October 28th 2010 - It has been 782 days and still I ask why. I recieved a card today, and the words spoke what my heart is feeling.
We want to believe that the world is understandable. That life is fair. That things make sense.
We want to believe that if we're careful enough, work hard enough, try hard enough, we and those we love will be safe from anything bad.
It's one of the biggest questions humans wrestle with- why things sometimes aren't fair.
But even though we don't always have a neat answer to why things happen, we do have each other...and we have our faith.
Just a simple kind of faith that somehow, someday, suffering will end, good will be rewarded, love will endure, pain will be forgotten, light will scatter darkness, and our spirits will go on.
My Jacquie, I miss you more than ever, Your dad and I have been crying a lot, and needing to be near you. Alicia told me you visited her in her dream the other morning. Others have shared their dreams about you with us too. We really wish you would visit us more often, be with us when we wake up in the morning. The three of us miss you so much. We love you and the memories we all shared. We are trying to be what you want us to be, but it is so much harder without you here with us. Angela sent us a picture of the rainbow you sent her the other morning, maybe you could send us one too. I sent you 6 Tikerbell balloons yesterday, I hope you saw them. They were pink and blue and yellow and so pretty in the sky. I hope they made you smile.
My Jacquie, we keep moving forward for you, don't leave us. Give us strength and courage to keep fighting for you. I love you and I WILL love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that with all my heart and soul, with every breath I take. We WILL be together again someday. With love from your mom
October 23rd 2010 - Jacquie, My Sweet Little Girl", this week was all about you. Monday found us at Roswell for the Ride For Roswell awards ceremony. As you know, your team did an incredible job again this year, your family and friends raised enough money to have Team Jacquie For ALL finish in 9th place out of 534 teams!!!!!! You must have known before it was announced, where we placed, but it was a surprise to us. We hope you are proud of us and that you know we will keep riding for you. We are planning an even bigger event for next year's ride. The most special part of the evening, however, was walking over to the main building, walking through the lobby to the donation wall, and seeing "The Jacquie Hirsch For ALL" plaque which now holds a plaace of honor under the $100,000.00 "donation made" plate. We stood in awe and with such pride to see your name up there. Do you remember the time when you and I had gone down for one of your clinic appointments on a Saturday, and we passed that wall? You looked at me and said "mom, do you think my name will ever be under the $25,000 one?" I told you "no, it will be under one of the bigger ones", and I promised you it would be someday. Now, it is someday. The next step up is $250,0000, so we have more work to do for you. But, I promise you again, we will do it.
Thursday morning, your dad, TJ and I went to Roswell again for a special tour set up by the Gatwick Society, of which we are now members due to our contribution amount. We toured Dr. Wang and Dr. Nowaks lab and were given a lot of new information about the work being done there, and the progress being made. It was such a great feeling to know that you are making a difference in finding a cure, You, our Jacquie is a name everyone there knows. Then we toured the radiation medicine area, and saw some incredible new work that is being done to improve radiation therapy. It was an informative morning and we hope you walkked each step with us, to share our pride in you.
Today, Saturday, was "The Jacquie Hirsch For ALL Clinic For A Cure". This year, instead of us holding it at our gym, Bright Raven Gymnastics in Rochester offered to host it. One of your greatest supporters, Larry Goldsmith, first thought of hosting a clinic for you last year. It was a huge success and he said this year it would be bigger, and it was. We almost doubled the number of gymnasts who attended and we had so many coaches and judges who volunteered their Saturday to make it a success. The gymnasts had a great time and learned a lot, having the chance to work with judges and coaches who have so much knowledge about the gymnastics. The whole day was wonderful and we can't thank everyone who made it so, enough. Larry worked so hard and put so much time into organizing it and setting it up. Larry left no detail unattended to and the day went off perfectly. The Bright Raven staff and all the coaches and judges who volunteered were terrific. And we couldn't have succeeded without the gymnasts who attended and their parents who made that possible. You are all the best!!!
