On May 23, 2018, our lives were forever changed. Our sons Cameron (18) and Caden (16) were in a fatal car accident less than a mile from their high school, only three days before Cameron was set to graduate. Cameron died on site and Caden was taken via Flight for Life to Children's Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. He survived with a few layers of stitches to his head, full body bruising, and a severe concussion. But he lost a brother.
One tragedy. One miracle.
We still tell this story as if it belongs to someone else. To imagine not having our oldest son with us for the rest of our time here on earth brings such immediate and severe pain. What we could not have anticipated was the tremendous amount of love and support we'd receive during the days and months following his death. So much kindness from people we knew and people we'd never met.
Over the weeks and months that followed, it was only then that we realized how much of the world had been impacted by our sweet son. We had the advantage of living with him everyday, so we knew he was special. We knew his laugh, his sense of humor, his empathy and love for everyone around him. We were blessed to be the main targets of that love. We did not comprehend how much joy and kindness he had spread to everyone he knew.
Cameron's legacy was that of laughter, love, and kindness. So many countless examples were shared with us about his ability to make people feel special, feel seen, feel cared for. He paid attention to details, such as a new shirt or haircut. He recognized sadness and the need for a compliment or hug. He filled the gaps when others had their hands or mind full, stepping in to entertain a small child or chat with an aging grandmother. He knew how to connect to people in a way that left memorable examples of how to behave, as a Christian, as a son and a brother, and as a friend.
We hope to honor our beloved son by spreading his acts of kindness and joy through a scholarship at his high school, Shoreland Lutheran High School, in Somers, Wisconsin. This annual scholarship will aim to inspire kindness, empathy, love, and respect across the student body. It will seek out examples of individuals who aren't afraid to talk to the new kid, or who go above and beyond to make a positive impression on someone else.
Additionally, we are launching a charity focused on demonstrating, educating, and empowering others to choose kindness. FlexKindness speaks more to those efforts, how you can donate or get involved, and what we plan to do to make this world a kinder, more loving place- just like Cameron did. We all deserve a Cameron in our life, and our family was blessed to have one for 18 years and 15 days.