspiration. Being a mom is the most wonderful job! Thank you for the reminder. My heart aches for you, but I know God is carrying you through. You are amazing! Thanks for opening your heart to all of us! Many blessings to you! Good luck with your new job!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 1:21 am

    Mum2twopreciousgifts - Dear Jess

    Your post today move me to tears. It was so beautifully written. I just wish I could hug you. Not that would change anything but I want to let you know how much you inspire me.

    I am a Mum to a child with special needs. I’m also a Mum to a ‘normal’ child. But for many years now, I’ve been praying for and blogging with as many NB children as I come across.

    Your Faith, trust in our Lord and wisdom is inspiring. You remind me why we are walking the road HE chose and you remind me of his constant love for all of us.

    I had a not so great day yesterday. Two ill children and on not a lot of sleep, I was cranky. But as I sat and cried a prayer for patience, the Lord answered me by thinking of you. HE reminded me that although yesterday (or a child with a disability) wasn’t in my plan, it was in his and I had to trust. I then smiled.

    I hope your current ‘job’ helps a little until you can be a Mum to another bouncing baby here on earth. You will forever be Cora’s Mum and from what I’ve read, she couldn’t have asked for better parents.

    God Bless you, Joel, your families and thank you for sharing Cora’s and your journey with so many.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 1:22 am

    Jon & Sarah - Jess,
    My heart breaks for you. I am praying for you…that God would fill you with His perfect peace as you trust in Him. Thank you so very much for your witness. I am so blessed to see God working through your life…Thank you!!!

    Praying from Japan,
    SarahReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 2:15 am

    Candice - I know it probably doesn’t feel like it to you, but you have an amazing attitude and outlook. I know this can’t be easy and you must have many low points, but you are so strong to even get out of bed in the morning. I’m so sorry little Cora isn’t here with you. I’m still praying for you daily. Next time, I will pray you will go back to that job you love so much one day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 2:28 am

    Melanie - You are an amazing person and I pray for you and your familyReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 5:03 am

    THAT GIRL - My thoughts fell on you when was reading “the Shack”… and then on my own daughter and how I love her so much it hurts. I don’t think words could ever touch how deeply you long for your baby to be back.

    But, you are right, God’s will and ours aren’t always the same, but we can take comfort in knowing that His will is perfect… and He loves us… so much it hurts.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 5:33 am

    oneordinaryday - This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 5:41 am

    oneordinaryday - Your post is beautifully honest and I tried to comment but ended up deleting it. I know I’ve been changed by your family’s experience and I pray for you. Cora and you have changed us all.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 6:00 am

    Anonymous - Oh Sweet Girl….you are still a Mom. It is so much easier for all of us here on the outside to say that this is all part of God’s plan, you are so brave.

    This job is part of his “Comfort”…takes your mind off of every single memory that surrounds you at home. Hang in there…God is Good and his Blessings will be abundant!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 6:36 am

    savanna - You are still a mom!!!!! I am praying for you. You are being faithful to the Lord, and He will bless you for it. Just think of the reunion you will have in heaven one day with sweet Cora! You are such a light to us all, and even though I don’t know you personally, I wish I did. You are beautiful, inside and out!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 6:37 am

    hoosier68 - I am in awe of your strength and want you to know that I continue to hold you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 6:58 am

    The Noble Steeds - Several months ago, I faced losing our newborn son. I have always known that we are on this earth to prove ourselves to God, to turn to Christ and exemplify the life he led. Through my recent trials I have also learned that I have to prove myself to me. God knows what I can handle more than I do.

    I can’t begin to understand the battles you face each day. I so admire your honesty and your continued faith. You have touched so many. You have touched me. Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 6:59 am

    Megan - Thank you for reminding me of some of my favorite verses today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:33 am

    Toni :O) - I don’t know you personally either but I feel I know you through your blog. I think of you and your pain in losing your sweet girl daily. I pray for you so often and every time I hug my children, I give them an extra Cora hug. Your family changed my life and how I see things. If anything, know you have inspired so many of us to appreciate every single day we have with our children. I hope you have a nice Mother’s Day and that your memories of your beautiful Cora will comfort you. Thank you for sharing these posts, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to put your emotions into words, but you do it so well. God must have provided you that wonderful gift and please know how much I appreciate it. Continuing to send you love and hugs for support from Michigan.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:35 am

    Anonymous - You continue to amaze and inspired me with your honesty, faith and strength..So glad you have the distraction of the job..no not your dream job but just helping you get through the days.
    Thoughts and prayers!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:35 am

    lauren - your story continues to touch my life and i pray for you and your family so often. your perspective has helped me a lot with my own perspective.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:39 am

    Misty Rice - I had ‘one of those’ days yesterday and am about to post about it later today on my blog. One of those days where I am frustrated, not as patient as I normally would be and feeling just cranky. I very much needed to get out of the house, so my neighbor came over and she took Morgan and I on a bike ride to her daughters house. It was exactly what I needed to do. JUST GET OUT.

    I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS humble myself and think of you and Cora, and then I squeeze my daughter and love her so much more.

    You are a mom, and your purpose (for now) I think, is God is using YOU as a great example of how to be better moms. I AM a better mom because of you.

    And I have a great feeling…. that God will not deny your heart of more children. I actually thought of this the other night while rocking Morgan. Wondering if you would have more and hoped that you would, so they can hear all the wonderful things about Cora, and seeing bits and pieces of their big sister Cora in them, will give you a piece of her back here on earth.

    So although its supposed to be HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to you…… I will say BLESSED MOTHERS DAY to you.

    I pray for you all the time.

    You are a beautiful mother….. and always will be. I pray that God help me to be a parent more like Him. And through you, He is showing me exactly that.

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:48 am

    Casey - I cannot fathom what you are going through. I cannot find the right words to even begin to offer comfort. You seem to have such a strong faith and that is a miracle in and of itself. To lose a child and not lose your faith is a struggle. Being a Mom is the best/worst/hardest/easiest job there is and I pray that your prayers are answered and one day you can do it all again, that in the meantime you find the peace you need and the comfort you so long for. I know some others who have been touched by childhood cancer and do a local Relay for Life with a 5 year old survivor. God will make sure that you are where you need to be when you need to be there, it’s for Him to know all the reasons why or why not. I will keep praying for you and when I walk next weekend at Relay for Life, I’ll walk for Cora too.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:02 am

    Kelli - Praying that you are able to be a stay at home mom so soon sweet girl. Cora was SO BLESSED to have you as a mommy at home with her!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:07 am

    Anonymous - My heart absolutely breaks for you. While I agree that, yes, God does have a plan even though we may not understand all or parts of it; I still would be as confused and angry as you are. I cannot fathom the pain of losing a child at birth; however, losing a child that you have built a relationship with, I’m not sure that wouldn’t just plain suck more! I feel for you so much. Keeping you in my prayers. I never know exactly what to say…
    Prayers & Love, from one mother to another!!
    Julie BReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:18 am

    Anonymous - I don’t understand “WHY” either? She was so loved and such a beautiful little girl. Everything happened so fast, it’s so hard to process. I wish we could know “why” he took her back home so young. I do know she is a Daughter of our Heavenly Father. He loves her, and loves you. I’m so sorry your arms are empty right now and that you hurt so much. I do hope sweet Cora is right near you carrying you along this new “most difficult” journey. I do pray that you know you are still a mom to sweet Cora, and I do pray that one day your amrs will be full again with a child to love. I know it wont be Cora, but I think all your fourthcoming children will have a piece of her in them. They must be with her right now and I’m sure she’s telling them what amazing parent’s she has, how much she misses them, and how wonderful it will be when her siblings get to meet you.

    I know none of my words take away your pain. I hope this coming Mother’s Day wont bring on more awful pain. I hope you can celebrate being a mom to Cora, even if it’s different now.

    I just pray that the day will soon come when we can all meet our Maker and it will all be OKAY!!! I can’t wait to meet Cora, give her a big hug, and tell her how much she changed me. Until that day, may God’s love shine ever so brightly over you, and may his loving arms hold you tight. All My Love to you and Joel!!!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:26 am

    Lauren Kelly - You’re precious and I’m praying for you as you transition into working again! We love you!! :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:35 am

    Amy - I have been following your blog since January and praying for you. I recently downloaded the song “blessed be your name”…everytime I play it on my ipod I think of you and pray for you. Amy from MississippiReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:49 am

    Anonymous - This was so beautifully written. I have been thinking alot about you lately and have had something on my heart that I wanted to say to you, but didn’t know when would be the right time. I think this might be it. My parents lost a child years ago (my only sibling) and I remember growing up wishing that they would have another one (I wanted another brother or sister so badly). They never did because they were worried that people would think the were “replacing” the child that they had lost or that THEY would feel that way themselves. YEARS later my Mom realized that she was wrong…people would have supported her, understood, and rejoiced with her…she could have loved another baby and seen he/she for who he/she was and not as a “replacement”. I am not going to pretend to know what emotions or thoughts you have when it comes to deciding when or if to have another child, but maybe this touches on one of them. Praying for you always.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:03 am

    Jen - WOw! that made me cry a little. You are a mom. Good luck with your new job.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:05 am

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - A mother’s love really is like a circle, with no beginning and no end. Being a mom really is the best job ever. You will always have that job.
    My heart breaks for you. I had to stop reading half way through to see through the tears. I can not begin to imagine what it feels like for you.
    God has blessed you with a support system that many people could only hope for.
    You continue to be in my prayers.
    Love from a stranger in NY,
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:21 am

    onlymehere - I have been following your blog for some time now. I believe that Cora is a very special spirit and did not have to prove herself on this earth so God took her home to be with him. I believe the rest of us are sent here to be tested and tried. Our church believes that children under the age of 8 do not know the difference between right and wrong to commit sin so those who die before then (we’re baptized at age 8) go home to live with their Heavenly Father. I believe that you will be a family with Cora again. I know that doesn’t help ease your pain much and it doesn’t explain why but I just wanted to comment today to let you know that there are people like me who may be quiet on your blog but who are touched by your story and who pray for you and your family. CindyReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:22 am

    meg duerksen - i love your honesty jess.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:30 am

    April - I can’t even tell you where I came across your blog – I think God was leading me in your direction. I have been reading for a little while, but have never posted.

