December 29th 2010 - Dear Jacquie, Christmas is finally over. It is not, nor will it ever be "ok" or "merry" without you. It will just be Christmas. We missed you- your presents you couldn't open, the cards you couldn't read, your empty chair at the table. Your laughter and smiles when you opened your gifts was most missing because you loved to open packages and get surprises. We tried to make it as good as we could, but we all knew that it was missing you to make it right. I wish we could just forget the holidays now that you are not here with us. You were not here for the Ciao Bella dinner, to see Olivia open her gifts, eat tons of food with TJ and watch Christmas movies with TJ, go out with all your friends and visit with friends who came back into town. The list is endless. You can't be gone, you can't be not here with us. Why?
I found this poem, I am not sure where it came from. I don't know if I have written it to you before,My Jacquie, but I will write it to you again. It is my love for you and TJ
A Mother's Love
A Mother's Love is important,
For every child to see,
To hold, to touch, to kiss their cheeks,
Her way for them to be.
A love that is so gentle,
A love that is so pure,
A love that only A Mother's Love,
Is felt and will endure.
She knows your every weakness,
She knows your every pain.
She knows A Monther's Love for you
Has everything to gain.
You see her will to do what's right,
And hope you don't do wrong,
But if you do, A Mother's Love,
Forgives and just goes on.
My Darling Daughter Jacquie, as we approach the "New Year", remember that for us, it is just a change in dates, not a new year at all. The year will be the same because you are not here with us where you belong. Stay near us, visit our dreams, keep letting us know you are near in those small ways that you do. All of us need you so badly, and we need to know that you haven't forgotten us. I will read your Christmas cards to you again, and finish opening your gifts. And I will put them someplace special so you can see them and know that others are missing you too. I miss you, My Jacquie, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. You are in every beat of my heart and every breath I take. You are My Daughter forever, and nobody can take that away from us. Love, your mom
December 25th 2010 - Even on December 25th, it still doesn't feel like Christmas. There isnt as much laughing or smiling as there used to be, and there isnt much to get excited or feel happy about. Last week as we decorated the tree and hung ornaments I thought to myself "why could'nt you be here with us to put these up like we used to do?" and at bree's Christmas party it just didnt feel the same. I think some of it might have to do with all of us getting older and growing up but the lack of "Christmas Spirit" has everything to do with missing you.
Your smile would light up any room...and your laughter would be so contagious. But without that in our lives anymore it just seems that we live to get through each day with as little pain as possible, and its hard to feel excited about birthdays or holidays or special events that you should be here to share with us. I get sad when I have to laugh at my own jokes since you can't anymore. I get angry thinking about the gifts and the cards and presents that you can never open or never read. But most of all, surrounded by our family and friends and loved ones, I can't help but to feel alone. I miss my best friend and I miss the life and the love that we shared together for so many years. I miss having having someone to talk to who knows me best and I miss being your big brother. I would trade all the cards and all the presents in the world just to have a Christmas,or any holiday back at Roswell becuase that would mean that you would still be here with us, and we would still be fighting. Sometimes still, I look at pictures or in memories you seem so happy and so full of life...and so close to us... and I think, how can this have happened? how can you possibly be gone? Why can't Jacquie be here? I guess I never pictured our lives without you in it. As more time goes on, it gets easier but the more time goes on it gets harder. I hate the feeling of one more day going by without you, especially a day that used to bring so much joy and happiness to our family. Now instead of being filled with laughter and smiles, its filled with silence and tears. I miss so you much Jacquie and I can never forget all of the special times we have had. I understand that angels belong in heaven and not here on earth. So celebrate another Christmas in heaven and think of us down here missing you. Be with the people and the children that need you most and always remember how much we love and miss you. I will forever be proud of you and your brave fight, and I will always "look up to my little sister". Merry Christmas Jacquie. Love Always, your big brother.
December 21st 2010 - Dear Jacquie, last night the world was dark and I asked you to come and visit me. I think you must have, because this morning the sun is shinning and I so needed to see the sun. When the sun is out and shinning brightly, I try to remember the good times and try not to remember the bad ones. When it is dark, I get pulled into the dark days after your diagnosis, and all the pain and suffering you had to go through. When the sun is out, I try to focus on your smile and laughter and your love for life. So thank you for coming to me and giving me a chance at today.
