November 2009

November 26th 2009 – Today is Thanksgiving.  The past few days, I have been feeling more depressed and stressed about the whole upcoming “holiday season”.  I should know what to expect now, this is our second Thanksgiving with Jacquie’s empty chair.  But knowing didn’t make it easier to leave the house to have dinner with our family.  I was just wondering why Jacquie wouldn’t be there to enjoy all her favorite foods, to joke and tease with her brother and her cousins.  Why she wouldn’t be there so we could all share, what we considered to be, the things we were thankful for in our lives.  Yes, I know we still have so much to be thankful for.  We will forever be thankful for being given the gift of Jacquie, to have been able to share our lives with someone so very special.  Thankful to have had her smile, her laugh, her love, for 23 years. Thankful that someone so young could be so wise, and teach us about living every moment of every day, and what is really important in life.  I know we have much to be thankful for now.  We are beyond words to describe how thankful we are to all of you.  You, who have stood by us, and sometimes carried us, since September 28, 2007.  And we are thankful that, for the past 446 days, we have never been alone, or ever felt that Jacquie has been forgotten.  We have wonderful memories, and we have tried to forget the painful ones.  Still, in spite of all the things we have to be thankful for, the pain and the emptiness remain.  We cherish the phone calls, voice mails, e-mails, cards and text messages we recieve, but wish they were not necessary.  I would give anything to not have to have all of Jacquie’s friends contacting us, instead of Jacquie, to say “Happy Thanksgiving”. How great is would have been to have Jacquie go out last night, with all her friends for “the biggest party night of the year”.  How fun it would have been to watch Jacquie decide what to eat first- her turkey dinner or dessert.  And how incredible it would have been to have Jacquie wake me up this morning so we could make brownies.  It didn’t happen that way, however, and it never will again.  So we, like many of the families we have met along this terrible journey, cling to the memories of what was, and keep wishing for what will not be.  We have lost so many friends, cancer is so very evil.  This may be our second Thanksgiving without Jacquie, but we have friends who have suffered through many more than two, and now we have friends who have just started counting the days.  On this day, I ask all of you to please keep fighting with us, keep supporting Jacquie and her foundation, and please help us find a way to prevent more families from having to start counting the days, the months and the years. I am finding it harder and harder to distance myself from the pain I feel for each new family that must begin to live with an empty chair.  It makes me so sad to know that a cure has not been found in time for another loved one.  And it makes me feel helpless. My Darling Daughter Jacquie, we missed you today, as much as all the other days, but with the added grief that you loved this holiday so much.  It was hard to sit at the table, knowing that you were not going to be joining us.  I wondered if you were having your own feast in heaven, and I hope you had enough to eat.  I can’t help but feel cheated that you are not here where you belong and I get so angry.  Please, please, please- come to see me and let me know you miss us and love us.  We could all use a little “Jacquie Magic” right now.  I will keep singing and talking to you, and I hope that is ok with you.  Because that is the only way I can get through my days.  Remember, you will always be our 4, and nothing will ever change that.  We love you so very much, and we will all be together again someday.  Jacquie, I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that.  With all my love,heart and soul, your mom

November 21st 2009 – My mind tells me don’t think of the numbers, but as my heart beats, it counts out the months, days, hours and minutes since Jacquie has been gone.  We have lived 441 days  without her, and each day  is still filled with pain, tears, and sorrow.   I want so much to wake up,  but what I want will not be.  So we do our best to honor our Jacquie, and celebrate a life that was so special, and taken from us before it was time. My Jacquie, last night was another testement to the life you lived and the lives you touched.   It was “The Second Annual Vera Bradley Party” at The Perfect Gift.  Debbie, Mary Ellen and their staff, once again, did an outstanding job making sure the event was the best it could be.  I hope you were watching all your family and friends come to the wonderful store to buy, not only Vera Bradley items, but so many other wonderful gifts.  We want everyone who came on any of the three days, to know we have so much to thank you for.  Your support for Jacquie and her foundation continues to astound us, and the way in which you honor Jacquie’s memory gives us a feeling of such intense pride.  Last night, I arrived at The Perfect Gift after it started, and I parked the car.  When I tried to open the door, I couldn’t do it.  My heart wanted to stay in the car, it wanted to never go into the store where Jacquie and I had spent so much time, and yes- money, shopping and collecting our Vera’s to share.  My heart was hurting so  bad to have those times again, to have more chances to make more memories.  To have more time to laugh and joke, and decide who would buy which patterns and accessories.  And than to decide, what shoes we would have to buy to go with our new purses.  My heart cried, and as the tears fell, I wanted so badly to drive away and come home to be back in Jacquie’s room.  And then, I am sure the feeling that came over me, was Jacquie telling me I had to go in.  I felt that I was not doing what Jacquie would want, by sitting in the car crying.  I needed to go into our store, and see everyone, and tell them how much it means to us to have them share Jacquie’s store with us.  I needed to go in and be with everyone who was there because they loved Jacquie.  To be with people who BELIEVE  in Jacquie’s dream, and how hard we are working to make it come true.  I needed to find a way to make Jacquie proud of me, of all of us.  So I went in.  And I knew, Jacquie was right to make me get out of the car.  Because inside was what our lives are all about now.  Inside was the reason we are doing what we have promised Jacquie we would do.  The people, our family and friends.  It was awful to be there without you, My Jacquie.  It was hard, as it always is, to be with your friends, and not have you with them.  But THEY were there for you, and I know they always will be.  Your family and friends carry you with them everyday, and their lives are now inluenced by how you lived yours.  So, My Jacquie,  another foundation event has been held, with much success, in your honor.  I hoped you are proud of us. I wish it was January, or at least I wish I could go to sleep until the holidays were over.  I don’t want to do the holidays without you again.  I don’t want to see the empty chair on Thanksgiving or Christmans, and I don’t want to see your gifts remain unopened.  I want it all to go away.  I love you, My Jacquie, with all my heart and soul, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that.  Stay with me, I cannot make it without you.  Love, your mom