    I believe that God wants me to have a conversation with my mom. I love my mom and she’s so incredible. I just had my first baby in October and I feel I can truly related to my mother on a whole new level now. Back to my main point though, my mother lost my brother as an infant 20 year ago. She has never really expressed much about it, and I suppose that is because I never asked. Now being a mother myself, I understand. I understand what it means and feels like to be a mom, but I can only imagine a fraction of the emotions a mother goes through when losing a child. My heartaches so badly just looking at my little boy, trying to imagine what it would be like if he were called home.

    I know my mother has held on to so much anger and resentment. I know that her faith hasn’t been the same in over 20 years now. I know that God wants me to talk to her and help her forgive. Reading your words through your own experience, I believe has helped to arm me with a further understanding on how to approach her. I pray that God will use me as a vessel to speak through and I pray that her heart be softened to receive my words. I thank you for sharing your deep emotions, even though trying to sift through them to form them into actual words must be very difficult. I am sorry you have been through this heartache. You are inspiring to me because I know now it is possible for my mother to see the light through such terrible tragedy. Thank you,ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:56 am

    k and c's mom - Still praying for you in Austin. You have my heart! Please keep sharing your needs. We want to hear and we want to pray.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:32 am

    Whimsical Creations - You will always be cora’s mommy. hugs!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:34 am

    Jenae - You are always such an inspiration to me!!! I’ll be praying that this new job brings you comfort and maybe even some joy. Thank you for reminding me of what a wonderful blessing it is to be a stay-at-home mom. I admit that sometimes I forget this…thank you!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:38 am

    Miss Em - You are right “you can’t beat being a mom”. I hope someday to be able to stay home with my ittle one and future ones, I envy those that can. I am so glad that you could with Cora and will again with your future babies. Much love to you and Joel.
    Always praying for you!
    EmilyReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:45 am

    The Jones' - I LOVE this post! There is seriously nothing like it! It is so good to hear that..sometimes I seem to get discontent with being at home and it is good to be encouraged and reminded how blessed we are. Thank you Jess for pouring out your heart!
    LizReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:47 am

    ryanne - You will always be Cora’s Mom, and one day a wonderful, loving mother to another sweet baby.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:56 am

    Kerry - I still think of you and pray for you. I am glad you update your blog. You have tough milestones still ahead and I pray that as they come and go you feel the prayers and love that are sent up to Him on your behalf.

    I pray too for more children for you and Joel…you are a great mom and will be even better for all that you have been through. Your kids will see Jesus in you every day…I see Him in you in the words you type on this blog and I know that is where you are getting your strength.He will bring you back to the job you love.God Bless you and be with you on Mother’s Day. Cora will be rejoicing over you with Him.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 11:05 am

    Micah - It is so hard to see God’s plan sometimes. I’m glad you’re so trusting. *praying*ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 11:24 am

    Angela - I can’t imagine how hard it would be to return to the workforce in your situation. I get so sad just thinking about it. Please don’t think there is a magic timeline where everything will feel “normal.” It’s okay for you to grieve for your little girl. God understands. We understand. And we’re still praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:26 pm

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - Jess, you are a mom…no one will ever take that from you. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you to write the things you do and yet you persevere and move through the hard and the heartbreaking with a lot of dignity and a lot of grace. We’re still praying for all of you.

    *hearts* and God Bless

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 12:58 pm

    kristin - Jess, As I previously posted(I was way down the list so you might not have read it)you are still a mom
    and always will be Cora’s mom. I keep you in prayer everyday and I also pray that you & Joel will be blessed with another child. It will happen when God knows the timing is right for you. Much love, KristinReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 1:21 pm

    shepherdsgrace - crying with you…

    it’s all I can say…

    ~SarahReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 1:59 pm

    Karina - You express it all soooo well. I am a SAHM too, after many years of office work, and I also appreciate the difference enormously. I am thinking of you, especially for Mother’s Day, and hoping for more children to fill your life and return you to the job you love.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 2:05 pm

    Anonymous - Have you ever considered putting these experiences into a book or devotional? Just a thought.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 2:08 pm

    Marsha - It is so hard for me to see God’s plan in situations like this–but I have to rest in knowing that He does have a plan. We may never know the plan while we are here. I am in prayer for you each and every day. I pray that God will bless your family with more children so that you can go back to your “best job ever:” Thanks for continuing to be a rock solid role model of faith and courage for me and many others.

    Love and prayers,

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 2:22 pm

    Jennifer - Praying for you often and especially this weekend -ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 3:05 pm

    starnes family - Such a lovely post. Thinking about you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 3:26 pm

    Jamie - I’ve been following your journey for a while now. My husband went to seminary with your cousin Nate P and that is how we first heard of Cora. I had told shared the story on my blog and I know it touched some of my friends as well. One friend purchased 4 Cora dresses for her girls and I reacently had a photoshoot with them. The girls all looked so adorable in their Cora dresses and I wanted to share that with you! May God grant you PEACE that passes all understanding.

    http://jamietphotography.blogspot.com/2009/05/w-family.htmlReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    Kaitlin and Taylor Dance - Praying for a great mom this mothers day! You are still her mommy, and you always will be! You did a great job with her while she was here, and you are doing a great job with her story now that she is with Him, and you will do an AMAZING job when you are with her again.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 3:52 pm

    The Gayden's - Jess-
    Being a SHAM is the best job in the world, but you have been fufilling a even great job for our Lord. You have through your sweet Cora, reached millions of people who have been inspired and even brought to the Lord. You are doing the work of God in your suffering. I know its not fair, and I know its so hard. I too question, and wonder why God would take your daughter from you, and why he would make Kayleigh suffer in NICU for 10 months just to have it end the way it did…
    I don’t have any answers for you other this…

    Someone, very deep in his faith. A man so wise and so intuned with God, you could feel it coming from him. He said God knows the future of every one of his children, and sometimes something is so bad in that child’s future and God loves that child so much that he chooses to take them so that he can keep them from that pain or keep them close to him. God loved Cora so much, that he wanted her with him.
    I know this doesn’t help ease your pain sweetie, it wouldn’t ease mine at all. Just know that you are doing a wonderful job at working for God, and you are still a wonderful mommy and I pray that you will be blessed with many wonderful things in the future because of your obediance to God…
    SHAM or not, you are still a woman of God and because of that you have the best job ever!

    Praying for you daily

    Kristin
    http://www.gaydenfamily.blogspot.comReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 4:35 pm

    HD - Once a mom, ALWAYS a mom…
    God Bless You! You remain in my thoughts and prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 5:09 pm

    Anonymous - He wants you to be working that is why you have the job you are at. He wants you to work to take your mind off of the pain & the sorrow. You will start to feel a sense of normalcy in your life. It is important that you work and be doing something productive. Even if the job seems mundane, he gave you a simple job that you can handle. Our paths are laid out for us, everything happens as it is supposed to. Keep up the blogging. It’s good to get your emotions out.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 5:48 pm

    The Ekeland's - I completely understand your stuggle with going to work and not doing what you REALLY want to be doing. I feel for you that way and ache when I think of Cora and the void that you and Joel must feel on a daily basis. Bless you guys!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 5:54 pm

    Anonymous - I know you have so much faith and love of our Heavenly Father, I want you to know how much that is helping me to hug my kids a bit tighter and pray a bit stronger. Thank you so much.

    Cora has other work to be doing right now. Work only she can do. And remember how beautiful it is that you and only you get to be that wonderful girls mother throughout all Eternity.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 6:33 pm

    Cathy - I read your post today at work and needless to say, the waterworks were in full force. I just wanted to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope that doesn’t make you sad or mad, but to me, you are and always will be Cora’s mother and I know that you will be blessed with more beautiful children in the future.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:15 pm

    Falling Around - First of all, you have such amazing strength to be able to go back to work only two months after Cora’s journey to see Jesus. I am in awe. But like Beki said, it’s better for you to focus your attention on something specific for a time. Hard though, I’m sure.

