The Jacquie Hirsch for A.L.L. Foundation


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Cause' when push        
        comes to shove
You taste what        
        you're made of.
You might bend,        
        till you break
Cause its all        
        you can take.
On your knees        
        you look up,
Decide you've        
        had enough.
You get mad,        
        you get strong,
Wipe your hands        
        shake it off,
March 2011

March 28th, 2011 - Dearest Jacquie,  Last night we had our second planning meeting for the Tinker Ball.  There were about 14 of us there, and I'd like to think we accomplished something.  But when I came home, I looked around at the emptiness and all the "Believe" and Tinker Bell things we have, and I started to feel that we haven't done enough yet., and maybe we never will be able to.  The "Believe" and Tinker Bell signs, dolls, sculptures, music boxes, paintings and knick knacks that we have all around, are our family and friends way to help us remember that we can't give up, and must keep working towards a cure.  But more and more, I keep thinking about what you think and how you feel we are doing.  Everytime we are planning an event for you, I worry so much that it won't be a success and that you will be disappointed.  I wonder how I can keep trying to make things perfect for you, and deal with the thoughts that it won't be good enough.  The "What ifs" send me into a panic.  What if only a handful of people come? What if nobody likes the baskets and silent auction things we have?  What if nobody likes the meal, the speakers, the whole night?  What if I fail again?  I wish I could talk with you, so you could tell me how to make it work, how to make sure it is a success.  I wish you could be here to help plan it so we know it would be what you want.  I wish you were here.  There is so much to do and I wish I knew that we will get it all done, the right way.  I wish you were here.  I wish I didn't have to go  "I wish you were here"
I have been listening a lot, to the new song Rascall Flats wrote for you.  It is called "I Won't Let Go", and it is beautiful, just like you are.  Your dad got me the CD and I listen to it and sing to it so you can hear me telling you over and over and over that I will never let you go.  The words hurt, and I get so sad singing it because I can't hear you singing with me.  So if you could, when I sing, let me hear you whisper the words in my ear, so I know you are hearing me.  I am always holding you tight in my arms, and I will truly NEVER let you go.  I love you, My Sweet Daughter, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul.  You are every breath I take, and every beat of my heart.  You are my sunshine and my moonlight.  You are my Daughter, now and forever.  Love, your mom

March 24th, 2011 - Dear Jacquie, I don't have much to say to you today, other than the same things I always tell you.  I miss you, oh how I miss you.  I see moms with their daughters and my heart breaks into more little pieces.  Some days I wonder how long it will be until my heart just goes away.  I am so lonely without you.  I have so much to share with you and do with you- places to go, things to see, restaurants to try.  But you're not here.  I have no one to talk "daughter talk" with and I am so lonely without you.  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.  Please come to see me soon. I need you.  Love, your mom

March 20th, 2011 - I woke up this morning and like all my other mornings, I wondered what the day would bring.  More memories that would make me smile or ones that would make me cry.  I guess until I stop reliving every day of life since the day Jacquie was diagnosed,  my days will be some of both.  As hard as I try to change it, the memories of Jacquie being sick are so much a part of my thoughts all the time.  Everywhere.  I was in the kitchen yesterday looking for a plastic container and I saw the "Salad Spinner" we bought when we found out what Jacquie's new dietary requiements would be.  She would have to have everything meticulously cleaned and scrubbed before she could eat it, and the nurses suggested the spinner to help make the lettace safe enough for Jacquie to eat.  I haven't used it since Jacquie died, so there it sits in the cupboard- a reminder of what was.  Jacquie's meds, terribly outdated, are still in the closet.  I know we can never use them, I wouldn't want to because they were for her, but I can't get rid of them.  Looking at Jacquie's wig she picked out, the one that is almost a redhead, I know she will never wear it again, but like everything else, it has to stay where she left it.  Jacquie's  clothes, her make up, her hair clips, her lotions, EVERYTHING, is here for her, as if someday she will come back  to use it.  But she won't.  Living in the past because the present is too hard.  I am so sorry Jacquie, so very very sorry.
My Sweet Baby Girl, I know you wish I would do better.  And please believe me, I am trying.  Everyday I go to the gym and put my saddness away for a while, and I try to be you. Of course, I will never be, but it makes me feel better if I pretend you are there with me and showing me the way. I have never missed you more, or loved you more than I do today, and tomorrow,  I will miss you and love you even more than today.  I will love you forever and ever and always and longer than that, with all my heart and soul.  Stay with me, be my sunshine and my rainbow, be my stars in the sky.  You will forever be my daughter, and I will forever be your mom.  Love, mom

