Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Toothpaste at last, or Kenny turns two

For months Kenny had been begging for toothpaste at bedtime like his big brothers get, and I'd been clear with him that he could have it once he turned two. Now the day has finally come. "Kenny, how old are you?" Toothpaste.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Mary's Slide Show

Happy Easter!

We've been asked to post the slide show from Mom's service on Saturday, because it was a little hard for those in the back to see. We are working on getting the audio for the entire service and will post that as soon as we can.

We are so thankful for the tremendous amount of support we received on Saturday. It was truly a beautiful testimony to Mom's life.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Birthday Guy!

Tommy turned six this week. Poor kid, it was a hard week to have a good time. We tried our best to make it a great day for him, and I think it worked, mostly because he got to have tons of sugar.

We started off with his favorite breakfast- pancakes with whipped cream and strawberries.

Then he took a trip to the park with Jeff and his Grandma Janie.

In the afternoon we went for ice cream with Papa, Auntie Colleen, and Uncle Kevin.

He got to choose dinner, so as you can see we ended up at In-N-Out for burgers, animal-style fries, AND a Sprite (this really blew his mind).

He opened presents.

Aunt Emily made him a really awesome cake to match his outfit. What could be better for a hardcore bruin like Tommy?

Happy sixth birthday Tommy!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Mary Kathryn Cox

Mary Kathryn Cox went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 11, 2014 after courageously living with pancreatic cancer for over two years. She was 57. Mary was born on November 10, 1956 in Hawthorne, CA to James and Kathryn Reinhardt. She attended Seaside Elementary, graduated from South Torrance High School in 1974, took courses at El Camino Community College and graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2008. She married Thomas John Cox in 1978. She is survived by her husband and their four children: Amy (Jeff), Katie (Jeremy), Emily (Michael), and Kevin (Colleen); five grandsons: Tommy, Nicolas, Kenny, Owen, and J.P.; and was predeceased by her granddaughter, Leah. Mary took joy in staying home to care for her children, finishing her college education, volunteering at church and in the community, serving with Bible Study Fellowship, and opening her home in hospitality. She loved the beach, walking, hiking, biking, traveling, going to plays, tailgating at UCLA football games (Go Bruins!), and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She loved her husband, Tom, and considered him a great gift, a wonderful husband, father, friend, and brother in Christ. A service will be held at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Redondo Beach on Saturday, April 19 at 11am. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Juna Amagara and Watts Power House Food. Go to to send the family messages and to share memories. Sign the guest book at

Published in Daily Breeze on Apr. 16, 2014

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Memorial Service Info

Mom's memorial service will be Saturday, April 19th (as in this coming Saturday) at 11 am at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 301 Avenue D Redondo Beach.
If you would like to come celebrate Mom's life with us, we would love to see you.

Mercy Upon Mercy

Coherence may escape me tonight, but I wanted to share some small pictures of God's grace to us today.

If you ever heard my mom talk about death, you knew she wanted to go quickly. She was not afraid of death and she was ready to hang out with Jesus, but she was not looking forward to the process of dying. On Thursday my mom was moving around the house, eating and drinking on her own, playing games with the boys, g-chatting with Katie and Owen, and forcing the rest of us to stay up late so she could binge-watch HGTV (TV took her mind off her pain). She was completely lucid and engaged, albeit a little tired. In fact, with the exception of some pain episodes, she really had a nice week. None of us thought she was so close to the end. She only spent one day in bed, and that day was her last. This was how she wanted to go.

Mom's downturn began with her collapsing next to her bed in the very early morning. She somehow managed to reach the bell by her bedside and ring it. The only reason that anyone heard it was because Nic was sleeping very poorly that night and a few hours before had come into my room to ask me to get him some water and clip his fingernails, which is probably the most ridiculous request I have ever fielded during the night. I was more than a little irritated and took him back to his room, but as I was putting him down in his bed he asked if he could sleep on my floor, and I agreed. A little later Nic woke me up and said, "what is that bell sound?" and that allowed me to hear mom's call for help. Usually we would try not to disturb Mom before 10am, so she might have lay on the floor for hours, and that would have been terrible. I am so thankful that Nic was restless and persistent and that he was awake when Mom needed someone to hear her.