    Thank you for reminding me once again how blessed I am to be able to be a stay-at-home mom. I tend to lose sight of that from time to time.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as we approach Mother’s Day. You may not feel like making a big deal over it, you may even want to just stay in bed, but Cora would have wanted to celebrate having you as her mother. This Mother’s Day is just as much for you as it ever was… don’t forget that.

    Warm Hugs,
    Christy KleinReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 7:38 pm

    Courtney - I pray too that God will bless you again with a beautiful baby. I still nine years after Dylan’s passing wonder why? Why couldn’t I see all of his first moments? I’v realized that the answer to why is just not meant for us to know here on earth but someday we will be together again and I just hold on to that. I will be praying for you extra on Sunday and I know that Cora will be sending you lots of love from Heaven. Happy Mothers day and I hope you will be able to stay home again very soon.

    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:07 pm

    Anonymous - I pray for you daily and I know that Cora is so happy in Heaven.
    Just remember you will always be Cora’s mom! Happy Mother’s Day to you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 8:39 pm

    Al's World - You will always be Cora’s mommy, always. Someday, you will get to stay in the home she has prepared for you and play all day! I am sorry you are feeling that pain, you are such a precious person, a loving soul, that I hate that you are going through this, but you are a shining example of how we are to live our lives…for we live my faith not by sight.

    Thank you for reminding me that He does love me, thank you for giving the scripture that says it all. I am facing the first mother’s day without my mom, and I am not doing too well with it, so I thank you for remiding me all that God is!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:16 pm

    Stephanie - I am praying he blesses you with more children too…more than anything!

    I pray for you daily…you are still Cora’s mommy whether she’s here on earth or not!!

    Happy Mothers Day!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 9:41 pm

    Anonymous - Jessie: I have been following your blog ever since your daughter went into the hospital. I was referred to it from Kayleigh Freeman’s site. Ever since, I have checked in on you daily to see if you have written anything.
    I know this Mother’s Day will be very hard for you, but you have to know that you ARE NOW a mom and will ALWAYS be a mom to Cora. She is real – her spirit is alive and she is just waiting for that joyous day for you to hold her again.
    Time here on Earth seems slow, but it is like a blink of an eye compared to the time we will have with our loved ones in Eternity.

    You are such an inspiring young girl; very special; a shining light on this Earth for many of us in this world. God has huge plans for you and though we never understand why things like this happen, like you say, we have to trust in His plan. We have to hold on to that promised love and comfort that He gives every day in times like this. God is all around you and holding you up each minute.

    I will be praying for you this Mother’s Day. You are being honored in Heaven and by so many of your blog readers – every child should be blessed with a mom like you.
    I think this job is good just to keep busy and have people around to talk to. Part time is good. I do hope that more children are in God’s plan for you because Cora could not have been loved more by anyone — I can tell that you were the best mom in the world to her! You were HERS and she will ALWAYS BE YOURS.

    Karen Andwan, Cincinnati, Ohio
    cincymomof4ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:00 pm

    The Schilling's from PICU - Hi JEss,

    Just checked in to see how things are going for you….. I sighed with sadness when I read your blog! I find myself questioning why he would take her also sometimes, but thank you for bringing it all back into percpective for me through the Lord. You are such a strong and loving individual! I know you miss Cora every minute. I still am praying for peace and comfort for your hearts! You are truely an inspiration to us all about how to be a wonderful mom and person inside and out! Miss you all lots and hope to see you soon. Things are crazzzzyyy busy here tying up the end of the year…. I am looking forward to staying home for 3 months also. Love you and give everyone a hug from us!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:33 pm

    Lacie and Stephen - A job was helpful to me when I was going through the greif of losing my daughter. I had the support of those around me. It was so hard because my only option was a job with children. For the first several weeks, I came home sobbing because I saw children doing things I would never see my daughter doing. It was very difficult, but I knew I had to face it at some point. My co-workers were so understanding and encouraging and I didn’t even know them before losing my daughter! I am so glad you have found a new role in your life. It won’t take your grief away, but it will help to curb your greif for short times during the week. I pray for you as your first Mother’s Day without Cora approaches!

    In Him,
    Lacie
    Wichita, KSReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:38 pm

    carollai - not like you need another comment- but thanks for sharing. i can’t imagine… i hear your struggles though. as being another human, struggles are rather prevalent. i hope you peace. i know it will take time. blessings…ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    Todd and Courtney - You are a wonderful mom and I wish you a happy happy mother’s day this weekend. I can only imagine how Cora is playing on her playground in heaven, telling you Happy Mommy’s Day and thanking you for being the best mom to her!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 11:38 pm

    balmingilead - Thinking of you and breathing prayers for you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 12:19 am

    Robyn - What a wonderful mom you ARE to Cora and any future children. In my prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 7:33 am

    Mom2Drew - You don’t know me, but I’ve been reading your blogg for the past few months (and sent a little something in the mail to you) so just so you know I’m not a weirdo:)

    I just wanted to comment on something you said. I don’t know what the Lord has is in store for you, so I can’t say anything for certain, but I know He knows the desires of your heart, that I DO know for certain.

    When we lost our daughter, I had similar emotions that you are facing. I remember not wanting to be around other kids and definitely not to see other pregnant women, but that’s all I could see if that makes any sense? I just felt like everyones life was continuing but ours had just stopped and we were stuck in somekind of a time warp. Surely no one knew what we were going through.

    I have 2 little boys now, perfectly healthy and thriving. I am believing for that to happen with you guys too. Right now it’s probably too hard to even think of any other kids beside your cora and being that you had just about a year with her…I can’t imagine that particular pain as we lost our Kendall much eariler. I remember feeling guilty when I was pregnant with our first son after her passing…it was heartbreaking. With a lot of prayer and a lot of support, we did get through it.

    I know you have a wonderful support system and that’s a HUGE blessing. rely on them, they don’t mind. I’m also glad that you seem to be communicating and talking. I didn’t for months and it was not good.

    I will continue to pray for the little moments. sometimes it’s all you can do to take the day, minute by minute.

    I will also pray that work becomes a haven for you and that you find meaning and purpose there like you never thought you would.

    God bless your family!

    Heather Bauers

    Heatherbauersphotography.com/blogReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 9:17 am

    mommaof4wife2r - praying for more peace and strength as you continue into this new job…why’s are hard and almost never are fully answered…and you inspire me with your honesty and faithfulness and love. thank you…and praying for you to be blessed as you wish with a new “SAHM”” job in the future.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 9:19 am

    Amy - I have to say, you are the BEST mom I know… and the very BEST witness for Christ. You are an amazing woman.

    And, when God blesses you with more children, you can know that they were taken GOOD care of by their wonderful big sister before they were even born.

    Bless you, sweetie!ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 11:18 am

    TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo - Hello Jess,

    Kendra at My Insanity is having a Magnificent Motherhood Celebration. She has asked us to give this award to one mommy blogger who has affected our own life personally. A mother that can allow us to fill in this sentence:
    “This blog makes me want to be a better mother because….”
    I am giving this award to you.
    You have touched my life in the most profound way.
    Her Mr. Linky will be up later today, and hopefully I can actually give you this award then.
    If you get a chance, my blog is boutellefamilyzoo.blogspot.com. I have a small tribute to you there. If you can’t check it out, that’s okay. What matters to me is that you have touched my life.
    Thank you. Thank you for just being willing to share your life, your walk with us. with me.
    *TriciaReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 11:23 am

    Mandi @ It's Come To This - Oh, I don’t have any words that would be adequate, just know that I join my prayers with so many more around the country … still praying for you!! And I’ll be saying extra prayers this weekend.

    God Bless You & Joel,
    MandiReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 12:03 pm

    Anonymous - You are always in my prayers.
    CarleyReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 12:59 pm

    Maria - Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hurt for you and am blessed to be able to pray for you all the way in Williamsburg, VA!ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Melissa - You ARE still a mom and will always be and that is a beautiful thing! Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us all how precious each and everyday is.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 2:19 pm

    Anonymous - From the writings of Samuel Rutherford, a godly man from the 1600’s who is full of rich spiritual wisdom and insight from walking through both the sorrows of life and the joys of faith in great abundance, this is quote that I hope will bless you:
    “Your children are not lost to you that are laid up in Christ’s treasury in heaven. At the resurrection ye shall meet with them; there they are, sent before but not sent away. Your Lord loveth you, who (daily works in your life) to take and give, borrow and lend. They are not lost to you, they are laid up so well, as that they are coffered in heaven, where our Lord’s best jewels lie.”
    I have 2 baby grandchildren in heaven – coffered in heaven where our Lord’s best jewels lie, gone before my daughter and me, but the sorrow of our hearts is bathed in the joy of knowing that they are in the safest of keeping in the Lord’s presence and each day we are one day closer to being reunited with them. Meanwhile, we do what you are doing, and face each day here seeking God to do His will trusting Him completely to do ALL things well. Daily we pray for comfort, His comfort, who only He can give. And it is sweet. I pray for you daily and see the beauty of Christ shining forth in you. And that beauty comes through the many sorrows and sufferings of this life on earth, preparing us for heaven by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    As I am praying for my daughter to be blessed with another baby, I am praying for the Lord to also bless you with another!
    Amidst your sorrow this Mother’s Day, I pray you will have sweet joy in celebrating your motherhood, that you did with excellence, which God called you to do in being Cora’s mother, in the exact time He had for her here on earth. Nothing was in vain, nor is what you are being called by God to do now in vain. He ordains each day and we must trust Him implicitly to do ALL things well in our lives.
    The Lord continue to bless and comfort you!
    Thanks for continuing to share your journey here.
    Love from your sister in ChristReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 3:14 pm

    Townsend Crew - You have given me such a gift today. To read your words and know how much you loved being a mom, makes me a better mom. You have made me more appreciative, more aware, more alive in the moment…. and sometimes the moments seem endless…
    Thank you for sharing (again) your gift of words and wisdom with me. You and Cora continue to be a blessing in my life.
    Happy Mother’s Day… You are a mom… your baby lives in Heaven. You will again be a mother to an angel here on Earth.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 4:13 pm

    aleanaomi - You are amazing. God is using you to touch me. I am praying for your heartache.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 5:23 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking of youReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 5:40 pm

    Paula Aspacher - You are very wise mature woman. God is holding you in his arms each minute of everyday. You make us all grow up in many ways no matter how old we are. We grow up with you through your faith and you honesty. Thank you for sharing your heart and your raw emotion.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    The Morris Family - You are are doing the “right” thing, trusting in His Person and Character and Who He is! I too have found this is the safest place of peace as I miss my little Joel.