November 15th 2009 – Another weekend has come to a close. It has been a very, very, long time since I have written an update. Sharon has asked me to do the honors. We had the pleasure to attend the Ride for Roswell’s award reception this week and did so with many of our family members and friends. The incrediable success of the Jacquie For ALL Team only happened with the dedication of 81 riders and numerous family and friends supporting the ride team. On behalf of all those wonderful people, we were very proud to except two beautiful awards.  One was for raising the most money for any team having 50-99 riders, and other one was for placing 5th out of 538 teams. That was 5th with $26,574. Like Jacquie walking into a room, the Jacquie Hirsch for All Foundation ride team was certainly noticed at the Ride for Roswell and has made an unBELIEVEable impact in two short years. Thank you very much to all of you that participated. After the first ride in 08, we talked about Jacquie being well enough to ride the following year. I know even if she was well enough, the thought of riding and possibly sweating would have taken a back seat to making sure the tent was well stocked and everyone was having a good time. Her ability to give to others will always continue with foundation events like this. With the holiday season approaching, you can again turn to The Perfect Gift for finding that special something (Vera purse) for that special someone or yourself. The Annual Vera Bradley Party is this friday from 6-8pm at the Perfect Gift in Clarence Center. Their will be wine, food, and beautiful Veras, Jacquie wouldnt want to be anywhere else, it was a favorite of hers. They haven’t come out with any Vera “man bags” which I really couldn’t bring myself to buying. However, I will be sporting my Vera tie. The event was a great success last year and this year will be no different.  We continue to navigate day by day, week by week, and month by month as best we can knowing full well ,life will never be the same as we knew it and as we invisioned it to be. One of Jacquie’s dreams was for TJ to build his business, I’m sure she is smiling down with great pride, TJ, even if she quit being your secretary. I know she must also be incredably proud of her BFF for directing the foundation to unBELIEVEable hights in such a short time. I have so much to say, yet I am lost for more words.  Until the next time, allow the thought of Jacquie and her unending spirit, help guide you to being the better person you strive to be. I love and miss you very much Jax, Love forever ! Dad





