January 31st 2010 - Today we held our first organizing meeting for the Second Annual Tinker Ball, to be held on July 16, 2010. We thank all who came to help us get started on Jacquie's biggest fundraiser of the year. We were able to get a lot accomplished and come up with some great new ideas for this year's Ball. We hope we will have more people getting in touch with us to say they will be able to volunteer. There is a lot to do, and the more people we have to help, the more successful the Ball will be. We would like to ask everyone to start thinking of family and friends who might be willing to make donations. Donations for baskets, the silent auction and especially, corporate donations, are much needed. We will be getting donation information packs ready to go out within the next month or so, so if you can, keep in mind those we will be able to contact and send information to. As soon as everything is ready to go out, we will post directions for donation requests on the web site. We wish to extend a thank you to a very special young lady, a friend of Jacquie's for a long time- Sarah Schmidt. Jacquie and Nicole befriended Sarah in middle school. They would take her places and go shopping and do special things. Both Jacquie and Nicole felt a special bond with Sarah, and learned a lot from her in the time they spent together. Sarah wished to have a Mass said for Jacquie at her church, and today, the 10:00 mass at St. Pius was dedicated to Jacquie. Sarah, we know how much Jacquie loved you, and how proud she is of you. She always said how much she admired your strength and perserverence. She was awed by the way you went through life, in spite of your difficulties, never letting anything stand in the way of what you wanted. I guess you and she were a lot alike. I know she is looking out for you in heaven, and she wants you to know that your gift to her means so very much- she is honored you had a mass said for her. And Sarah, she loves you. I thought that after the meet last weekend we would have a little time to relax, but I am thinking that will never happen. We are into the Tinker Ball plans now, and we have so much to do. The time will fly by and deadlines will soon be upon us. I think our lives will always be events and deadlines. We have so much to try to accomplish for Jacquie, she is counting on us and we can't let her down. Please say a prayer too for Olivia, she is fighting her own terrible battle, and needs our prayers. Lately, the tears have come more often and without much warning. I know it is probably because her second birthday of her first transplant is coming up. Two years ago, we were preparing to leave for NYC, preparing to give Jacquie a chance at life. I think of the days leading up to our departure, and I know in my heart, that the hope and BELIEF we had in a positive outcome was strong and true. I BELIEVE that now. I am sure we can be part of finding a cure. I don't know how or when, but I know we can do it. I can not and will not let Jacquie's fight be forgotten. Everyday, I am reminded of what she went through, I see her pain and her struggles, and I feel her fears. I can remember what I felt like, being unable to make anything better, how helpless and angry I felt, standing by and seeing her suffer. I remember holding tight to her hand when she was too sick of weak to hold it back. I remember how hard it was to lie to her, when I thought she couldn't handle any more bad news. I remember how many times I begged God to let me change places with her. And I remember holding her in my arms, rocking her and telling her how much I love her. I am so tired of being without her. I hate this life that brings such contant sorrow and pain. I want to be with her again. My Incredible Daughter Jacquie- I am so sorry. We tried so hard, we really did. I don't know why we couldn't make you better. I am so sorry. So very sorry. I love you, my Jacquie, with all my heart and soul. With every breath I take, and every beat of my heart, I love you. Please don't leave me. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Love, your mom
January 25th 2010 - This past weekend we held the 2nd Annual Jacquie Hirsch Memorail Meet at our gym. The meet was held over 2 days, and I think there were about 230 gymnasts who competed. I was very stressed about the meet, since I haven't been part of running any meets at the gym in a very long time. I was worried about the parents group and their ability to do what needed to be done to make the meet run smoothly. I worried that the children would not have a good time. I worried that parents would complain a lot, as they are prone to do. I worried about almost everything. But more than anything else, I worried that we would not make Jacquie proud of us. That one thought is always first in my mind when we hold a foundation event. I ask myself "will we be able to make Jacquie proud of our afforts and the way we honor her life?" I have to think that this past weekend, we did make her proud. I am amazed at the outstanding job the parents did running the meet. Our committee heads made sure that everything was covered, and I have to believe that this year was one of the best years we have had for parent participation and support. It was great to know that everyone showed up to do their assignment, and so many parents and gymnasts offered to do more. When I came home last night, I found myself in that familiar, but uncomfortable, positon of wondering how to say thank you to our family, the parents, gymnasts, judges, businesses who donated and everyone else who made Jacquie's meet so successful. It took months of planning to make it happen, but everyone worked so hard, that I don't think failure was an option. We are so grateful to all of you, you have given us another reason the BELIEVE that Jacquie's life will never be forgotten. Thank you for giving up so much time, and working so hard.