I love you, My Jacquie. Words can't express how much you mean to me or how much I love you. The love goes too deep, and the gratitude and pride I feel in you are boundless. Thank you for blessing my life in so many ways. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. Love, your mom
December 19th 2010 - Dear Jacquie, these days have been difficult, and I have been spending a great deal of time looking back and remembering. The happiest times in my life were times spent with you, TJ and your dad. All the "firsts". Remembering the first time you and TJ- smiled at us, the first time you laughted, your first steps, first day of nursery school, rollar skates, bike rides, kindergarten, dance recital, baseball games, sleepovers, gymnastic meets, swim meets, pottery class, oh the list is endless. Every "first" is a wonderful memory of the 4 Hirschs. I remember reading books to you two, and your favorite you could tell me the words before I read them. And if I tried to skip some parts to get bedtime back on track, you and TJ would tell me I missed some of the story. I will hold all those special memories in my heart forever. I knew that growing up was a part of life, and we wanted you and TJ to experience everything life had to offer. But your growing up meant that a chapter in our lives was closing, and new ones were going to be beginning. I put on a smile many times, but I cried because you were both growing up too fast. I can't understand it when I hear parents say "I can't wait until my children are old enough to move out". Childhood is a moment in time, it should be cherished, not rushed.
As time went on, more memories and "firsts". First dates, first dance, first time driving with you when you got your drivers permits, and the first time we let you and TJ take the care without us after you got your drivers license. Oh how hard it was to give you those keys and watch you drive away. So many firsts, the list is a long one. And yet, there are so many firsts we never had the chance experiance. Too many. But, for every first and evey memory, your dad and I have never-ending pride in you both, and so much joy and happiness in being your parents to share those firsts with you. As Christmas approaches and the holiday season continues, i am counting the days until the first of January, when it will all be over. We can get through this time because we have to, but for the three of us, the memories of this holiday season will be less bright and less meaningful. Beause, just as with the past two, you are not with us, and we cannot make any more firsts or memories with you. There will be an empty chair at our table and gifts for you that you will not be here to open. You will not be here to bake with me, and "test" the cookie dough, or to help wrap packages that don't stay taped when we pick them up. Who will pose with TJ for funny pictues?
When it is my time to die, I will probably look back at my life and wonder what I did that mattered, if anything. I will never be famous, I will never be anything more than I am. But for me, that is enough because I am Torey's wife, and I am Jacquie and TJ's mom. That is what I was always meant to be, and that is my reward. Nothing else matters more than that.
My Angel Jacquie, I know you hear me tell you this all the time, but I miss you. I love you. And I still need you. Stay close, let me know you are near. Keep reminding me why I have to keep fighting. Never forget that we are still 4. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that with all my heart and soul. I will love you with every breath I take and every beat of my heart. You just need to stay with me. Love, your mom
December 15th 2010 - Dear Jacquie, On Monday we went down to Roswell to make another check presentation for you. We were able to donate another $25,000 to your research fund. The money was raised from the Dancers Give Back and the Clinic For A Cure. Can you BELIEVE it? We are up to over $128,000 for you! And, we are moving forward towards your next wall block at Roswell, which will be $250,000. Maybe, just maybe, Dr. Wang and Dr. Nowak and their team will have made some real advances toward a cure by then. And maybe we will not need to move onto the next wall block because there will be a cure. Many people came down to be there for the presentation- your family and friends, both Dr. Wang and Dr. Nowak. Mary Alice, Ali, AJ and so many of your dancers. It was a wonderful site to see so many brave the horrible weather conditions to drive down to be there to honor you. I wish you could have been WITH us, you would be so touched by everyone's love for you. Nancy had a little reception area set up with drinks and cookies, I really wish you could have been there for those! Dr. Wang spoke and did a slide presentation and update on how the research is going and then Dr. Nowak spoke. To close the program, your brother addressed the group. Oh Jacquie, you must be so proud of him. He speaks so well in front of people and is so confident and determined in his goal to make your dream come true. He is working so very hard for you. Everyday he does foundation work and is always thinking of new ways to get your story out and more people involved in the Foundation. He is constantly trying to come up with ideas to raise more money and awareness so that you will be proud of himn, but we tell him you already are. When I think of the two of you and the bond you share and the love you have for each other, I know that will never change- it will go on forever. TJ will spend the rest of his life working for your dream, until it comes true, we all will. And it will come true. Thank you to everyone who joined us to share another special event for Jacquie. We continue to be grateful for all your support and love.