March 17th, 2011 - Dear Jacquie, Day 922.  St. Patrick's Day.  But not "Happy St. Patrick's Day".  Although not on e of your biggest "holidays', this day was still a day for you and TJ and your friends to celebrate.  Honsestly Jacquie, I think you could find a way to "celebrate"  almost any day.  After all, for you, life was a celebration wasn't it?  For me, the only thing I can think about today is St. Patrick's Day from 3 years ago.  Remember Jacquie?  We were at Sloan Kettering and we got a phone call that TJ had gone out with the cousins and Angela had had an accident.  And while she was in the ER waiting to be treated, TJ got hungry and ordered out for pizza.  Remember how hard we laughed- picturing a pzza delivery boy going into the emergency room and asking who ordered the large cheese and pepperoni.  You thought that was so like him, to never think about leaving her alone, but making sure he was fed.  Jacquie, how I wish you were here to go out tonight with TJ.  I wish you were here to ask me what should you wear that is green.  I wish you were here to pass out St. Patrick's Day stickers to the pre-schoolers after their class.  I wish you were here to drink green beer.  I wish you were here.  I won't whine anymore tonight.  I am so sorry.
My Precious Jacqueline Elisabeth,  I love you and I miss you.  No cahnge.  No difference.  No less pain.  No easier days.  Just trying to survive without you.  Trying to understand how I can stay so weak and ineffective.  Talking to Cindy last Sunday made me realize how far I still have to go.  And made me wonder if I even want to get there.  I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul.   I still need to feel you and hear you, and am waiting to see you again.  And I will wait as long as you need me to, for I will never leave you and I will always be your mom.  I am waiting for the sunshine that shows me you are happy and well.  Love, your mom

March 13th, 2011 - Dear Jacquie, I never stop thinking of you, but when I am at the gym teaching, you are with me even more.  I guess that it because with children is where you always wanted to be.  I miss you so much when I am there and I want to ask you something, or share a story, or just watch the choldren with you.  I think of all you had to give and to teach children and I wish you were here to teach them, and me.  I found a poem about teaching, in a book you recieved from Bree, and I want to read it to you and share it with others.  It is written by Barbara Cage.
                                                                 What Is A Teacher?
    A teacher is someone who sees each child as a unique person and encourages individual talents and strengths.
    A teacher looks beyond each child's face and sees inside their souls.
    A teacher is someone with a special touch and a ready smile who takes the time to listen to both sides and always tries to be fair
    A teacher has a caring heart that repects and understands.
    A teacher is someone who can look past disruption and rebellion, and recognize hurt and pain.
    A teacher teaches the entire child and helps to build confidence and raise self-esteem.
    A teacher makes a difference in each child's life and affects each family and the future of us all.
My Jacquie, you are a teacher.  You are still teaching all of us.  Are we learning?  Are we making you proud?  Are you waiting to teach us more?  Christa McAuliffe said "I touch the future, I teach".  Jacquie, you touch the futrure each time you touch someone's life.  And hopefully, we are learning from you.
My Sweet Little Girl, watch over us and guide us to do the right thing, to be good people who care about others.  Teach us how to change the future and make is a better place for the children.  Show us what you wanted the children to see and learn.  Let us hear your words and follow in your footsteps.  We are trying to do what you what you want us to do, but we need your help.
I miss you, My Sweetheart, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul.  Some days I know that you are the only reason I made it through my day.  You help me to find a way to push through the junk and take another breath and move on.  I love you and I am so sorry.  Love, your mom