Jacquie, I hope you saw your little ones, competing in their first meet. I am sure they tried to remember everything you taught them. Your dad and I cried because you were not on the floor with them, coaching them, hugging them, and telling them how proud you are of them. We wanted you there with them, where you belonged. Why couldn't you be there?
We want to share some very incredible news with all of you. My bother Mark's oldest son, Matt, recieved the news of a lifetime yesterday. He will be representing the United States in Vancouver, for the 2010 Olympics, competing in Ariel Skiing. He is one of four chosen to compete. We are all so very proud him, he has worked so hard to reach this goal. Mark got him started, and coached him through the first part of his career, giving him the basics he needed to be selected to be on the U.S. Ski team. Mark worked hard to give Matt every opportunity to be the best he could be, and reach his fullest potential. Now, Matt has the chance to live his dream. Matt, we love you so much, and we will be cheering for you on every jump, every twist and every flip. Have fun and enjoy your dream come true.
My Darling Jacquie, again the event held in your honor held moments of tears and smiles. Your little ones talked about you and remembered you with such love and admiration. It hurt and helped to hear how they talked about you. I hope you know what an impact you have made on their young lives, and that they remember you with such affection and respect. I will never understand why you were taken from us, but I will never question why you were given to us. So many at the meet this weekend talked about the wonderful things they remember about you- as a toddler, a little girl, a teenager, and the wonderful young woman you became. The emotions I felt were crippling at times, but the words made my heart fill with pride. Your dad, TJ, and I will never be tired of hearing people tell us how your life has made a diffference in theirs.
I miss you, my Jaccquie, so much more each day. I talk to you, but I can't hear you answer me back yet. So I will keep trying, because I BELIEVE someday you will speak to me. I hold your new "Believe Bear" and I wish you could hold it too. I wish I could hold you. I love you with all my hart and soul, forever and ever and always, and longer than that, Love- your mom
January 19th 2010 --Last Thursday night, we went down to Roswell for the check presentation. I wish you all could have been there. So many of the dancers who performed at the benefit, and worked so hard to make it the incredible sucess it was, came down to Roswell to be there for the ceremony. We couldn't believe how many of the parents took time out of their busy schedules to drive the girls to Roswell to be part of the celebration of their accomplishment. Mary Alice, Ali, AJ, Michelle, and many others were there for TJ's Speech, which was awesome, as always, and for Dr. Wang's presentation. I thought Dr. Wang did a wonderful job, putting what she is trying to accomplish with her research, into layman's terms. She had a slideshow to go along with it, and managed to be able to get her ideas and research goals across to us. Nancy, from Roswell, provided a little reception for everyone, with food and snacks, and best of all- we were in the main lobby. We saw many people who had taken care of Jacquie while she was there, and it was so reassuring to know that they remember her. I think that we will be down there many more times for presentations, and everyone will know that we can help make Jacquie's dream come true. The $20,000 we just gave Dr. Wang, puts us at almost $70,000 in just one year. Imagine, what this next year will bring!. My Jacquie, I hope you were there with us, and you are proud of your family and friends.
Have you all had the chance to take a look at the new website? TJ, once again, has outdone himself. With some help, he has totally re-designed and re-structured the whole site and it is AMAZING! He has put hours and hours into it, early morings and very late nights. He has put his heart and soul into it, and I don't know if he will ever be satisfied. He seems unable to settle for less than perfect when is comes to his sister. He took such good care of her, he is such a great big brother, and now he continues to take care of her in the only way he can. This web site is TJ's way of always being with her and letting her know that he will forever be her big brother. Everytime we think he is done with a part, he tells us something he doesn't think is right and he wants to change it. If you have seen it, you know the love TJ and Jacquie shared shows on every page and in every word. TJ- dad, me, and Jacquie are so very proud of you.
We have our first Tinker-Ball 2010 meeting coming up on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4:30 pm at the gym. We are asking anyone who will be willing to help with this year's ball, to try to come. If you can't make it, but would be willing to help, please e-mail one of us to let us know. We must make this a succes and we will need help to do it. Last year was wonderful, it will be haard to top, but we BELIEVE we can do it.