My Jacquie, Christmas is getting closer- only 10 days away. Oh how hard it is without you. I put up some decorations because I know you would want to see the house looking bright and cheerful the way it was when you were here with us. So the decorations have brightened it up but it is not cheerful. You are missing. No matter what people say, "the first one without her will be the hardest", they are wrong. This is our third without you and the pain is just as bed, the heartache just as unbearable without you here. I want you to know that I miss you so much, my Christmas shopping buddy. I can't stand the thought of going into the stores to shop without you, and because of that, I still have no gifts yet. I am sorry, Jacuqie. I have gone to the mall twice, but never go in. I just sit in the parking lot and cry, then I leave. I will have to do better because Bree's Christmas party is Sunday, and I will have to bring gifts. I wish I didn't have to go. I hate being there without you. But, I will go for you. Maybe you could hold my hand while I'm there.
Jacquie, never forget that I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. I have not, and will not stop saking "Why". Maybe you can find a way to tell me if you know. I don't know if thaat would change the way I feel but maybe I wouldn't be so angry. I love you, my little girl. Stay warm, I worry about you. Love, your mom forever
December 11th 2010- - Day 826. The number goes up, the days go by, and you are still gone. I wonder how long the pain will go on. Everything is a reminder of you. Everything. A smell, a sight, a touch, a song, a look in your dad's or TJ's face. It is all about you and what is missing in our lives. And so each day passes without you, reminding us what should have been. Tomorrow I will have to go to your Williamsville North High School Girl's Swimming and Diving banquet. It is the end of their season and once again, we will honor your memory and life as a Sparten, by awarding two graduating seniors with scholarships. We chose the two we thought you would want us to pick, although all of the applicants were wonderful. I wish I didn't have to go. Your dad and TJ are the ones who always do all the speaking and interveiwing and awarding for you and your foundation. I have, so far, been able to avoid being in a position of having to speak in front of people about. It is hard for me. I don't want to have to stand in front of people and try to talk about you. But tomorrow, your dad will be at a meet and TJ can't make it, so- I'm it. I will try my very best, My Jacquie, to not embarass you and to make you proud. It will be hard to be there with Doug and the team, and know that you should be there awarding the scholarships yourself. I wish you were here with us, I wish you were with me. I miss you, My Jacquie, I miss you so very much. I look at your phot albums of all the special times in your life, and I see the empty pages that were yet ot be filled. Why will they always be empty?
My Incredible Daughter, you are so very missed and so very loved. I will go to sleep tonight, waiting to have you visit in my dreams. Please come to see me. It has been so long. When you close your eyes tonight, know that I am next to you, holding you, and taking care of you. I feel your soft skin, and your silky hair. I hear each breath you take and feel each beat of your heart. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. I am, and always will be, your mom. I love you Jacquie, love- mom
December 6th 2010- - My Dear Daughter Jacquie, today was a difficult day for your dad and I. We had our anniversary yesterday, and as we were celebrating our marriage of 30 years, another family was having to celebrate the life of an 8 year old that was ended too soon. Today, we attended the funeral of Bianca. She was very much like you in her short lifetime. Long beautiful hair, fun, happy, outgoing, and a smile that could light up the room. She brought joy and a smile to everyone she met, and nobody who ever had the pleasure of meeting her would ever forget her. Tradgically, her life was ended last Tuesday when she was found dead at her home, the cause yet not known. She was in our 5:30 class on Mondays at the gym, I am sure you have watched her from heaven and noticed how full of life she was. I bet she made you laugh when you watched her dance and do her little gymnastic routines. She, like you, loved music and dancing- I think you two will be wonderful friends. I know she has family in heaven to help her and guide her, but if you could meet her and be her friend, I know you would both really get along. You could be her Angel teacher. It was so hard for us to be there, to see the grief and disbelief on the faces of those who love her. It was as if we were reliving our nightmare all over again. Your dad and I don't understand "why". Bianca's dad doesn't either. We are very thankful that you and TJ are our children. I know I have said it before but I will never stop saying it- you both make our marriage and our lives complete. The day we were married, we never imagined how much more joy, happiness and love we could have, then we were given the most two wonderful gifts any parent could ever dream of. And our lives were complete. We are still a family, still four. And as Bianca's family will learn, death does not change that. The love grows stronger- it never dies. The pain and grief become part of who we are, it reminds us of how much you are loved, and how much you will always be part of our lives. It reminds us that you will be missed forever. It reminds us that we will all be together again someday.
My Jaqueline, the snow is falling and I can hear you laughing at me while I complain about the cold weather and how I will not warm up again until June. I hear you telling me to put on more clothes if I am cold. I hear you say "at least we don't have hurricanes". So I will try to look at the snow as pretty and hear your words telling me it won't last forever. Stay warm, My Jacquie, and never forget- I am your mom, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul and with every beat of my heart. You are with me always. Love, mom