The Powerful Voice of The Kids! A Will To Live Blog
After over 2.5 years of writing, I have completed a book entitled MY LIVING WILL that we are now shopping to major publishing houses… it’s basically our inspirational story since the death of our son… the back cover may read something like this:
“An honest, gripping, & insightful look at how a family was able to find true hope and inspiration while dealing with the overwhelming heartbreak of losing a child to suicide. Determined to honor their son, and inspired by all the good they were witnessing during this tragedy, they partner with teenagers themselves to build the Will To Live Foundation, that would gather national attention, by helping teens discover hope through each other, while creating a much needed awareness of teen suicide in America.”
Well – three nights ago – our inspiration continued as Susie and I received a loving note from a teenager at Northview High School who just was awarded the Life Teammates Scholarship from his baseball playing teammates….. This young man, whose name is Jack Ryan – is inspiring me to write the sequel even before the first is published… prepare to be inspired:
Mr. and Mrs. Trautwein,
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the incredible honor of receiving the Life Teammate Scholarship. I was at an absolute loss for words last night, and I am proud to be the recipient of an award that holds such honorable, meaningful value and stature. I will never forget receiving the award and the overwhelming feeling of camaraderie and love that came with shaking your hand and understanding what the award stands for.
Although I never got to know Will as much as I would have liked to, I know he was a great human being. The friendliness and generosity that radiated from him at school attracted people from all cliques and groups and he became friends with anyone who simply talked with him. I remember him singing and strumming his guitar as he belted out Beatles classics during lunch, surrounded by all of his peers. I was able to see his true character from a distance and that is something that speaks volumes of who he truly was when you got to know him. I admire everything he stood for and it is perfectly personified in your amazing organization.
Susie and John Trautwein Present the 2014 Life Teammate Scholarship Award (Baseball) to Jack Ryan in May 2014
The Will to Live Foundation has had a huge impact on our student body and many others outside of our school. It can be seen in the classroom and in abundance on the field whether it is the lacrosse, soccer or baseball field. The term teammate has also come to mean much more than it did before the introduction of the Life Teammate program. I have never been more proud to be a part of a team as this year’s Northview Baseball team. Your organization’s sentiments and goals have spread through the clubhouse and created a bond between all of us that truly will last a lifetime. I cannot thank you enough for this incredible bond and finally this Life Teammate Scholarship. I will forever cherish both as symbols of true friendship and love in our community.
It is an incredible honor and privilege to receive an award that holds so much meaning and sentiments. It is something I will show my children as I grow old to teach them the values and lessons I was able to learn with your guidance and words. The relationships I have formed with your message in mind have forged the way for a bountiful life enriched with fellowship and love.
If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
We will never stop….. Thank you Jack – As always…. Love Ya Man!