December 28th 2009 – I am sorry that I haven’t written is a while, I hope that you understand. I think you do know how hard the holidays are, not just for us, but for everyone who has to “celebrate” the holidays with an “empty chair”. I think of all the families and their friends who will have their “first” holidays without a loved one, and I wish I could tell them that the next one will be easier- but it won’t. The chair will still be empty, and their presence will still be unbearably missed. I have not even been on the web site since I last wrote, and I should have been. I should have been reading the wonderful words of support and encouagement that many of you have written. We recieve cards, letters, phone calls, texts and e-mails almost everyday, and they help us to get through the days, knowing that our Jacquie is remembered. I realize I say that a lot, but the thought of Jacquie, her life and what she gave to all of us, being forgotten is something I couldn’t live with. I have to know that we are keeping her alive in our hearts and our lives, and that her dreams and hopes will never die. When we hear from our family, friends and friends “not-yet-met”, about how Jacquie is still with them, it helps all of us to know that her life is still important and meaningful. It tells us that her life lessons are continuting to be taught and that the future will be better for it. It reminds us we are not alone. We have stayed pretty much to ourselves this past week. It has been wonderful to have the gym closed and not to have to leave the house. For me, I feel much better being at home with Jacquie, having her know that we are always with her. I can talk to her and sing to her or cry for her, anytime I need to, and I don’t have to worry about not being able to because I am at work. It has been nice having Torey and TJ home in the evenings, and we are able to just be together. Jacquie’s part of the couch is empty, though, and there is no one to bother TJ while he is trying to watch “The Family Guy”. It is hard, trying to understand why she is not here with us, sharing this time, laughing and smiling. Our tree has so many beautiful “Tink” and “Believe” ornaments on it, and along with some of TJ’s ornaments, it makes a beautiful sight for Jacquie to see from heaven. I wish she had been here to help decorate it. As pretty as it is, I am very anxious to take it down and be done with the “holidays”. There is no “holiday” from the pain and lonliness we feel. We wish for all our dear famiies and friends, a New Year that has much happiness, joy and good health. But most of all, we wish you un-ending love. Be good to yourselves and to others. Please remember that life is so very precious, moments gone by cannot be gotten back. If you have children, remind them that you love them and that you are proud of them. Teach them to be good people, teach them to be kind and caring. Teach them to be confident in themselves and to take pride in their accomplishments. Teach them that life is a gift. To my Wonderful Daughter Jaacquie, I miss you so very much. I hope you like your gifts. I will leave them near you so you can enjoy them. My wish for Christmas did not come true this year again. I wished I would wake up and you would be here with us. I will keep wishing for that, every year for Christmas, until it comes true. I can’t help but wonder when you will come visit me again, but I will wait until you are ready. Until then, NEVER EVER forget how very much you are loved, and how very much we all miss you. My Jacquie, my BFF, my daughter- I will loveyou forever and ever and always, and longer than that. I love you Jacquie, love your mom
December 20th 2009 – Today is Bree’s Christmas party. But you won’t be there. I wish I didn’t have to go. I can’t stand the thought of sitting down at the table with the family and not having you there. Why can’t you be there with us? Why did you have to be taken away? I love you, my Jacquie, forerver and ever and always, and longer than that. Love, your mom
December 19th 2009 – 469 Days. It seems as though each day that passes is either an unwanted “anniversary”, a day that will become one, or a day that Jacquie should have been somewhere special with us. Yesterday, the second “Ciao Bella” became a wife. Sandra and Tim were married in a beautiful church surrounded by many family and friends. Jacquie- can you believe it- she had about 36 people in her wedding party! Wow, what a site to behold. I know you were watching, because you would never not be part of their special day. Sandra looked like a princess, I know every Ciao Bella will look like a princess on her wedding day. You would have too. But because I’m your mom, I am allowed to say that, to me, you would be the most beautiful princess of all. At the church, just like at Nicole’s wedding, we were sitting with all your friends. It was comforting to know that they all still are there for each other, and able to make time in their very busy lives, to share the special events with one another. Each time we are with them, I am amazed at how very blessed your dad and I were, to have our daughter be part of the lives of so many wonderful friends. Every day, the newspapers and TV are filled with horror stories of young lives gone wrong, of kids who got in with the “wrong” group of friends, and it lead to such pain and misery for all. Your friends have been the very best we could could have prayed for, your friends know the true meaning of the word “friendship”. For all of them, friendship is forever. It outlasts the squabbles, the little fights and arguments, and the trials of growing up. It grows stonger with time, and although they may go in different directions and their lives will change, I BELIEVE with all my heart, that they will always be there for each other. The way they have stood by you, and us, proves to me, that the friendship you all began so many years ago, will never die. It is one of the few things in life, that you can count on. As Sandra and Tim exchanged their vows, and became man and wife, I wished for them a lifetime of happiness, and love. I know you are wishing that for them, too. Your dad and TJ went to the reception, I could not go. But I know you understand why, my Jacquie, and I know when I came home from the church, you were with me. Once again, the tears would not stop, and the question “why” screamed at me. I fell asleep with a picture of you in my mind, how you would look on your wedding day. And my mind would not let me accept that it will never be. There are times that I wish I could sleep forever.