    You will forever be Cora’s mommy and what a blessed little girl to have you! I am still my Joel’s mommy as well!!

    Stay upon Jehovah…

    I read this and it is a blessing I speak over you; Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. (Gen. 49:25)

    May it be so for you…..

    CindyReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Anonymous - Lovely Lovely Jess, you will always be sweet Cora’s dear mother and so many of us are praying that you will also be mother to Cora’s brothers and/or sisters. As a previous message stated, Cora’s siblings will love to hear stories about her sweet little self. God bless you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 9:28 pm

    Jenn - Happy Mother’s Day Jessica! You will always be Cora’s Mommy:) I love readig your blog and I am inspired by your faithfullness. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

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  • May 8, 2009 - 10:12 pm

    Lori - thought about you so much today. i know what day today was, and just wanted you to know you’re in our hearts and prayers. hugs!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 8:48 am

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Praying for you as you continue to hope in Him…ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 2:31 pm

    Mrs. MK - Special Prayers for you this very very hard Mother’s Day. I’m sorry and I weep with you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 2:38 pm

    Marlene W. - I’m thinking about you today, and especially tomorrow, Jess! God will bless your heart on mother’s day in His own unique way. You are and always will be Cora’s mom, and truly are such a wonderful mother.

    I just want to let you know I really appreciate all you share with so many of us you don’t know. Really, really – you are such a blessing. You have blessed me in ways I can’t even put into writing. Thank you so much for sharing your walk with the Lord.

    your sister in Christ,
    MarleneReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 6:47 pm

    Nan - May you have a blessed Mother’s Day Jess… I know it won’t be a happy one in many ways. What a wonderful mother you *are*… and how blessed little Cora was to have you as hers. May God’s comfort be with you tomorrow as you are celebrated by those who love you.

    I pray that when the time is right, God replenishes the blessing of motherhood for you again. But until then, you are just as much a mother now as you were the day you discovered you were pregnant with Cora and the day you gave birth to her and the day you said goodbye to her… Your job is not over.

    1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

    2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
    he leads me beside quiet waters,

    3 he restores my soul.
    He guides me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

    4 Even though I walk
    through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
    I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

    5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

    6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
    and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
    forever.ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 7:13 pm

    Ethansmom08 - I think about you and your family all the time and I pray for you so often. You are such an amazing and strong person. You will always be Cora’s mommy and I admire your words so much. Reading your blog and Cora’s story has made me a better mother and a stronger Christian, thank you so much for that!

    Happy Mother’s Day to an amazing and beautiful mom…YOU!!!

    Love,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 8:01 pm

    Anonymous - I am glad to hear that you are working. I am sure that the devastation from your tragedy will last for years to come but I truly beleive this is a step in the right direction for you. I have been worried about you, especially when you don’t post for a long time. There will always be a void in your life without Cora but some how you must find a way to move past the pain. I have no understanding of what you have been through but I feel sometimes you are consumed with greif and that really scares me. I hope you and Joel are still connecting as couple, so often people loose the romance in these types of situations. You and your family is always on my mind and have touched my heart. I think of you daily and pray for you often. Be strong and God will guide you.

    All my love,
    Jade, Mom of TwoReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 8:36 pm

    Anonymous - Thinking about you on this Mother’s Day! You should win the best mom award. You have inspired many of us to be better moms. I do not take my children for granted anymore after hearing about sweet Cora. I pray that you continue to find peace in Jesus.ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 9:42 pm

    Anonymous - I am praying for you tonight. I lift you up by the name of “Cora’s Mom” to our Lord. I pray for your mother, too, as I can only imagine the pain she feels seeing you,her precious daughter, with this heartache that really is beyond words and she can’t take it away. Praying God’s loving arms are so very real wrapped around you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 11:29 pm

    Linda S - Tonight our church prayed for moms and said a special prayer for moms who have lost a child. I thought of you, thought of the thousands of prayers that went up to heaven this weekend for you. I hope you can feel those prayers tomorrow and every day, and that they help, even just a little.ReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 11:30 pm

    Colleen - You are in my prayers and thoughts. Thankyou for your beautiful witness-and for shining for Him.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 6:58 am

    Angie - Happy Mother’s Day! Praying for you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 7:34 am

    Angie - Thinking of you today. Happy Mother’s Day!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 7:49 am

    savanna - I woke up this morning thinking of you, and I pray that today will bring its own blessings. I know it will likely be a very hard day for you. My heart aches that you can’t be with Cora today. Stay strong! May I suggest a book? “The ShacK”….can’t think of the author’s name right now. Since reading it, I have been much more aware of the Lord being with me every moment. Also, I have heard many references lately to how God collects our tears, and they are precious to him. So, if some come today, let them flow as worship to Him. Sending you much love today-SavannaReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 8:21 am

    Tina - Jessica -

    I am thinking of you on Mother’s Day today. I posted this poem on my blog, but I am not sure if you will see it so I thought I would post it on your commets, too. It has been comforting to me and I hope it does the same for you.

    Can You Be A Mother When Your Baby Is Not With You? ~
    Author – Unknown

    I thought of you and closed my eyes and prayed to God today
    I asked, “What makes a Mother?” And I know I heard Him say.

    “A Mother has a baby” This we know is true
    “But God can you be a Mother, when your baby’s not with you?”

    “Yes, you can,” He replied with confidence in His voice
    “I give many women babies, When they leave is not their choice.

    Some I send for a lifetime, and others for the day
    and some I send to feel your womb, but there’s no need to stay.”

    “I just don’t understand this God I want my baby to be here.”
    He took a deep breath and cleared His throat, and then I saw the tear.

    “I wish I could show you, what your child is doing today.
    If you could see your child’s smile, with all the other children and say…”

    We go to earth to learn our lessons, of love and life and fear,
    my mommy loved me oh so much, I got to come straight here.

    I feel so lucky to have a Mom, Who had so much love for me
    I learned my lessons so quickly my mommy set me free.

    I miss my mommy oh so much but I visit her every day.
    When she goes to sleep, on her pillows were I lay
    I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek, And whisper in her ear
    Mommy don’t be sad today, I’m your baby and I’m here.”

    “So you see my dear sweet ones, your children are okay.
    Your babies are born here in my home and this is where they’ll stay.”
    “They’ll wait for you with me, until your lessons through.
    And on the day that you come home they’ll be at the gates for you.”

    So now you see what makes a Mother, It’s the feeling in your heart
    it’s the love you had so much of – right from the very start.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 8:47 am

    Angels Everywhere - “The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body…Even the angels have not been given such a grace! What is more glorious than this—to be a mother.”

    Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty ReasonReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 8:49 am

    Trasie Bressler - Happy Mother’s Day to one of the greatest, strongest and most amazing Mother’s that God ever created.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers and I pray that God will give you peace today.

    Many Many Blessing!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 9:51 am

    Ruth - Happy mother’s day Jess… you’re one of the most incredible mothers I have ever come across. God bless your heart on this hard day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:22 am

    Anonymous - Jess

    Have a Blessed Mother’s Day..another very hard day for you. WE are all praying and hoping for you to get through the day. Cora was blessed to have YOU as her MOM and you were blessed to have CORA as your daughter..You will always be her MOM!
    Thinking of you, shedding tears for you, as usual multiple times a day..
    Maybe some part of your day, thinking of your Cora, will bring a smile.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:28 am

    Lundstrom Family - Thinking and praying for you today!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:17 am

    Anonymous - praying for you on this day and that you will be honored as a mother.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 11:41 am

    3boysmom - I am praying for you today. Happy Mother’s Day!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 12:20 pm

    Dazzled by my boys - This is my first time posting here but I have been following your blog for a bit now. I just wanted to leave a note saying Happy Mother’s day.
    Praying for you in Norwalk, Ohio.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 12:32 pm

    Melody - Happy Mother’s Day!! I hope your day is blessed and sweet! ((hugs)) Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 12:45 pm

    PamperingBeki - Happy Mother’s Day, Cora’s beautiful mommy!!