My Jacquie, my tears started after I typed in the date. It has been 500 days today, and the numbers are forever present. I wish I could be with you, I still need you to stay with me, and let me know that you near. My tears are not always flowing but the pain and sorrow are always present, and my heart is forever in pieces. I love you my Jacquie, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Please stay with me. With love, my heart and soul, your mom
January 14th 2010 - Good morning, my Angel Jacquie. The sun is bright this morning, but it is still cold. I got up early today, I bet you are surprised! I have a lot to do today, and not much time to get it all done. Today is a special day- Your Day. We are going down to Roswell at 5:30 this evening to make another check presentation. We are going to present Dr. Wang and Dr. Nowak with a check for $20,000 dollars!!!!!!! The money was raised by Mary Alice, Ali, AJ and everyone who participated in, donated to, and or helped with, the Dancers Give Back benefit held last October. This check will mean more opportunities for Dr.Wang to continue her reseach and move closer to finding a cure for your type of Leukemia. Aren't you so very proud of your friends? There is an incredible amount of support for you and your foundation. Every benefit, every fundraiser, every donation is a testement to you and the very special person you are. It is a way for your family and friends to honor your life and memory. We will NEVER stop until our goal is reached, and your dream has come true. Roswell Park and the world will know The Jacquie Hirsch For "A.L.L." Foundation. EVeryone will know what it stands for and what it's mission is. And everyone will know, that when a cure is found, your foundation helped make that happen. You ARE Jacquie Hirsch. You ARE our daughter, TJ's sister, a granddaughter, a neice, a cousin, a Ciao Bella, a SDT, a BLue Wave, a Spartan, a Miss Jacquie (the Teacher), a coach, a friend, and so much more. You have given all of us a chance to make our lives better, to be better people and to teach others to cherish every moment of life. You ARE Jacquie Hirsch, and nobody better ever forget that, we won't let them. Today, when you are watching the ceremony, and listening to TJ's speech, I hope that you will be able to feel the emotion, and the love, that we all have for you. I know you will also see and feel the pain and sorrow, but we will all want you to know that we are there for YOU, for your life and your legacy. If anyone reading this can make it, please come down to the main lobby of Roswell tonight at 5:30,and help us to celebrate another donation to Jacquie's research project. It won't last long, but we really want the people at Roswell to know that Jacquie was special to many, not just her family.
Jacquie, please take care of Aunt Alice, and let her know we love her and we miss her. Help Uncle John, the children, her family and friends to find the strength to say goodbye to her. Please look out for Tom, and help him towards a quick and un-eventful recovery.
And as always, my Jacquie, I am begging you to stay with me. I wish I didn't have to go tonight, I wish we didn't need to be presenting in your memory. I wish I didn't have so many wishes.
I miss you, my Darling Angel Jacquie, I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. Your heart beats in mine. Love, your mom
January 10th 2010 - I wish I could hibernate for a while. I wish I could go to bed and just stay there. I wish I didn't have to get up and go out anywhere. I wish I didn't have to be with people. And I know, "If wishes were horses, beggers would ride". I feel as though the rest of my life will be spent dealing with the same thing everyday, not just the pain of Jacquie, but just life itself. Always dreading the next day, the next event, the next anything. It seems as though there will never be an end to the obligations and committments. I don't know if that is how I want to spend each day, worrying and wondering. I don't want to always be dreading going to the gym, wondering what problems with be there, and what Torey and TJ will have to deal with. I don't want to wonder if I can make it from one crying episode to the next, without being caught. I don't want to feel the envy I feel, when friends talk about their daughters, and grandchildren and engagements and weddings. I still have trouble remembering to "Believe", because as time goes on, it is harder to find things to believe in. The holidays are over, and that is a good thing. But now we start with more events again, and the pressure of making them work, and be something Jacquie will be proud of, will begin. I wonder, "will this be the time that people will forget Jacquie and will we not be able have a successful event"? Everyday, that thought eats away at me, and I can't stand it. How can life be moving forward without her here with us?
Oh, my Jacquie, I am trying but it am failing. I miss you so very much. How do parents make it through a lifetime when they lose a child? How many times do we have to keep saying "It is what Jacquie would want"? Why can't you be here to tell us what you want?