November 9th 2009 – The end of a very hard day.  I seem to be doing less, crying more and wondering when it will all end.  I have been watching a “you tube” video a lot, it is one my friend , Sue, sent to me a while ago.  It is so incredible.  I am going to try to put the address on here so those of you who would like to watch it are able to.  It is a dance done to  “Doe A Dee”, by Julie Andrews from the movie “The Sound of Music”.  Those of you who know Jacquie, know that she loved to dance and sing to musicals.  She and her Bree would watch them all, over and over again, from the time she was old enough to sit still for a movie.  She knows all the words to all of them- The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, South Pacific, The Music Man, Oklahoma, and on and on.  She loved learn the dances and do them while she watched the movies.  When she was in the hospital, most of the movies she wanted with her were her mucicals.  It seemed as thopugh they were her connection to a life that had not yet been changed.  She was able to live the fantasys of the people in those movies and pretend that all  was still ok.  Her most favorite actress from any of the movies was Julie Andrews. Jacquie thought she was so wonderful.  She loved her accent and would sometimes talk that way and pretend she was British. When Jacquie was in NY City, we had hoped she would be well enough to go to see a show- Mary Poppins was playing and Jacquie’s Uncle David was going to get tickets for us.  Jacquie was never able to go, too many chances to get sick, the risk was not worth it.  So many times now, I wonder if we should just have gone, so she could have seen it.  After Jacquie died,  David had the opportunity to play with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, for a concert Julie Andrews was doing called “The Gift of Music”.  David told her about Jacquie, and then she signed a playbill for her.  It says “For Jacquie, with love from Julie Andrews”.  How sad and angry it makes me that Jacquie never had the chance to see it, she never had the chance to know what David did for her.  She would have been so proud and honored.  The address is, and I very much hope you take the time to watch it.  It is about 5 minutes long, but when you see it you will have to smile and maybe even cry.  I was thinking that maybe sometime, a large group of us could do something similar, maybe at one of Jacquie’s fundraisers or even next year at the Ride For Roswell.  Jacquie would love it- she would be dancing along with us, and it would be such and incredible tribute to her.  Please watch it. Please say a prayer for Mandee, and Linda, and all our other friends who are continuing to fight to live.  I am saying special prayers for Alicia, Indi, Ashley and their families who must endure another “anniversary” of the loss of their loved ones.  All of you, please know how much your support means to us, and how very much we appreciate what you do for Jacquie and her Foundation. The basket raffel at “Tink’s Pro Shop last week made $700.00, we thank you all, especially the SDTs.  Bree, Angela, Danielle, Marianne, Kerri, and Mark- thank you for making it possible  Thursday we hope to see as many of you as possible at the Ride For Roswell Recognition Ceremony.  They will be honoring Jacquie’s Team for finishing in 5th place!!!!!  The Vera Party is on November 20th, let us know if you need more information. To my Most Amazing Daughter, Jacquie- What we do, we do for you.  For your memory and for your life.  We want everyone to know you and to understand the person you were.  We want eveyone to know our mission and that nothing will stop us from making your dream come true.  We want everyone to know that the empitness we feel without you, should not be allowed to be experienced by other parents and families.  We may not be the biggest Foundation, but I BELIEVE that the people who help us and share our grief, are the most determined.  Your family and friends have stood by us and kept us moving, without them, we would be lost.  I love you, my daughter, and I miss you so much.  I wish I could be with you and hold you, I wish I could hear your laugh and see you smile at me.  I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Love, you mom

November4th 2009 – 424 days.  Still forever, still only a moment ago.  I wonder why we parents are given the most precious gift of all, a child, only to have our gift taken away.  My heart aches for the parents of the 4 young people who lost their lives on Sunday in that horrible car crash.  My mind cannot understand why.  I think part of me  feels that if I could understand why, it wouldn’t hurt so much, but I guesss deep down inside me, I know that isn’t true.  The pain will still be unbearable.  The pieces will never be whole again.  Lives will remain forever shattered.  It is very dark out tonight, no moon, no light, and I feel the same way.  I feel the light is gone and although it has been over a year, my tears continue to fall.  When I am at the gym, I can be who Jacquie would want me to be- who she would be if she were there with the children.  They all meant so much to her, she loved to teach and coach.  I have a whole memory box in the basement filled with all the wonderfull little gifts and drawings she recieved from children she taught.  She wanted to keep everything so that someday she would be able to share her special gifts with her won children.Now there will be no children, no sharing.  I was looking at some of the pictures children had drawn for her, and remembering how she laughed when she showed me the ones that were of her.  She would say “Mom, do you think I really look like that to them?”, and I would always say “They have no way to draw how beautiful you are- inside and out, this is what they see in you.”  She was so honored each time she recieved a gift.  I hope all those children know that she kept every one of them.  I know I shouldn’t be, but I am still unhappy when I have to leave home and go to the gym.  I still feel as though I need to be here for Jacquie.  But because she wanted me to be there, I will go.  And I will count the minutes until I can come home to her where I belong.  “A daughter needs a mom who shares with her the wisdom of generations.”  My Jacquie, I had only begun to share with you, the wisdom that Bree shared with me.  I still had so much to tell you and teach you and share with you.  We should have had a lifetime.  I can only hope that I was even half the mom to you that Bree was to me.  She taught me what I needed to know and I so wanted to be able to pass that on to you.  When you gave me the book “Why A Mom Needs A Daughter” you wrote on the inside.  It was from you for my birthday in 2005, and it said “Mom, happy birthday!  Although I am growing up fast, I will forever need you as my mother.  When you feel sad, I want you to read through this book to reassure my need and love for you always.  Love Always, Jax.” I read this everyday, my Jacquie, and I can hear your voice saying the words.  To my mom, (Bree), I will need you and love you forever too, Thank you for giving me the wisdom I would need to be a wife and a mom, and the strength to survive. My Wonderful Daughter Jacquie-  I WILL love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that.  Love, your mom