So, My Precious Daughter, this week was all about you. You are with us always, and you are in the hearts of so many who never met you. You are an amazing person and I am so very proud to be your mom. I know I will never stop questioning "Why" because everyday I am confronted with situations and feelings and memories that make me angry that you are not here with us. I know you are "here" but why couldn't you have been standing next to us when we looked at your name on the wall? Why couldn't you have toured the lab with us to see what you are accomplishing? Why couldn't you have stood next to your dad and I at the clinic and looked out at all the gymnasts who were there to support your dream? Why am I having to write to you and talk with you without hearing your voice talk back with me? Why?
My Jacquie, you are so missed and so loved, and time will not diminish our love for you, it will only strengthen it. I wait for you to visit me, to give me a sign that you are near. I will keep singing to you and talking to you and wishing that you never leave me. I will love you forever and ever and always and longer than that, with all my heart and soul and with every breath I take. With love, your mom
October 17th 2010 - My Dear Jacquie, In case I haven't told you enough, thank you. Thank you for being who you are and living your life the way you did. Being "Jacquie", you surrounded yourself with the most incredible group of friends that anyone could ever ask for. You must be so proud of yourself, up there in heaven, looking down on all the people who miss you so much and love you so dearly. Yesterday Mary Alice, Ali, and AJ hosted the 3rd Annual Dancers Give Back Fundraiser in Orchard Park. It was UNBELIEVABLE!! All the efforts and hard work done by so many in your honor was evident in the amount of people who came to support you and your foundation. There were hundreds!!!! And the most UNBELIVABLE part of all is that only a couple dozen people there actually knew you and had the honor of being part of your life. Your family was there and we were all so proud to be Jacquie's family. We met so many new friends who want to help make your dream come true. And Jacquie, you would have loved to have been on the stage, dancing with all the kids who danced their hearts out for you. All ages and abilities danced in your honor. The theme song this year, "Hero In You" could not have been any more perfect to describe you to everyone. You are our Hero, and always will be. Your fight and your courage gives us all a reason to go on, a reason to continue your fight and make you proud of us. Those who came to the event not knowing you, left knowing about you and wishing that they had been able to be a part of your special life. Strangers came to us to tell us what a remarkable young woman you must have been, I told them that you still are. I wish you could have been there next to us to hold our hands and dance. I know you were there, but as always, it's not the same. Dr. Wang spoke and she told everyone about you and what your foundation is working towards, and what has been accomplished so far. We are grateful to her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to attend your fundraisers, we think it is so important for those who support you to know what is being done and to hear about the progress that is being made.
My Jacquie, you continue inspire us and drive us to be more and do more. You have shown us what it is like to really live your life to the fullest and we are trying to do that for you now. It will always be difficult without you, the pain is ever-present. We miss you so much, and yesterday was just another example of how many others miss you too. We cannot find the words to thank everyone who made the Dancers Give Back possible. Our hearts are heavy but made lighter by knowing that you live on in the memories and hearts of so many others. Stay with us and guide us to be better people and live our lives by your example. Show us rainbows from heaven and stars from your eyes. I love you, My Jacquie, and I will love you forever and ever and always and longer than that, with all my heart and soul, and with every breathe I take. With love, mom
October 13th 2010 - A couple weeks ago, a father of one of our gymnasts at the gym, approached me to introduce himself. He told me that he had been reading Jacquie's wall at the gym , and been looking at all the plaques and things we have in Jacquie's display case. He proceeded to tell me how sorry he was about our loss and then he told me he had something he would like to share with us. He said when he was going through a very difficult time in his life, someone gave him a poem called "The Little Ship", and it helped him see things a little clearer. He asked if I would like him to send it to us. I said that would be wonderful, that we appreciate when people send things that may make our grieving a little less painful. A couple days later, the poem arrived in the mail, just as promised. I wanted to share it with you.
The Little Ship
I stood watching as the little ship sailed out to sea. The setting sun tinted his white sails with a golden light, and as he disappeared from sight, a voice at my side whispered, "He is gone".
But the sea was a narrow one. On the farther shore a little band of friends had gathered to watch it and wait in happy expectation. Suddenly they caught sight of the tiny sail and, at the very moment when my companion had whispered "He is gone", a glad shout went up in joyous welcome, "Here he comes!"