The sun just came out through the clouds, and I would like to think that that is your way of telling me not to go back to bed, but to stop crying and get something done today. Ok, my Jacquie, for you I will. NEVER,EVER forget how much I love you and know that I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. With my love, your mom
January 7th 2010 - Today has started off poorly, I had a hard time making myself get out of bed, and now, once again, I have too much to do and I won't have enough time to do it. That seems to be the story of our lives these days. The gym has been so busy, and with staff calling in due to illness, we can't seem to get caught up. I was so nice over the break to be off for a while and to have time at home, the four of us together. Now we are back, and the days are long. It is hard to be away from Jacquie for such long periods of time. TJ is working so hard to get his web site and business going, and he is aslo re-doing Jacquie's web site and maintaining the gym website. He is so busy, he is getting to be just like Torey, almost non-stop working. I keep hoping one of these days we will catch a break, and our day will go off without a hitch. But, I don't see that happening anytime soon. I feel so stressed when I am there, dealing with all the problems and issues, and I keep asking myself "Why don't I just leave and go home?" But I know I can't, so I stay. And I do what I know Jacquie would expect me to do, just keep going, one problem at a time. I still find myself crying over little things. I miss her so much. Jacquie had a way to make us all laugh, no matter how difficult things would get, and now we miss that laugh. We miss Jacquie.
My Darling Daughter Jacquie, it is 11am and I have to get moving, I can't sit here all day and cry. Please give me a push, give me a way to get through this day, and then I can go to bed. I miss you, my Jacquie, and I am having such a hard time without you. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that. With all my love, your mom
January 3rd 2010 - 484 days. I promised Jacquie I would try not to keep doing numbers, but they are always there, in my mind and my heart. It is a New Year, and the 4 Hirschs want to wish all of our dear family, friends and friends "not-yet-met" a 2010 that is filled with joy, happiness, good health and never-ending love. We have been without Jacquie for, what seems to be, a lifetime. And in all that time, all of you have been traveling the journey with us. We realize how difficult this must be for you, to keep holding us up and to keep us moving forward. All of you have been so wonderful and we are forever grateful. We hope that as time goes on, we will be able to not need you so much, it is hard knowing that we rely on you so much. We don't want to keep doing that, but we still need you near us. I wish there was a way to know when things will be "better", but I don't. We know you all have your own lives to live, and we don't want to make it hard for you. Everytime we hear from someone, we know that person has taken time out of a very busy day to think about us and let us know they care. It is an overwhelming feeling to know the lives that Jacquie touched. So, we hope that this year all of you will be returned the support and love in your lives, that you have so freely given to us. We hope the year has more good days than bad. We hope this year, you find dreams, wishes, and hopes coming true. We hope that this year brings you more time to share with those people in your lives that you love. We hope you make the time to tell them you love them, every chance you get. We hope that your lives become less complicated so that you have time to enjoy the simple pleasures. And we hope that you know, each and everyone of you has a very special place in our hearts. Torey's birthday was yesterday, and I know it was painful to not have Jacquie here to celebrate with him. She and TJ would always get up early and hang "happy birthday" signs all over the house. Jacquie loved any reason to celebrate, but birthdays were so much fun for her. Torey found the signs they made for his last birthday before she became sick, and I'm glad he kept them, I think having them made him feel closer to her. The day was not easy for him, but he did his best, and I know Jacquie was right next to him all day. Happy Birthday Torey, TJ, Jacquie and I love you so very much. "A daughter needs a mom to remind her to say nice things when she talks to herself". Jacquie, I hope you are saying wonderful things to yourself about the person you are. Everyday, we are constantly reminded by others, that you are an incredible person. We are reminded about the life you lived, and how much you meant to those fortunate people who shared your life. Remember to tell yourself that you are missed so much because of person you are, and the way you made others feel special. Remind yourself that the children who's lives you touched, will remember you and what you taught them because of the way you made them feel special. Every child, in your eyes, was a gift, and you let them know that. Remember that you are a gift, as well. My Jacquie, my days go on without you, and I wish I could make them stop. We have so many events planned for your foundation, I would give my life to have you back here to be part of them. I would give my life for yours. I am sorry that it was you who was taken from us, and I am sorry I couldn't help you get better. I miss you so very much, and I don't want to keep hurting. I want you here with us. Please stay close, let me feel that you are near, and let me hear you laugh and see your smile. Help me make it through another day without you. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that My Jacquie- Love, your mom