Today, one month ago I gave birth to a stillborn infant named Cora. There are several words that come to mind when I think of Cora: miraculous, bittersweet, tragic but most of all inspirational. In honor of her, instead of publishing the blog post I was already working on about how we are dealing, I decided to share some really incredible stories I’ve collected. Please watch these videos…all of them. Yes, you will cry your eyes out, but the people in the videos will teach you the most important lessons you will learn in this life: how to celebrate every day, how to overcome the odds or how to deal when you can’t overcome them, appreciation of every little thing and perspective. In honor of Cora today, let yourself slow down, watch the videos, cry, and let yourself be inspired by these stories….
Meet Zach Sobiech, he had cancer; Osteosarcoma to be exact, and he was only 18. He passed away in May of this year but he truly, truly knew how to appreciate life and the people in his life. He wrote a song, “Clouds”, that got 7 million views and attention from some celebrities. You can tell in the video how much people love him, what a light he is to the world in his short life and how he changed many.
“My closure is being able to get my feelings into these songs so they can have something to remember me by or lean on when I’m gone,” Zach explains. “I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.”
This is Julie Manning, mother of two little boys who is diagnosed with a chronic heart problem that could result in a cardiac arrest at any moment. She is on the transplant wait list for a new heart. To this day, she struggles with the fact that she could die doing anything: running around with her boys, laying on the couch, in her sleep. This is her story of the faith and peace God granted her in this life.
“There are hundreds of times a day I’m reminded that my life is not my own and that any moment Jesus could take me”
This is Elliot and his parent’s story, one that intimately touches my heart. I watched this video in ultrasound school and bawled my eyes out. Now I have gained his parent’s perspective. This video is a story of a little baby with Trisomy 18, which is a fatal fetal syndrome almost 100% of the time before the age of 1. This little boy lived 99 days and everyday his parents chose to focus on his life and not his diagnosis. They celebrated and documented each day. I always kept this family in my heart, especially when Josh and I learned of Cora’s diagnosis.
Finally, this is our Cora’s story. She is no longer around to tell it, so I must. She never took a breath, her heart never beat outside of my womb, but she touched thousands. What helps me cope is the fact that people won’t forget her. It won’t just be Josh and I grieving her loss, she touched too many people. This blog has over 38,000 views from all over the world. That is seriously incredible and I promise it has NOTHING to do with my writing, as incoherent as it is. It has everything to do with our Creator and His creation. I received so many pictures of people praying for her and even those were just a small portion of the prayers she received internationally. Josh created a video celebrating Cora in a prior blog that visibly shows all the people Cora changed. I am different. God taught me to slow down, be content in every stage of life and enjoy the small moments. At some point, you stop complaining that “Life isn’t fair” and just live. It makes the wait for eternity so much more pleasant and maybe, just maybe you’ll change someone’s life along the way. I would give anything to hold Cora again, but I know that is not how God intended her life. God knew exactly what He was doing when He created her life. He meant so many greater things for her than this world can provide.