In memory of
Jared High
..
Each day is a gift...
and you never know
how you can make the difference.

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.  His name was Kyle.  It looked like he was carrying all of his books.  I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?  He must really be a nerd."  I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.  His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.  He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.  My heart went out to him.  So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks.  They really should get lives."

He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"  There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.  I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.  As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.  He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.  We talked all the way home, and I carried his books.  He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.  I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends.  He said yes.

We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same of him.  Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.  I stopped him and said, "you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!"

He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.  When we were seniors, began to think about college.  Kyle decided on Georgetown, and was going to Duke.  I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.  He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.  Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd.  He had to prepare a speech for graduation.  I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day, I saw Kyle.  He looked great.  He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.  He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.  He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him!  Boy, sometimes I was jealous.  Today was one of those days.  I could see that he was nervous about his speech.  So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began  "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your friends.  I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.  I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.  He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.  He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.  "Thankfully, I was saved.  My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.  I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.  Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.  With one small gesture you can change a person's life.  For better or for worse.  God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.  Look for good in others.

Each day is a gift from God!  Don't forget to say, "Thank you!"

Comments from Brenda
I don't know who wrote this story or whether this story is true or not.  But, I do know that the way other students treat each other, can make a difference in living or not living for some kids.

Jared was assaulted inside his school by a bully.  It changed the course of his life and led to his suicide. Chris was teased incessantly by other students, shoved in a locker and harassed the first four days of seventh grade. After his fourth day of school he came home went into his basement and died by suicide. April missed 53 days of school because she couldn't stand to go to school and be continually harassed by other students. She died by suicide after giving up trying to get help from counselors at her school. These stories are true and those students who bullied Jared, Chris, and April, sadly made a deadly difference in their victims' life.

The best way to prevent this sad type of suicide is for Administrators, Counselors, and Teachers to promote and demand kindness and caring amongst young students, teaching this philosophy from Kindergarten to Twelfth Grade.  Students who feel it necessary to mistreat others should be immediately suspended from school - let their parents home school them for the rest of the year. If the schools can't make them change maybe their parents can.  And, if the parents can't change their behavior than maybe reform school, intensive counseling, and good old fashioned hard volunteer or mandated work will.

 
SOME LINKS THAT TELL JARED'S STORY

Birth, Bunjie Jumping, and On The Move
Jared in High School (?) and "Swim Kitty Swim"
Cats - and The Dog Who Thinks He's a Cat
Jared's LDS Church Talk - "Covering all the Bases"
Dirt cake recipe' - Jared's favorite worm cake
Building a Tree House and The Fort in the Dungeon
Jared and The Skittles War

>>

"A wife who loses a husband is called a widow.
A husband who loses a wife is called a widower.
A child who loses his or her parents is called an orphan.
But, in Yiddish they say there is no word for a parent who loses a child.
That's how awful the loss is."
~Jay Neugeboren, An Orphan's Tale

 

About Suicide
http://www.JaredStory.com/facts_fables.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/feeling_suicidal.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/garrett_smith.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/joshua.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/kasey.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/kasey_depression.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/kasey_theloveof.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/peale_sorrow.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/suicide.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/suicide_and_schools.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/suicide_info.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/suicide_triggers.html
http://www.JaredStory.com/teen_epidemic.html

http://www.JaredStory.com/you_never_know.html
 

HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY - From an interview with Pasco School District investagators concerning the assault.  This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real clear, but worth the download effort.  Jared had a real mellow voice.     Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then play again from the start.   -   5 minutes long


Keep the BALANCE in your life!
SPIRIT>MIND>BODY>FAMILY>FINANCES>SOCIETY

 

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Brenda - On the Radio with Joyce Bender, October 2010
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