March 9th, 2011 - I have been spending a lot of time lately, looking at pictures. Pictures of happier times when our family of four was all together.  I remember where we were when the pictures were taken and what we were doing.  And I try to remember what we all might have been thinking, or saying.  "A daughter needs a mom who can read the expression on her face."  I would like to think that I was pretty ok at reading Jacquie's expression.  She was so open in her expressions, it wasn't hard to know what was on her mind.  I think I am that way too, because she could always tell what was on my mind.  Sometimes, she would come home and I could see something was bothering her, and I would ask "what's up", and she would say "how do you know something is up?".  I would tell her it's a "mom thing", that moms could read their children's minds and tell by their expressions what they were thinking.  Then I would tell her that someday when she was a mom, she would be able to do the same thing.  The best expression I loved to see on Jacquie's face is the one that is in almost every picture we have of her- one where she is smiling and happy.  Those pictures I treasure most because they remind me that Jacquie's life, for the most part, was a happy one for her.  The pictures with family, friends, Cioa Bellas, SDTs, Blue Waves, "The Boys", boyfriends, students- the list is endless- show how much Jacquie loved life and the people in hers.  Her expressions vary slightly, but they all convey happiness, joy contentment and love.  I guess you wouldn't need to be Jacquie's mom to be able to read her expresson, but I need to "BELIEVE" that I read it best of all. 
My Smiling Angel Jacqeline, when I replay our conversations in my mind, I hear your words and I see your face.  I can see every detail as if you are in front of me.  I know what you ar saying and what you mean.  Whenever you come to me in my dreams, I do the same thing.  I need you to know, that I will always hear you and see you, you will always be you- my daughter.  Someday when we are together again, we will do all those wonderful things we used to do.  We will sing and talk and dance and share stories.  And I will hold you so tight, I will never let you go again.  I miss you, and I will love you forever and ever and always, and longer than that, with all my heart and soul.  You are my rainbow in the sky on a rainy day, you are My Jacquie.  Love your mom

March 5th, 2011 - Dear Jacquie, YOU DID IT!  They are home and you brought them back to us safe and healthy!!!!!!!  Thank you for being their guide and Angel and for showing them the way to the top and back home again.  Angela and TJ arrived at the airport to signs, balloons, flowers, many family and friends, the TV station and Mighty Taco!.  They looked tired but oh so good.  Both have lost weight, and are sunburned in places, but their smiles said it all.  They have truly been to the top of the world, and accomplished what so few in this world ever will. I am betting they will sleep a lot in the next few days as they adjust to the time change, the weather changes, and being back in the real world.  We willl give them some time to decompress, and then try to get everyone together to hear about their journey and see all the pictures and videos they took.  It was a great homecoming, except for one thing, you weren't there with us.
My Sweetheart, each and every day we are reminded of what joy and happiness you brought into our lives and the lives of so many others.  In some ways, the reminders are painful- they are so sharp and clear, as if they are happening now.  And then there are other times when the reminders make us smile, and we can hear your voice and see your smile.  Please don't stop visiting us and bringing little reminders to us all, to show us that you miss us and love us.  It is so hard to be strong without you here.  I keep trying to find a way to tell you how sorry I am, to prove to you that we tried to do everything we could to save you, but I don't know how.  Please never forget that I will love you forever and ever and always and longer than that, with all my heart and soul.   You are my daughter, and I will forever be your mom, no matter what.  I love you, mom

March 2nd, 2011 - Dearest Jacquie, Thank you.  Thank you for taking the mountain climb with TJ and Angela and keeping them safe.  I know they had some very difficult times- times when they wondered if they would make it to the top.  Times they wondered if they would make it back down.  And times they wondered what were they doing there.  But throughout the whole journey, you were there with them.  Just as they were with you throughout your journey, you stayed by their side to give them encouragement and support and to let them know they weren't alone.  I know you knew how worried I was, how afraid I was to have them go.  And you promised me would would take care of them, and you did.  The words "thank you" are so small compared to how I feel, but I don't know how else to tell you what it means to me to know that TJ and Angela were led by the most special guide of all, their own Angel from heaven. What TJ and Angela, and all the others who have made this trek have done is amazing.  So many people in this world are affected by cancer, yet most do nothing to find a way to end it.  If everyone did ONE thing- a donation, supported a fundraiser, a Team in Training event- ANYTHING to help find a cure, maybe the cure would not be so far in the future. Maybe someday, no one would have to climb for a cure. 
My Sweet, Precious Jacquie, day 907 without you, and the pain continues.  I am tired of fighting through each day, counting the minutes until I can be home with you, and go to bed.  Nothing compares to the fight you had or the challenges you were forced to meet, and it makes me feel so weak and inadequate that I am having trouble meeting mine.  Stay with me, as you stayed with TJ and Angela, and help me find a way to move forward to the next challenge, the next issue, the next problem.  Help me be a better help to your dad at the gym, so we can get through these times. Bring us some sunshine and rainbows, and show us your world without pain and suffering.  Help us to find a way to show more people how to support your dream to find a cure.  We cannot do this alone. 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.  I will keep loving you with every breath I take and every beat of my heart.  You are my sunshine.  Love, your mom