I hope, no- I am sure, that when Jacquie arrived in heaven, she was greeted the same way, with joy and happiness. I know she knew that leaving us was like our own deaths, and it was hard for her to see us so broken. I know she didn't want to have to leave us here without her. I know she understands our grief and how difficult our lives are without her. So, just maybe her arrival in heaven, with the joy from those who greeted her, made her journey there without us a little less difficult for her. She went through so much here, I don't want her to hurt anymore. The poem made me realize that she didn't journey alone. And I also know, that now Jacquie is one of the Angels who is there to greet the new Angels. Our Jacquie is greeting each new "Little Ship". We all know that that is a role Jacquie will play so very well.
This Saturday is the 3rd Annual "Dancers Give Back" fundraiser. The first two have raised over $37,000 and this year we are hoping for another wonderful turnout. Please try to come and support all the efforts and hard work of Mary Alice, Ali, AJ and all the incredible dancers, parents and volunteers who have tirelessly worked to make this event such a huge success. It will be a wonderful day for families to experience. Thank you to all!!!
My Darling Jacquie, I look for you always and you are everywhere. The songs on the radio, the clothes I see young women wearing, TV shows, movies, ane the faces of the children at the gym. Everywhere I look are reminders of you. I see you in my waking hours and look for you in my dreams. Talk to me, let me hear you sing. Touch me, let me feel your fingertips on my face. Stay with me, let me never be without you. I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. You are my sunshine, My Jacquie. Love, your mom forever and ever
October 7th 2010 Day 761. I haven't written recently, I'm having trouble remembering how to be "grateful for the time we had with Jacquie". I hear that all the time from people and I guess it still doesn't help to hear those words. I have been in contact with some of the dear friends we met while Jacquie was sick, and they are still fighting, and because they are still are, they are winning. I feel like such a horrible person to be jealous of their loved ones who are still fighting with them. I read about Fudd and Jess, and I think how lucky she is to still be living her "new normal" life. I understand how difficult things are for her, Fudd and their family, but I would give anything to have our lives be that way, because at least Jacquie would still be with us. I remember talking with Jacquie and telling her that I would gladly live the rest of my life being her caretaker, I would give up everything for her to take care of her. I told her that as long as I lived I would never wish for a different "new normal". But yet, it happened, didn't it? I thought that we would spend our lives going from scan to scan and waiting for bloodwork results and bone marrow numbers. I truly BELIEVED that a life like that would be so wonderful if it meant that Jacquie was still with us. I am so sorry, my Jacquie, that I never had the chance to prove to you how much I meant those words. I spoke with Jon Jon's mother, Anne, last weekend. Jon Jon's second anniversay of the day he died is coming up in a couple weeks, and she said how time has not "healed" her. That to her , the more time that goes on, the harder it is. I told her I agree, time means nothing. He was just a child, why him? Why Jacquie? Why??
The last few days have been damp and rainy and so has my mood. Winter is coming and I dread it. At least in the summer I can look at Jacquie's garden and see the flowers and plants growing with love from family and friends. Torey has done such a beautiful job designing it and taking care of it. I hope Jacquie looks down from heaven and is proud of what her garden stands for. Next spring, we will add more to it, it will be beautiful again. Jacquie will see how much we miss her and love her. She will never doubt it.
My Jacquie, my daughter, time goes on and my love for you grows stronger. My days are more difficult and I find myself wanting to see you always. There are too many hard times now, and not enough good ones. I am wishing I could be with you and hold you, and tell you how much I love you. I miss you so much, you are not supposed to be away from me. We were supposed to be together, and then I was supposed to die first. You had so much left to do and see. I miss you and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul. I need you, please don't leave me. Love, your mom
October 2nd 2010 - Dear Jax, today we held our first fundraiser for Kili. It was a lot of fun and went very well. Angela did such a great job organizing it and everyone worked hard to make it a big success. We raised a litle over $2,300! Although we have a lot to do before February, we are off to a great start and I'm excited to be able to fundraise & train in anticipation of whats to come. I know the climb won't be easy, but you've taught me a thing or two about facing challanges and about never giving up. We have a lot of events going on this month and things are getting busy. There is a lot of planning and organizing to do but I'm sure everything will turn out great, when it's for you, things are always are. We are working on some new features for the website and have some great new ideas. I hope you are proud of all we are doing for you, I miss you a lot, we all do. I love you always, your Big Brother.