June 30th 2010 - My Dearest Daughter Jacquie, thank you. I have waited so long for you to visit me in my dreams, and last night you came to me. You were smiling and laughing and filled with love and life. We were happy. We were talking and sharing stories and secrets, and I know that my heart was full again. You were healthy and safe and you were my Jacquie. I remember knowing in my dream that it was just a dream, but I wanted it to go on forever. I wanted to sleep forever and never wake up. I could feel your skin against mine, and I could brush your hair. I baked for you and loved watching you enjoy every bite you took. We shopped and tried on matching outfits, just like we used to, and then laughed at how ridiculous we looked. We bought Vera Bradley. We had Mighty Taco. And the dream went on and on, showing me our life as it was, and no longer is. And then I woke up. And I cried. And I couldn't stop, because it seemed so real. I could still smell your shampoo when I woke up and I looked around the room for you. And then I got angry because you were taken from us again, even though it was in my dream. You left us to be without you. And I know you had to go, but you still didn't tell me why you had to leave. Why you? I am so sorry, My Jacquie, that I couldn't make you well so you could stay here where you belong. I am sorry, I tried but I couldn't do it. I need you to come to me again, I can't be without you for so long again. Please come back to me.
My Jacquie, you know I love you and I miss you. I don't think you will ever know how much though. I love you, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, until the end of time. Love, your mom
June 29th 2010 - Day 661. It has been forever, and no matter how many days pass, it seems as though many lifetimes have passed since I last held Jacquie. The Ride For Roswell 3 days ago was just another reminder of what has been lost. And the losses are too many to count. We were told there were about 7,000 riders this year. Each rider has somehow been affected by cancer. How can that be? How can so many lives have cancer in them? To us, the loss of Jacquie has brought never ending pain and grief. And yet, we are just like a small grain of sand on a beach where each grain represents a life lost to, or affected by, a disease that should never be. We are one of too many who have had to say goodbye to someone we love, someone who had his or her whole life ahead them. Someone who was taken for no reason known to us. Someone we are finding it so hard to live without. While we were at the Ride, we saw many of our new friends that we met on this terrible journey. I was afraid each time I would see someone we knew, afraid to ask how they were doing, or even more afraid to ask how their loved one was. My fear was that the answer would not be one I wanted to hear. I was afraid that I couldn't take hearing any more bad news. Each day I fear hearing of another diagnosis, or another empty chair. How can we keep going like this?
My Daughter Jacquie, I hope you were proud of all your family and friends who rode in your memory. We didn't raise as much money as last year, but many people told us they would rather donate directly to your foundation. When they did that, they knew exactly where the funds were going. So, if you can help me find a way to thank them all, please do. Let them all know that you are with them always and that you are so proud of what they are doing for you. We are thankful to you for having had so many incredible people in your life, people who continue to stand by us in your name. You, My wonderful Daughter, inspire people to do what they never dreamed of doing. When people remember what you endure, it gives them the strength to do wonderful things that they didn't realize they were capable of doing. You are an inspiration to all who know you, then and now. You are what I will never be. You are strong, you are determined and you never gave up. I want to be you when I grow up.
My Jacquie, I love you and I am trying so hard to keep going, but I don't really think I can. Too much to deal with, too much to handle without you here. I need my BFF back. I need you. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, love- your mom
June 24th 2010 - This week has been busy and stressful. We have the Ride For Roswell in 2 days. Our team has grown to 95 riders- that is 12 more than last year! We are so honored that so many people have chosen to ride in Jacquie's memory. The sad part always comes in my mind though, why isn't Jacquie here to ride with everyone? That is what we planned. That is what Jacquie looked forward to doing the summer after her second transplant. So why isn't she here? She would have had such a great time, maybe not so much fun riding, (exercise really wasn't her "thing"), but the time after the ride, spent with family and friends, would have made her so happy. Jacquie just wanted to be here to let everyone know how much it meant to her to have people riding in her honor. She didn't know they would have to ride in her memory. We didn't either. We have also been very busy working on the Tinker Ball. I am afraid we are in trouble with it. The ticket sales are poor, to say the least, and we have worked so hard to make it a success. We have such wonderful donations for the baskets and silent auction. We have an incredible necklace, donated by Candy and Howard, that will be the prize for the "Jacquie's BELIEVE Bear" drawing. The food will be delicious, just like last year. We will have a tent for more room and more time to dance. What if no more people buy tickets? What will we do? How will I explain that to Jacquie? What will I say to her? What will I do? I promised her. How will I tell her I failed again?
To Joan in Roswell, we are all praying for you.
Fudd, we hope your visit to Roswell today was good news. We are all hoping you are ready for the next course of treatment. Jess, thank you for keeping us updated, I know it isn't easy.