    God bless you Jess.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 1:11 pm

    Sandi - Happy Mother’s Day. Cora’s so proud to be your daughter – cheering from heaven for her Mom.

    Love from Texas
    SandiReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 1:30 pm

    Emily - Thinking of you today…Happy Mothers Day.xoxoReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 1:35 pm

    Anonymous - I can’t imagine the pain you are continuing to go through. I know that today must hurt for you. Your sweet Cora is always a part of you, especially today. It doesn’t matter what we say to you, no one can feel your heart, your hurt, your longing for your child who is gone. It is ok to question God and ask him why. Jesus himself said why have you forsaken me in the last moments of his life. It isn’t easy to always understand His plan for us; you may never know why he took such a beautiful life away so soon. I do know that I have found such incredible inspiration in your story. What it means to have faith, why I should live each day to the fullest, why we should never take anything for granted. I think of you often and your sweet little Cora. She is a beautiful child and heaven shines a little brighter because she is there waiting to see you again. I do hope that you will one day have a full time job right where you want it. May God continue to be a presence in your life and I hope that each day that comes is a little easier to bear for you. Live and love for Cora. God bless.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 2:06 pm

    Ruthie - Hi Jess,

    I read this post the other day when it went up, but today is “the day,” and I’ve been thinking of you and will be praying for you as soon as I submit this comment. I am so sorry for the pain of Cora being gone from your arms, and I’m going to be praying that the Lord really loves on you today with his gentlness and grace to help ease the ache a bit.

    You are, and always will be, a Mom!!! Cora will always be your daughter, right? That will never end, and so you will never stop being her mom. I know you don’t get to “mother” her the same way with her in heaven, but you are her Mommy, regardless!

    I love and am proud of all six of my children, and only two of them live with me, the other four went to heaven through miscarriage. I know the ache of wanting to hold your child and know they are okay, etc… I’m praying so much for peace today for you.

    Happy Mother’s Day. I pray it is filled with sweet memories of Cora and hope for the future too! I’m sending you a huge hug from a fellow Mama and a lot of love too.

    RuthieReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Rebecca - Thinking of you and praying for you today. Happy Mother’s Day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 3:10 pm

    Amber - Just want you to know I’m thinking of you today, what a difficult day this must be for you. I hope you can find some joy in the sweet memory of Cora. Celebrate your own mother today, and smile knowing Cora is in heaven and you’ll see her again someday.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 3:14 pm

    Michelle - Today is Mothers Day and I imagine it is a hard one for you. I hope you find some peace, still praying for you. You are your family are always in my heart. With love and hugs….ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 4:22 pm

    Cindy - Thinking of you today. Happy Mother’s Day, many hugs sent to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 5:44 pm

    rachel vaughn - Praying for you especially today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 5:55 pm

    Courtney - Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you have a blessed day. God bless you and your family.
    CourtneyReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 8:06 pm

    Anonymous - I know today must be an especially difficult day. Today at church our pastor said a special prayers for those mothers whose children have gone to be with Jesus. I immediately thought of you as I prayed and lifted you up to the Lord. I pray that God blesses you with more children when you are ready. You are and will always be Cora’s mother. You are such an inspiration.

    Love, AshleyReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    Shelly Primm - Thinking of you today and hoping that you are feeling the prayers sent your way. God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 8:19 pm

    Sue - Thinking of you on Mother’s Day. I am crushed that Cora is not with you today. You are a beautiful example of a loving, faithful, godly mother. I’m praying that God blesses you with more children soon so you can get back to your very favorite job. Much love to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 9:53 pm

    aimee - Hi Jess, it’s been a while since I posted a comment but I especially wanted you to know that there is another mom today who is thinking of you. I pray for your family regularly, and I am praying extra for you today, as I expect it must be a very tough day.

    I want you to know that you will always be a mommy, because death cannot change that you carried Cora in your body and cared and protected her during her sweet short time on earth. I just wish she could be with you.

    AimeeReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 9:56 pm

    Brian and Staci - I can just see the sparkle in your eye in all your pictures with Cora. I don’t even know you…yet I find myself wondering how you are daily?? Crazy huh!? I sent up extra prayers for you on Mother’s Day. I’m praying you will once again get to be a Mommy and enjoy your favorite job.ReplyCancel

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  • May 10, 2009 - 10:53 pm

    Instant Family of 4 - I just wanted to let you know that God is using you in ways no one ever would have imagined (as if you didn’t already know that). I needed to read this post today. I myself have been struggling with God’s will in my life lately and if you can do it in these awful circumstances I can do it too. We pray for you and your family daily and couldn’t be more broken by your story.ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 3:49 pm

    Anonymous - You don’t know me, but I pray for you. Oh, how I pray for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Anonymous - I can’t even begin to know, understand, comprehend or feel your pain but, my heart aches for you. I love how you are able to process your thoughts…so honest, so pure….God bless you for your growing faith…you are an inspiration. Thank youReplyCancel

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  • May 11, 2009 - 10:22 pm

    Lipstick - Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us. It is truly a privledge to read.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 2:52 pm

    Clare Z. - I love the way you write. I can truely understand what you’re saying, like I’m standing there talking with you one-on-one. I feel your emotion and the realness of it all. Your words flow, easy to understand and putting us, your readers, right there with you in the moment. You could even do childrens’ books. I think you’d be great at it! It would give you a chance to work through the sorrow rather than against it. I know nothing compares to being a mother. It’s the best and hardest job in the world but I wouldn’t trade it for anything just as I know you wouldn’t. You’ll ALWAYS be Cora’s Mommy, and she will ALWAYS be your daughter. NOTHING can ever change that!

    I hope you find what’s right for you and what brings you the most happiness.

    ClareReplyCancel

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  • May 14, 2009 - 1:28 pm

    Allison - You are so amazing and such a mother too many. You have such a beautiful spirit. I want you to know that I think of you and your family a lot. Many blessings to you! HUGS :)ReplyCancel

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fairy princess.

My little niece Ellie came to stay with me for two days last week.  She even spent the night. She is so sweet. I really enjoyed having her around. She would just follow me around and help me do things. She talked a lot too. I loved having someone to talk to. Oh, and she ALWAYS wanted to wear her princess outfit. ALL DAY. She actually brought along two. It was fun. It made me miss Cora so much though. All the things that I did with Ellie–those were the things that I had dreamed about doing with Cora this spring and summer. Just hanging out. Together. I miss the noise and joy that a child brings to your house. I miss that so much.

Ellie called everything in our house Cora’s. I LOVED  that. I loved how Cora was still such a part of our family to her.  She wanted to go in Cora’s room, read Cora’s books, play with Cora’s toys, take a bath in Cora’s bathtub, and blow Cora’s bubbles.
She told me that she was going to blow some bubbles to baby Cora up in heaven. With tears in my eyes I told her that I thought that baby Cora would love to get bubbles from her. She blew them as high as she could.
The day was filled with lots of tears, but good tears. Tears because of all the wonderful memories I have with Cora. Tears because I miss her smiles and noises filling our home. Tears because I miss feeling like a mom. Tears because Cora wasn’t there to have a sleepover and play princess with her cousin Ellie. And tears because Cora wasn’t here to meet her newest cousin, Esther Marie.
My sister-in-law had a little girl last week. Ellie stayed with us because her parents were in the hospital with her new baby sister. The emotions we were feeling when we heard about Esther and saw her for the first time were so hard to deal with. We were feeling such joy that Bill and Olivia were blessed with a healthy little girl.  Truly a precious gift from the Lord.  But we were filled with such sadness as we remembered the joy that overwhelmed us when Cora was born. The reality that she is not here for us to hold and love hit again. Bill and Olivia were so sweet and understanding. They told us we didn’t need to come to the hospital because they knew it would be too hard. It was the same hospital where Cora was born. It is so hard to balance such a joyful thing with the deep sadness that our hearts are still feeling.
Thanks Bill and Olivia for letting us spend time with Ellie. Thank you for being so understanding and crying with us even during this joyful time in your lives. Esther is precious. She is so blessed to be a part of your family. We love you!

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  • May 1, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    Stephanie - What precious little girls! Praying for you!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 9:52 pm

    TeeTee - How adorable!

    I am praying for you and your family.

    I cried when I read this post, it was beautifully written.

    ~TeeTeeReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 9:56 pm

    Candace - Praying and crying along with you. Much love… and loyal reader in Cincinnati.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 9:57 pm

    Marla Taviano - What a touching post, Jess. I don’t cry too terribly often when I read blogs, but yours always gets to me. For some reason, I can just feel the pain of missing Cora.

    Praying God continues to heal your heart and blesses you with another little one in His perfect timing.

    Loving you guys!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 9:58 pm

    Michelle - That would be so hard. So hard it would be easy to quit living, and lock yourself away. But it would still hurt and then you would not only miss Cora, but Ellie and her new sister. I’m glad you are able to find the strength to continue on. Congratulations on being an Aunt again. Prayers and blessings for you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:04 pm

    Becky - I’m thinking of your family always. I am so so sorry for your loss. I cry whenever I read about how sad you feel. My heart aches for you to hold your baby again.
    With lots of love in my heart,
    Becky from CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:06 pm

    Lauren Kelly - So sweet and continuing to pray for you all!!! We love you!! :O)ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:18 pm

    Polka Dot Moon - Your words tug at my heart. They make me smile, but I often cry.

