Some of my fondest memories of Jackie are with the New Bedford High School Marching Band, where she was in the colorguard. She truly found her niche with those kids, instructors and band parents (my husband, Jay, and I were chaperones). One memory in particular is the night of NESBA Band Finals held at Boston University. Jackie was in the midst of treatment for her leukemia, but was in good enough health to go along with the kids. She wasn’t allowed to march, but she “dressed” for the competition and stood on the sidelines, watching her friends march their little hearts out in her honor. When the time came for their official group picture, Jackie proudly took her place among her friends with a smile from ear to ear. As Jackie later told me, once she returned to the hospital for continued treatment, “Band is my life, Mom, I love it!”
Three months later, at Jackie’s funeral, 100+ members of the marching band served as honor guard (a surprise to me!), in full dress uniform, along the stairs of our church in memory of Jackie, the girl they all loved and admired for her strength, her kindness, and her beautiful smile.
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Here’s a recent picture of my girls that I wanted to share!