My beautiful princess, Jacqueline, how I miss you. The holidays move forward, but not fast enough. I count the days until we can get past them, they are too painful without you. Everything is. Please give Sandra and Tim a special wish from you and let them know you love them. I have to go now, I cannot write anymore. I love you my Jacquie, with all my heart and soul. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Stay with me, please, I need you. Love, your mom
December 13th 2009 – Once again, I find myself waiting for the holidays to be over. Although there are good parts to this “joyous” season, I can find little to feel joyous about. The reminders of Jacquie’s absence seem more painful during the holidays, and I know from talking with others who are dealing with the same pain we are, that they, too, are counting the days until this holiday season is behind us. I had the pleasure of meeting someone special this week. Ginny has only been a name, a “friend not yet met”, until Thursday when we met for the first time. She and her family are close friends with my brother (David- Jacquie’s uncle), and she has traveled this journey with us since Jacquie was diagnosed. Ginny never had the honor of meeting, or even talking with Jacquie, but she has gotten to know her through David, letters and phone calls, and through this web site. She has shared our pain and grieved with us, and sent her prayers and her strength to us since Jacquie was taken. This past Thursday, she had the opportunity to come to Buffalo to meet Torey, TJ and myself, and to see Jacquie’s Tink shop, her “wall” in the gym, and all the special awards and honors we have displayed there. It was wonderful to finally meet the voice on the other end of the phone, and to give a hug to the warm, and caring person who has given so much to a family she never even met. Ginny, thank you for driving all the way here in that horrible snowstorm. We all are so happy to finally meet you and get to know you. We hope you feel you know Jacquie a little better now, and you understand our determination to continue her fight and to make her dream come true. We are looking forward to the next time we can get together. It was truly wonderful to meet you. Nicki- We four Hirschs are very proud of you and your incredible finish at the marathon. We are so impressed with you and how well you did. I know you said Jacquie was with you, and I BELIEVE she was, from start to finish. I wish we could give you a hug, and show you how grateful we are that you continue to keep Jacquie in your life. Today, we went to the Holiday Remembrence Service that Jacquie’s funeral home holds each holiday season. Most of our family came, and Curt and Tracey came too. It is always so difficult to sit there, in a church, surrounded by others grieving as we are, and try not to scream out “WHY”? I wanted answers and there were none. Just the pain of hearing Jacquie’s name spoken as they called out the names of each loved one who will not be here for the holidays. Through my tears, I could see the same question on the faces around me. “Why”? Listening to the speakers, I knew that they had no answers for us, but they knew we wanted them. I wonder if any of them really believe the “words of comfort” that they spoke to us. I wondered if any of them felt the same pain we were feeling. Did they , too, wonder “Why”? My Wonderful, Darling Daughter- Jacqueline Elisabeth, It has been 463 days, and still you are gone from us. I know I cannot feel you, or hear you, but please try to find a way to let me know that the time you have been gone from us, you have missed us too. We all go through the days, some better than others, but all the days are missing you in them. You are our sunshine and our life. You are still our four, and you always will be. I count the days, not deliberately, but somehow I always know how long it has been since I last kissed you and had to say goodbye. My arms long to hold you, and I ache to hear your voice and see you laughing. I can see you and hear you in my mind, but it isn’t enough. Please never forget how much I love you, and that you will live in my heart forever. I WILL love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, my Jacquie. With all my love- heart and soul, your mom