    Just know that you are thought of and prayed for daily.

    DeniseReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:23 pm

    Sheryl - praying for you in michigan tonight!

    you have such a beautiful spirit!ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    kate - I don’t know you and you of course don’t me. I don’t have kids…or a husband – but I pray for those kind of loves. I hurt for you and I pray for your heart to be light….someday.

    May God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand….kateReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Ang - I also cried when I read this. What a sweet post. Praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Vera - I cried through this whole post… I am praying for you every day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Sara - Those little girls are so sweet and cute!

    My heart goes out to you guys, you handle everything with such grace though.

    In my prayers…ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:26 pm

    Ang - I also cried when I read this. What a sweet post. Praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:39 pm

    Anonymous - I read your post daily…and I think of you often. What a strong person you are. I will continue to pray for you…ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    Erica - i am glad you have such a wonderful, beautiful family to love you through all of this. your nieces are dolls, i know it must have been hard, yet you are so blessed!ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:53 pm

    Natalie H. - I have never written before, but I have followed your blog since about the end of January. I have grieved with you and prayed faithfully for you. Next Sunday is going to be another hard milestone. I have an idea to try to help you through it. I believe the Holy Spirit inspired it. This week you and your mom make as many onesies, blankets, etc as you can and at the end of the week donate them to a crisis pregnancy center. This is a way to honor Cora and your own motherhood by giving to babies who almost did not get to experience life and to mothers who thankfully do not have to live with that guilt and regret. You are a mother forever and while this mother’s day will be most likely the saddest one you will ever go through, know that since I can’t even sew a button on straight, I am going out this week and buying a pretty dress and donating it to our CPC in honor of you and Cora for Mother’s Day.I hope this eases your burden in even the smallest of ways. Proverbs 3:5-6ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:57 pm

    Karen - Ellie is just so precious! How nice that you had time together.
    I still think that your Cora is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.
    I have followed your journey. I have cried thousands of tears for you.
    Cora changed the course of my life. I am back in school. Applying to the nursing program next yearand hoping to work in Peds Oncology…all because of Cora.
    hugs…and thanksReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:58 pm

    The Jarmans - You’re in my thoughts & prayers… Remember that even though you don’t feel like a Mommy, you should… because you are Cora’s Mommy and you forever will be…ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 10:59 pm

    Jennifer W. - Beautiful post. And beautiful nieces. I think about you and Cora quite often; your story has changed me. My heart is with you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:02 pm

    ryanne - Whoa. Jessica, such a wonderful writer. You conveyed your emotions so clearly, my heart is breaking. Cora is so lucky to have such a loving family. Bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:04 pm

    beckley - oh…
    grace and peace to you today.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:08 pm

    Trasie Bressler - You are so amazing!!!

    I admire your strength, your faith, and your ability to move forward.

    I sit here tonight holding my Ellee and wiping away the tears from reading your post. I know that God must be so proud of you. May God continue to bless you!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:09 pm

    PamperingBeki - Jess, you are such a beautiful soul.

    I cry for you daily, still.

    Ellie is such a gorgeous little girl! Y’all have some darn good genes in that family.

    One Sunday your mom had her at our church and I couldn’t stop staring at her. I went over to her after church to say “I just had to tell you what a stunning baby that is!” and then I realized who I was talking to. haha! “Oh! Your Jessica’s mom!”

    You are still a mom! Just because you’re not taking care of a little one right now doesn’t take away from the fact that you’re a mom and will always be.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:10 pm

    Becky - This is just precious…it’s so sweet that Cora will always be a presence in your family and remembered and loved….you are in my prayers. BeckyReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:38 pm

    Judy - What a cute little fairy princess! Whew..I’m crying and can totally understand all your varying emotions, but I’m sure it was great to have special time with Ellie! I LOVE how Cora is still such a part of her life. So sweet! I’m reading Randy Alcorn’s book “Heaven” right now and it’s been making me think of you guys a lot. I don’t know if you’ve read it. I’m not much a non-fiction reader and the book is pretty long and deep but I’m learning so much. I’ve been walking with the Lord for decades but had so many questions about Heaven and everything surrounding it. My heart has been so broken over Cora and our little friend Alex with cancer and my little 2 year old cousin Olivia with leukemia. I’ve had so many questions, such struggle in my heart and this book is bringing me so much peace to learn more about the place God is preparing for us. One of the things that was mentioned that brought me so much comfort is the fact that Heaven will be a familiar place to us. It won’t feel like a foreign land that we’ve never been to. We’ll find it to be comforting and familiar because it was made with each of us in mind. Isn’t that encouraging? I thought so. I just think of how safe and comfortable Cora felt in your home and in your presence. She feels all of that and more with her Heavenly Father in the place he created for her.ReplyCancel

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  • May 1, 2009 - 11:49 pm

    Elle's Mom - I cry every time I read your blog. What a beautiful picture of your niece blowing bubbles to heaven. How special to have had that time with her. Thinking of you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 12:09 am

    Christina - It’s so amazing that hearts can be broken and full at the same time…it doesn’t make sense, really, but so much about what God does is a mystery to us, even the wonderful things. I pray that God will continue to carry and comfort you all. I pray that you will always allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. And I pray that our heavenly Father will help you remember that you will always be Cora’s mommy.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 12:18 am

    Lori Danelle Wilson - I still can’t read you blog without crying. I don’t think I’ve left your page dry eyed once since I started reading in January.

    How my heart goes out to you! Since I can’t make it through reading about it without crying, I’m amazed at your strength and reliance on God to make it through each day without falling apart.

    You stay in our prayers.

    InksomniaReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 12:40 am

    Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - Still here…still praying for you…I remember after our losses, my son was such a blessing because he loved to talk about and remember his brothers and sisters. Most of the world didn’t. His childlike faith and enthusiasm were such blessings to me.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 2:47 am

    Ruth - Such a beautiful, honest post. Still praying for you guys!

    I bet Cora loved the bubbles.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 6:31 am

    oneordinaryday - What a lovely post.
    Congratulations on becoming an auntie again.
    And also on taking one step at a time and one day at a time in searching for your new “normal.” You’re doing great.
    God bless.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 6:50 am

    hoosier68 - I’m in tears again and think of you so often. Just one day at a time, step by step, that is all you can do.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 6:56 am

    mommyof2sons - What a beautiful post. I cried! I am sure Cora loved the bubbles. Your nieces are adorable!! Prayers for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 7:29 am

    Whimsical Creations - What a sweet, precious little girl.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 7:44 am

    Amanda - What sweet little girls.:) I didn’t know Olivia had another baby! They are both beautiful. I cried when I read this post. I appreciate SO MUCH how willingly you share you heart. I needed to hear it. I have 4 children, and sometimes I get so caught up with the messes they make and the trouble they get into that I forget to just sit and enjoy them. They could return to our heavenly Father anytime. Your post today made me realize that. I continue to pray for you. Joel was especially on my heart the other day. I wonder how he is coping with it all. Let him know I said a special prayer for him! I’m sure it’s not easy. I love you guys and am praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 8:07 am

    Becky - A beautiful post and beautiful photos. Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 8:26 am

    Kristin Stegent - Wow…I can see how so many things are over and over again going to bring you to miss Cora so deeply! I am sure it would be the same for me. I still think of you and your family so often and tell people about your story and Cora. I cannot imagine the deep overwhelming sadness you must feel a lot of days. You are very precious, Jess!ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 8:45 am

    tami - I love seeing how Our Heavenly Father is using your beautiful spirit to minister to those you have not met or know, like me! May God continue to carry you through these days! My three year old never forgets to mention Cora’s name or Cora’s mommy and daddy during our prayers!ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 9:24 am

    The Sweigart Family - Jess, that got the tears flowing. Your honesty is inspiring. Praying for you everyday.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 10:10 am

    Yankee Mama - In tear with you.

    This is such a bittersweet post.
    You have beautiful nieces. And they have a beautiful Aunt.

    Still praying.

    Much Love,
    SuziReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 10:16 am

    Instant Family of 4 - You are so strong. I can’t imagine how sweet and yet sad it must have been for you to spend time with your niece. May God bless you as you continue to share your life and Cora’s for his honor.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 10:30 am

    Anonymous - As usual tears are streaming down my face. My heart aches for you. You are truly AMAZING! Although life must seem unbearable you keep going and find the joy around you. ENJOY the wonderful memories you have of your seet Cora.
    Thoughts and prayers multiple times a day!

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 11:02 am

    Mission of mamahood - What a sweet moment to share with your niece. I’m sure Cora is blowing bubbles right back at you both.

    My heart goes out to you and your family…your beautiful daughter will never be forgotten and you will always be her mommy.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 1:20 pm

    Holly & Helen's Hassack - i hope you know how inspiring your honesty, strength, grief & grace are. thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 2:33 pm

    Karina - Another beautiful, heart-wrenching post. With Mother’s Day coming, I think of you more often than ever.

