On December 12, 2018, we lost our son, Calvin James Cruthirds to suicide. He was 13.
Calvin was brilliant, kind, empathetic, funny, witty, and an incredibly gifted drummer. He also suffered from Tourette's Syndrome, food allergies, ADHD, and giftedness brought its challenges. Calvin was full of light and love, and I am still SO proud to be his mom. He will never be forgotten, and he will live on in the lives he continues to touch with our mission, in his spirit. His two younger brothers, and the rest of their generation, will hopefully spread kindness and acceptance for a cultural awareness shift toward inclusion.
Calvin would want that because he lived that. Can we all stretch, just a little, our empathy for one another in his memory? Can we love, not because it's easy, but because we are all made with special gifts to give the world?"
These words, written by a family friend and mom to one of Calvin's best friends, are perfectly written and important to understand. SO important. Sam just got Calvin, and Mac and I treasure those kids who understood him more than you know.
"Calvin was a brilliant kid filled with joy and humor and "sparky" with creativity and depth. My Sam and Calvin were buddies. Calvin was ziggy and witty and irreverent and questioning and well, so was Sam. Calvin was quirky and neurodivergent and well, that's Sam's jam too. They loved science and sci-fi and unanswerable questions and not always focusing on schoolwork because, well, because...intense curiosity can be hard to channel into math facts or the writing of well-constructed paragraphs. They both knew how to love by accepting others' uniquenesses and celebrating their talents and looking past their weaknesses. For kids like them, their incredible strengths are only possible because of their measurable weaknesses. Their brains are tuned to rare frequencies that make them shine brilliantly (sometimes with the most difficult tasks) and also struggle repeatedly (often with the "easiest" tasks). In the week since Calvin's death, we're heartbroken as friends and terrified as parents and desperately hoping as a community we can learn to love not just the perfectly well-rounded, perfectly synchronous and "even" among us but also the divergent, asynchronous, offbeat, startling, intense, and ziggy among us as well. Calvin would want that because he lived that. Can we all stretch, just a little, our empathy for one another in his memory? Can we love, not because it's easy, but because we are all made with special gifts to give the world?"
President and Chairwoman