To whoever wrote the posting about "the American Dream", thank you. Please let your student know how much her words mean to us.
To My Daughter, My Angel, My Jacquie- As long as I can dream, as long as I can think, as long as I have a memory, I will love you. As long as I have a heart to feel, and an imagination to hold you, I will love you. As long as there is time, as long as there is love, as long as I have a breath to speak your name, I will love you. As long as there is you, I will love you. You will always be, and I will love you forever and ever and ever, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. As long as there is you, there will be me to love you. Love, your mom
June 18th 2010 - I know it has been a long time since I have written. I have been very sad lately, and I can't even begin to guess how tire you all are of reading my sad letters. I have no excuse, it just is what it is. I think that because Jacquie was such a part of every aspect of our lives, that there is no time when she is not in our minds. She is eveywhere, and everywhere is a memory. And although many of those memories are happy ones, they are constant reminders that there will be no more. I was washing blueberries the other day, and I started to cry. I was remembering when Jacquie was told she would not be able to eat strawberries for a long time because of the special diet she needed to be on. Those of you who know Jacquie, know they are her most favorite fruit and she could eat tons of them at a time. When she found out she couldn't have them anymore, she said that was ok, because when she was better, she would be able to have them again. She never did. It seems everything I do or hear or see is Jacquie. So, rather than continue to be sad and crying to all of you, I will just say thank you for continuing to care and support Jacquie and her foundation. I am very afraid that the Tinker Ball will not be a success this year, we have not sold many tickets and everyone has been working so hard. I have to find a way to make it a success, because I cannot let Jacquie down again.
Please say a prayer for newly diagnosed Jacob, who is only 14 years old. For him and all the others, we need to keep going.
Our friend, Larry, who had the transplant recently is doing well. We are praying this is the cure for him.
Fudd, we are praying for you and waiting for you to be ready for you next fight. We will be beside you all the way.
To Ashley, Sandra, and Dristen- Congratulations on a great finish at the Team In Training Lake Placid Full and Half Marathon. We are so honored and proud that you, and so many of Jacquie's freinds, are doing these events in her memory. Maybe someday, these events will be for fun, and not for raising money to find a cure, because there will already be one.
To My Angel, My Jacquie, it has been 650 days since I kissed you and held you. How much longer until I can do that again? My arms ache to hold you, and my heart is still bleeding with pain. Come to me, and help me. I love you, My Jacquie, and I will love you forever and ever and ever, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul, with every breath I take and every beat of my heart.. Love, your mom
June 7th 2010 - Day 639. The days are getting harder and longer. There has been so much happening lately, but the time still passes so slowly. Our friend, Geoff, died recently and once again the questions start. Why? Only 61 years old, a wonderful man, a generous and caring human being. Why? And there is nothing to say to help his wife and daughter and they begin to count the days.
I think a lot about the graduations and the parties that this time of year brings. I wish Jacquie was here to wish all her friends who are graduating "Congratulations and Best Wishes for a wonderful future". I wish Jacquie was here to celebrate with them, the way they celebrated with her. She had such a great time the weekend she graduated from Geneseo, and always said she would go back each year to party with the SDT gratuates. Jacquie can't do that now. Tommy, Jacquie is so very proud of you passing the bar, she knew you could do it!!!
This past weekend, 4 very special friends went to Lake Tahoe to ride in Jacquie's memory in the 100 mile bike ride for the American Cancer Society Team in Training event. Renee, Nichole, Caitlin and Nate- we are so proud of you and so very honored!! What a wonderful tribute to Jacquie and all the others whose lives have been affected by cancer. You should know how much your efforts mean to all of us, and that someday, you will not have to do these events anymore. But for now, we will continue to do them.
Please say a prayer for Jared, he has a very difficult road ahead of him, the cancer won't let go. He needs our support and prayers and needs to know he is not alone.
My Jacquie. I do know I have not been doing what yuou would want me to. I don't know if you can understand how hard things are now, and how much I don't want to get out of bed in the morning to face another day. Too much to do, too much responsibilities, too many expectations, too many disappointments, too much heartbreak. The Ride for Roswell, The Tinker Ball, The Cruise Against Cancer, there is too muc to do to try to make you proud of us, and I can't do it. I know people have their own busy lives and schedules, and that makes it hard for them to come to our events. But I don't think I can keep going like this. I have to find you. I have to talk with you and hold you. I have to be with you. I love you, My Jacquie, and I am so very very sorry to be so weak. But it is getting harder to live without you. I love you, My Jacquie, and I will love you forever and ever and ever and always, and longer than that. Love , mom