December 7th 2009 – Last Thursday, Torey, T.J. and I went down to Roswell to meet with Dr. Wang to get an update on how the research project is going. Most of what she told us, we didn’t understand. However, we did learn that she is waiting for some results from the first set of samples she sent out to be tested and evaluated. One of the 24 samples was Jacquie’s. Dr. Wang and her team are trying to find some similarities in the samples. They are looking for things that are either missing, or are more than there should be, which might help them narrow down the next steps to take. The goal is to find the reason why Jacquie’s form of ALL is resistant to treatment and cure. As we sat there and listened, I couldn’t help but feel bitter at the amount of money wasted in this country, that should have been used for medical research. It seems each day, we hear of another person who has been diagnosed with some form of canceer, or another person who has not survived. This is unacceptable. I know that Jacquie’s story is not unique. I know that many more patients will suffer as Jacquie did, and many more families will be forced to stand by and watch, and be able to do nothing to help. I know many will be left to wonder why. And yet, each day the news tells of of another way our money is being wasted. Why are we not looking out for the future of our children? Why are we not making sure our children will have a future? My Darling Daughter Jacquie, On Saturday, Bonnie and Erin brought in your new Christmas ornaments for this year. They are beautiful, just beautiful. They worked very hard on them to make them special, and they are special. TJ is going to be putting them on the web site, and hopefully, we will be able to sell them all and take the money down to Roswell. It is hard to have to have an ornament for you, that you will not be here to hang on our tree. I haven’t gotten any decorations out yet, I can’t seem to find it in my heart to “celebrate the season” without you. I guess I had hoped I would feel differently this year, but I don’t. I can’t imagine the holidays without you, and even though this is our second Christmas with you away from us, the pain is just as unbearable. Dad and I had our 29th wedding anniversary on Saturday, and it too, was painful without you here. We remembered the time when you and TJ didn’t come home from school on time, and we were frantic. We looked everywhere for you and were ready to call the police, and in you two walked. You had huge smiles on your faces and your dad and I weren’t sure if we should hug you or spank you. An then you showed us why you were late. You had gone to Tony Martins and had a plaque made for us for our anniversary and you were so very proud. It was the most wonderful gift we had ever recieved and we cherish it to this day. Rose and everyone at Tony Martins told us how cute you two were when you went there to order it. You knew exactly what you wanted it to look like, and they said you acted so grown up- even though you were only in elementary school. Your dad and I love you and TJ more than life itself. We know that being given the gift of you and TJ in our lives, is a gift that came from heaven. I wish you were here with us now. My Jacquie. please keep trying to reach me, to let me know that you are missing us and loving us. I am so sorry. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Love, your mom
December 1st 2009 – The first day of the last month of the year. It seems as though it was just New Year, 2009. I have been taking more time lately, to stay here at home, with Jacquie. It is truly the only place I feel I belong. I have been thinking so much about Jacquie, and sometimes the memories hurt, and sometimes they make me laugh. I can hear Jacquie’s wonderful laugh, and remember all the times that just hearing it would make everyone around her start to laugh with her. I remember hearing her laugh at jokes that she really didn’t understand, but laughed anyway. I hear the laugh and see the smile and then I cry because I don’t understand why I won’t hear that laugh, or see that smile anymore, except in my mind and my memories. “A daughter needs a mom to teach her to laugh at herself”. Jacquie could and she did. She knew that sometimes she had “blond moments” (as she called them), and she would laugh with the rest of us. She laughed with a twinkle in her voice and I miss hearing it. I miss being able to tell her a joke, or e-mail one to her, and having her ask me to explain it. I miss hearing her laugh when she was around children, and listening to their conversations. She always love to hear them chatter as they played and used their imaginations. Jacquie thought that the world would be a better place if we all listened to the laughter around us. I miss her. My Jacquie’s laughter is missing from my life, and I would give anything to hear it again. To My Jacquie- the days are hard and long, and never seem to end soon enough. No matter what I am doing, my mind is with you. I know you are in my heart, and always will be, but it doesn’t change the pain. I wish the holidays were over, but I know there are 31 days to get through. So, I will count them down, the way you did with your chemo and all the other treatments you had to suffer through. Remember the paper chain? I won’t make one, but each night when I go to bed, I will be able to say that I am one day closer to the holidays being over. I miss you so much, My Jacquie, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Please don’t leave me. Love, your mom