    I hope you will have more children, Jess, and I hope it doesn’t hurt or offend you for me to say so. Not to replace Cora in any way, but to give the gift of yourself as mother to more sweet babies. You are made to be a mother – you have a loving and patient yet strong nature, and while you will always be Cora’s Mommy, I hope Cora will have brothers and sisters for you to love too.

    Many hugs and congratulations on being an auntie!ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 3:54 pm

    Kim - What an absolutely beautiful post. I admire you so much for your faith and positive outlook on things. I tear up whenever I read your blog. I don’t know you, but my thoughts and prayers are with you!
    Kim from OklahomaReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 4:13 pm

    Kat - Oh my. Blowing bubbles to heaven for baby Cora, words cannot express how incredibly precious that is. Still crying and praying for you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 4:51 pm

    Kristi - I am still praying for your sweet family. Your niece is so blessed to have you as her aunt :).ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 5:31 pm

    Anonymous - Your niece is adorable! I’m glad that you were able to spend some time with her. I am still praying for your family daily.

    AshleyReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 5:43 pm

    Julia - Girl, you are so strong. I know that strength comes from the faith you have in Him, but I still admire you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 5:56 pm

    Lynn - Jess, you are one brave woman. Someone is going to need all of the courage you have gathered someday, and there is no question you will generously give it to them open-handed, and the blessing you receive will be amazing. Only God knows how to deal with those wrenching contradictions that come our way, and He knows how faithfully you are leaning on him. One second, one minute, one hour at a time. We all love you, sweet girl.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 6:13 pm

    Anonymous - You write so well. I feel like I am in your shoes when I read your posts, and I cry and cry. I will pray for you and your beautiful family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 6:47 pm

    Jessatsea - continuing to pray for you and for Joel. I have heard that the hardest time is not necessarily when you first lose them but when time goes on and well… the “attention” isn’t as much as it was.

    Please know that strangers are out here praying for you each and every day and that well… I just ache for you still.

    I am glad that you had this precious time with your niece and congratulations on your new niece. You handled it beautifully!

    God Bless,
    Jess in TexasReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 8:11 pm

    mandi - Very sweet words! I have so much respect for you … keeping you in my prayers.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 9:07 pm

    Kelly - How great of you to serve your family by taking care of their little one, even when it was hard. You are an amazing example of God’s grace, strength & peace.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    Lindsay - Your beautiful and honest words always make me cry, but your hope and willingness to share these very personal feelings and the life and memories of your sweet daughter with us lift me up. I so wish that I could carry some of your pain for you…I will continue to pray.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 9:34 pm

    autumn - Your strength is amazing. What a sweet thing your niece did by remembering Cora and blowing her bubbles. That made me cry! Praying for you.. God Bless.ReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 11:33 pm

    Falling Around - Oh, Jess… I don’t know what to say. I cannot begin to imagine the depth of sorrow you face, but still,you are filled with such grace. Grace that I know only our Heavenly Father could provide. You continue to shine for Him. He *will* bless you & Joel for enduring.

    With Love,
    ChristyReplyCancel

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  • May 2, 2009 - 11:56 pm

    BugaBoos Creations - I recently came across your blog and read every bit of it in one night and just cried and cried. As a mom I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through, and my heart breaks for you. Though I do not know you I feel blessed just to have read your blog, your incredible strength is inspiring. You and your family are in my prayers everynight. God Bless, NicoleReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 8:25 am

    Micah - What a sweet, sweet story. You are an amazing person. I’m so thankful God blessed you with such a wonderful, understanding family to help you through this tough time.ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 8:29 am

    Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) - Still praying for you and yours, Jess! What a lovely little treat for you to have! One very nice thing about children, is that they don’t understand taboo subjects and that to Ellie, Cora is still here….we should all learn so much from Ellie. *nods*

    Take care and keep making your darling dresses when you feel like it, hon!

    ~ HeatherReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 10:23 am

    coffeeloves - thank you for sharing your feelings.
    and articulating what you are experiencing in your heart.
    You are beautiful.ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 11:46 am

    The Moffats - I love this post, Jess. And I love you :) There you have it…I’m back to commenting :) Who cares if there are hundreds of other comments. It’s still you. And it’s still me. :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 1:15 pm

    wicker0407 - You are an amazing mother and you always will be. I think of Cora often she touched my heart with her smile and she will never be forgotten. I still continue to pray for healing for you and Joel.
    God Bless

    Summer and Family in CaliforniaReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 1:30 pm

    Suzie - I just have one word to sum up what I think about your WHOLE family!! “Phenomenal” You are all such a blessing to everyone that you have touched with your amazing little princess!! I find myself referring to baby Cora all of the time and my 10 year old daughter wears the Cora’s playground to school everyday…see how Cora’s life has touched so many strangers(friends). You are so eloquent in your writing and my heart weeps with you!! Praying for you!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 1:32 pm

    Suzie - I meant to say Cora’s Playground necklace…Oops!! While I’m adding and editing :) I just wanted to add that you are a mommy…now and forever!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 1:32 pm

    Jana - I admire you for the way you just keep going day by day. I admire the way you take joy in the small things in life like bubbles. You are truely a joy and an inspiration. I am praying for you and your family.ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 1:37 pm

    Warm n Wonderful - Six months after my partner died suddenly, I was having Christmas dinner with a friend and her family. It was so refreshing when her 7 year old started talking about last Christmas when George had bought him a special toy. Everyone else held their breath. They didn’t want to talk about George in case it made me sad, but I was so happy that someone else was thinking about him that day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 5:42 pm

    The Mershawn's - Just read a comment about you being a mommy forever. You most certainly will be. Our hearts are never the same when they’ve swelled to love our babies. Keep hanging on. Jesus loves you so much, and He knows….
    Still praying for you both!ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 7:56 pm

    Angela - That was so heartfelt, wonderful, and devastatingly sad all at once. Thank you for sharing your joy and your pain with us. It is truly a testament of God’s love, sovereignty, and faithfulness.ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 8:04 pm

    THAT GIRL - The photos of your niece are just precious. I am so very sorry that your heart is so sad…ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 8:40 pm

    Ethansmom08 - Ellie is so precious blowing those bubbles to your sweet angel Cora! Your post was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine all of the emotions your family is experiencing – missing Cora, welcoming a new addition to the family and everything in between. My thoughts and prayers are with you daily. You are such an amazing mother and aunt!

    Love,
    SaraReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 9:02 pm

    Hank and Mary - I think you are a remarkable young women and thank you for your expression of love for your little Cora AND your love for your nieces (and nephews).

    You are being prayed for, I think of you often.

    From someone else’s “Grammy”ReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 10:01 pm

    Anonymous - I’m on tears now at the same time wish to be able to say something that can make you feel better but I don’t think that exist only time and keep praying. I wish if I could understand but I don’t is not fear for you or any Parents to go trough this pain, I do have faith on God that one day we will understand and I have never meet you but my family and I love you and Cora she will always have an space in our harts.
    EldaReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 10:35 pm

    Brittany - What a touching post…with tears in my eyes, I said a prayer for you.

    Blessings,
    BrittanyReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 10:56 pm

    The Morris Family - Your Cora’s mommy and I am my Joel’s mommy forever!!!
    CindyReplyCancel

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  • May 3, 2009 - 11:13 pm

    Lipstick - Wow. Another beautiful post…thank you so much for your writing.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 8:51 am

    Robin in Benton - More tears, smiles and prayers for you. I love your niece blowing bubbles to Cora in heaven. And while you may not feel like it you are and always will be a terrific mom.

    RobinReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 8:51 am

    Toni :O) - Still praying and thinking of you often. So glad you had some special time with Ellie. May God continue to bless you each and every day.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 9:10 am

    Anonymous - I remember trying to have my first child, after a miscarriage, and my sister and brother-in-law telling me they were expecting. The feelings of happiness for them, sadness for me and just plain jealousy (sorry to admit that). It happens. Even with the person we love the most. After they had their baby and I still had none, holding her and carrying her and dreaming what it must be like. You too will get past this. God will see you through. My life during that time was incredibly hard as I know yours is too.
    Praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 9:16 am

    Marsha - What great pictures! My heart hurts for you as you miss Cora so much. I pray for you daily.

    Love and prayers.

    Marsha in VAReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 9:28 am

    Miss Em - You are very blessed to have such amazing family. I keep praying for you and Joel.

