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?"
The Cruthirds Family
The Cruthirds family is moving forward in life the best they can after losing Calvin. Mac is the general manager of a local tech company. Jennifer is a former teacher and now in graduate school for Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is also the founder of The Calvin Cruthirds Foundation. Calvin's brothers are carrying on with their own wonderful outside-the-boxness.
President and Chairwoman
Jennifer is currently attending full time graduate school for her Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. When she isn't studying or managing the Foundation, Jennifer plays the ukulele, writes, and takes her dogs for walks. She is most proud, however, of her family--her three sons (Calvin included) and supportive husband, Mac. And we can't forget their rescue dogs Molly and Luke, their ginger kitty George, and Cali, the old lady tortie cat.
Mac is a dedicated dad and husband, and the General Manager for a tech company. He has a big heart, can fix anything, and loves spending time with his family. Mac is a supportive, grounding force, and his love for helping others extends beyond his family to CCF's mission.
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