Many times this week Mom expressed to us that she was ready to be with the Lord whenever He called, but she was really hoping to say goodbye to Katie in person first. She told everyone that once she saw Katie on Saturday she would be done. At the time, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that she would make it. When she took her turn for the worse Friday morning, we called Katie and she hopped on the first plane she could. All afternoon we kept Mom informed of Katie's progress, though with all the medicine we didn't know for sure if she understood. Around noon the hospice nurse told us she didn't think Mom would make it until Katie arrived at 4. Those last few hours you could see Mom was fighting hard, and she hung on until Katie got there. She passed away within minutes of Katie's arrival. We are all so incredibly thankful that Katie was with us and that she got to say goodbye. It was such a gift to all be together during those last moments.

None of us were quite prepared for what happened today, and maybe we never could be adequately prepared, but Mom's decline was so rapid that it caught us all a little off guard. It still doesn't feel real, and we are all really missing mom and dreading how much we will miss her in the days to come. In the midst of this, we are so thankful for the way that today worked out. Nic heard her when no one else would have, Katie made it and was able to say goodbye, and Mom died quickly and surrounded by family. God lined things up so that today worked out. We are all so grateful for his graciousness towards us.

More than anything, we are so thankful that God, in his great mercy and through the love and sacrifice of his son, has healed my mom, ended her pain, and ushered her into His presence. We know she has peace, because she has Him.

Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15: 50-58

Friday, 11 April 2014


I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Mom is with Jesus. We are so thankful for her life, for the time that we have had with her the last few years, and for her strong faith in Christ and her love for all of us.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Beach Boys

We've had some fantastic weather lately, and we've needed to get out of the house for a few hours, so we hit the beach. My guys love the beach (and so does dad), so it worked out well for everyone. It was nice to get out and enjoy the sunshine. There is just something about the beach that always makes me feel a little better.

Monday, 7 April 2014


I thought I would post an update on how things are going, because, well, everyone has been asking. We are managing. Right now Dad and I are home, Emily is over almost every day to help out, and Kevin is around as much as his work and school schedule permit. Katie is wrapping some things up and heading in soon. We are all looking forward to being together.

We are all focused on enjoying as much time with mom as she can give us, but she is very weak and tired most of the time. Because she has become so sick so quickly, and because she needs to guard her health very carefully to be able to spend time with Katie, Mom really is no longer able to see anyone outside of our family at this time. She so appreciates all of the calls and notes expressing a desire to see her and say goodbye (and had hoped she would be able to), but she simply can't. She is also not really able to read or respond to email or Facebook messages because reading at length on the computer strains her eyes. She is still able to read notes and cards, so if you did have something to communicate with her please drop it in the mail (or the mailbox) and we will absolutely make sure she gets it. She has really been encouraged by the things so many of you have already taken the time to share with her.

Please continue to pray that Mom's pain would be well managed (she is still in a great deal of pain), and that we would find the right balance of medications to make her comfortable.

Pray for quality time with our family, pray for peace for all of us as we grieve, and please say an extra prayer for our kids (Tommy, Nic, Kenny, Owen, and JP) as they are all able to recognize that something is wrong in their lives, but have different abilities to understand and process what is happening.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. Even though we know Mom will be with the Lord, and that soon her pain will end, it is so hard for us, and I can't imagine how difficult it would be without your help.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Update on Mary: Letting Go

Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better...
Philippians 1:21-23a

My mom has decided that she is done struggling to live on in the flesh. The incessant pain, the struggle to gain weight, the inability to sleep, the many unpleasant side effects of the chemo therapy, and (because it deserves to be said twice) the unrelenting pain, have become too much. She's tired, and she is ready for peace.

Please pray for peace.

Pray for peace for my mom. She is in a great deal of pain all the time.

Pray for peace for us, as we all come to terms with this decision.

Processing a change in expectations is hard. Knowing that we are going to lose our mom very soon is hard. Trying to navigate our lives and our "normals" as they are shifting under our feet is hard. We are all managing, but it is hard. You have all prayed for my mom so faithfully for the last two years, and we are so grateful. Please stick with us. We need your prayer now more than ever.

We are all scared, we are all drained, we are all so sad. We are all coming home, and will be focusing on spending time with my mom. Please pray we would have special times and good memories. Pray that my mom will get the rest she needs in the midst of chaos, and that her pain would decrease. Pray that we would all find peace.

My mom wants me to express how grateful she is for the friendship, love, and support you have shown our family over the last two years. She is so thankful for your prayers, your notes and letters, and all the many other ways you have expressed your love for her and us. We know that we have been richly blessed to call you friends, and that these last few years would not have been as wonderful as they were without you.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3: 7-11