    Sending hugs.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 10:30 am

    Happiness Is... - The story about Ellie blowing bubbles to Cora brought tears to my eyes. I think about you all often, even though we’ve never met. (((hugs)))ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 1:05 pm

    Anonymous - We don’t know each other, but my heart just breaks for you. I don’t understand alot of things, but I do know that God is good. I am praying for you as you go through missing Cora. I’m sure that next weekend will be especially hard with it being Mother’s Day. Know that a sister in Georgia is lifting you up to our Father for an extra measure of peace…ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 2:12 pm

    athans' family - I somehow came across your blog last week and still really don’t know how. I have read it over and over and just cry for you and your husband and for your family.
    I have and will continue to pray for you. What a true reminder you are of how bad things happen to good people, but you can still have faith in such a wonderful GOD!!
    Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us moms!
    I can’t wait to buy clothes soon! :)ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 2:27 pm

    Jessica - My heart breaks for you. I think of you often and hope that somehow, someday the pain lessens for you. God bless you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 2:38 pm

    Enos Family - Jess-
    I haven’t commented for awhile, but I continue to follow your story and “check in on you.” This post was so touching and so heartfelt. I haven’t cried like this for awhile. You are truly an amazing woman, and a great writer. I just don’t know if I could have the strength, love and understanding that you do. You are an inspiration. Maybe you should write a book…
    Take care and bless you and Joel.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 4:38 pm

    Kylie, Jesse and Asher - It’s wonderful that you are letting other children help your heart heal. As painful as it was to be around Ellie and Esther it’s good for your soul. I’m sure it will NEVER be easy to be without Cora but it’s so good that you are giving to others and loving with such compassion. Thank you for sharing your heart and being vulnerable…you are amazing!!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 5:00 pm

    Anonymous - Watched your tv segment again..although as usual tears streamed down my face..hearing yours and Joel’s voices talk about your sweet Cora and your FAITH, well I just have no words to express…You continue to inspire and amaze me with your faith..THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR CONTINUEING TO SHARE WITH US, hopefully we haven’t become a hindrence to you…we just wish to support you in some small way.
    You, Joel and Cora continue to be in my thoughts and prayers multiple times a day.

    KimReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 8:35 pm

    Anonymous - you have done in an amazing way what all of us parents need to do. That is you have submitted your daughter to the Lord for His glory . No doubt, this was not the way you had thought He would use such a precious girl. Yet, He clearly has used her and we are all the richer for your giving her to Him. We are blessed because you have taught us what it means to submit to our Father and you have taught us that in doing this what is His is also yours. Some of us pray that our children will bring glory to our Lord. You have taught us that this prayer is not to be taken lightly. As you celebrate Mothers’ Day you will be feeling an emptiness like we cannot imagine. Yet maybe you can find some strength and solace in the fact that God has used your little precious Cora to touch so many of us.
    We love you so much and prayer for you many times.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 10:25 pm

    Trina S. - I just read your stories about Cora and I wish you and your family lots of love and light.ReplyCancel

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  • May 4, 2009 - 10:49 pm

    The little things - .. I too am sitting here crying at your post- you are so wonderfuly real and so wonderfuly beautiful. Our family loves following you and praying for you and loving on you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 12:10 pm

    t.roe - my heart greives for you guys.
    we will continue to pray for your heart to mend and heal. mourning is a process and it takes time. time to heal. know you guys are loved by so many people and that your little cora is so very proud of you and the witness you have been for The Lord through all of this!
    hugs!!ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 12:22 pm

    Anonymous - I only have boys….Ellie has one amazing sense of Princess style! I LOVE her outfits. I can see why she wears them everyday:)ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 1:16 pm

    Debbie - Boston - I am praying for you and your family…I can’t imagine the pain you are going through…No mother should have to deal with that kind of pain and loss.

    Your Cora was a beautiful little girl. I cry every time I think of your tragedy and hope for peace and happiness in your future.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 1:57 pm

    Anonymous - You are still in my thoughts and prayers! Keep the faith!ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 2:52 pm

    Amy H - I know this weekend is going to be very hard for you so I wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts. You are such a good mommy, even if your baby isn’t in your arms every night. She is in your heart and that still makes such a difference. She can feel your love.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 4:02 pm

    PamperingBeki - Wishing you a peaceful rainy Tuesday.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 5:17 pm

    Judy - Hey! I’m praying for you guys today!ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 5:57 pm

    Kristin Stegent - I was just thinking of you, Jess, and thinking this must be a really hard week for you with it being mother’s day. I went back and read almost your whole blog during Cora’s life, and I just wanted to tell you that I think you are a precious and beautiful Mommy…and that Cora must be so glad to be your baby girl! I hurt for you just thinking of this week. And I wish so badly you could dress Cora up and take her to church feeling proud to be her mom. I am so sorry! You are so loved!ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 8:13 pm

    Wendy - jess, you really have such beautiful words. i can see the kindness in you. i’m so glad you have a wonderful mother to celebrate mother’s day with. i pray that brings you joy in the midst of the absence of your precious girl. I know Cora will be in Heaven, looking down at you, praying so hard that her mommy has a Happy Mother’s Day.

    love and prayers from North CarolinaReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 8:47 pm

    Kelli - Beautifully said. Crying and praying with you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 9:12 pm

    kristin - Jess, I have thought about your comment about missing the feeling of being a mom. My heart goes out to you and I pray for you & Joel on a daily basis. You are still a mom, you are still Cora’s mom and you always will be. I pray that when you all are ready you will be blessed with another child. I will uplift you in prayer as this mothers day appoaches. With love, KristinReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 9:55 pm

    Cristy - Jess…

    Still praying for you guys. How precious….bubbles for Cora! Oh, what a sweet post. Your words tug at my heart.

    CristyReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 10:03 pm

    Jessica - Cora was very blessed to have you as a mommy. The part about blowing bubbles to cora made me have tears…its amazing how kids can say the most innocent of things and touch our lives…

    prayers are constantly with you.ReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 10:18 pm

    balmingilead - You are in my thoughts and prayers continually. – AmyReplyCancel

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  • May 5, 2009 - 11:54 pm

    jen christians - I have read an re-read this post… You have a way with words that allows us into your heart. Thank-you…It helps me know how to pray for you… Reminds me how to be a better person, and keeps me focused on a Christ centered life.. You are so selfless… In so many ways…Imagine that…YOU helping me… And I am SURE I am not the only one…. God Bless you Jess…ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 8:59 am

    PamperingBeki - Praying for you this morning.
    Praying you smile as you think of fond memories of Cora.
    Her little laugh, her chubby thighs, the sleepless nights and messes you had to clean. It was all worth it.
    Praying you feel a peace knowing that she’s sitting in the lap of Jesus today. And as anxious as you are to see her again, she’s just as excited to see you and her daddy again!ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 9:06 am

    mommaof4wife2r - bless your sweet hearts…tears are the only thing on my mind right now. prayers continue for you all.

    and what a precious fam you have too! your niece is a special little gift…ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 10:39 am

    shepherdsgrace - sniff, sniff…

    blowing the bubbles up to heaven…

    sniff, sniff…

    thank you for sharing…ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 11:02 am

    Sarah Joy - I just wanted to leave you a message to tell you that I was in Targhet buying cards for Mother’s Day this weekend and totally started crying thinking about you. I will be praying for you the rest iof this week and this weekend will be especially praying for you as you walk through your first Mother’s Day with our your sweet Cora here to hold. I know the Lord is with and I pray he will speak to your heart exactly what you and Joel need to hear.ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 12:02 pm

    The Boyds - Jess,
    I am still praying for you. Particularly as this weekend arrives. You have been heavy on my heart lately. Naomi an I pray for you each day during our Bible time. May God continue to comfort you!

    “May Your unfailing love be my comfort,according to Your promise to your servant.” Psalm 119:76

    With many prayers,
    Kelly
    akboyd@blogspot.comReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 4:47 pm

    Ashley - Thinking of you as this upcoming Mother’s Day approaches. I am sending up prayers of comfort for you…God loves you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 6, 2009 - 9:50 pm

    Marlene W. - Oh my, this just left tears in my eyes. You have darling nieces who are so blessed to have you as an aunt. I am sure Cora treasured all those bubbles sent up to her. I am still praying for you and sending you from-the-bottom-of-my-heart encouragement that God will bring you through every day with His love.ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 1:41 pm

    ran shae - thinking of and praying for you!ReplyCancel

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  • May 7, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    The Schilling's from PICU - Oh she is sooo sweet. Tell your sister we are sooo glad to finally meet the precious babe that was in her belly! :) I can’t imagine what you were feeling at that time. I pray that once again some day you will feel that feeling of having another child to hold and love…. Cora will be a precious angel to watch over her brothers and sisters to come…. I wish I could have just jumped through this screen and hugged you! Take care and know we are praying hard for happier days ahead for you all!
    Love ALWAYS!

    AMIEReplyCancel

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  • May 9, 2009 - 6:40 pm

    Nan - How bittersweet… I imagine many things have that flavor nowadays for you both. Those pangs of loss will always be there but I pray that as the months turn to years, God turns them all into sweetness — sweetness of your memories and God’s sweet comfort in the most hellish of circumstances. Your tears and your reliance upon him are sweet and precious to him and he has them counted.

    There is nothing like the bond that we have in Christ that enables us to rejoice with those who rejoice and that enables us to mourn with those who mourn… even when we have to do those things simultaneously.

    I simply can’t fathom your sorrow and that horrible deep pit of emptiness that hits you in waves… but Oh how our Heavenly Father knows it and chose it willingly for our salvation and for the security of our joy — joy which penetrates even into the deepest of pains. You clearly have that joy even through your tears.ReplyCancel

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  • May 12, 2009 - 6:28 am

    Tammie - i love that you are sharing your heart and tears and days and thoughts and FAITH with us….i haven’t been here in a little while but i am so glad i stopped by this morning. I love you heart….. and i love feeling the tears roll down my cheeks as i read your words….and see God’ healing in between the lines…..

    Your sister in Jesus,
    TammieReplyCancel

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