A Will To Live-Blog!
So Much More Than A Fun Day At The BallPark
Will To Live Founder, John Trautwein, Talks About A BowTie For Hope
I’m on my way to Chicago this morning to see a few old friends. We are going to have a great day – we’re going to the World Series to see my home town team, The Chicago Cubs try to even up the series against the Indians. Over 70 years since Wrigley has hosted a World Series – over 100 years since the Cubs have won.
We moved to Chicago when I was four – and I became a Cub fan immediately. At age 7, I sobbed in my dad’s arms when the Cubs dream of winning the 1969 pennant was spoiled by the Mets. Thus, so many reasons to be happy, and excited to be a part of an amazing day in an amazing city.
Unfortunately, there is another reason I’m here. To help spread a message that needs to be spread. My friend, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, will be wearing a special bowtie tonight – one designed by my daughter Holyn when she was just six years old. Designed from a picture that Holyn drew after the suicide death of her oldest brother, 15 year old Will Trautwein. Tonight Ken Rosenthal wears a bowtie that was designed to spread the awareness of teen suicide in our communities. Designed to help educate the adults on mental illnesses like depression, and it’s stigma. Finally designed to help us deliver hope to teens everywhere by getting them to recognize that they have true friends, true “Life Teammates” in their lives today. Friends who love them and care for them. Friends who will always be there for them. Yes – there is so much more to today than a ballgame. Today Fox Sports will help our Will To Live Foundation deliver a message to the world. Our kids are struggling in today’s crazy world, and we adults don’t realize it.
Back in Johns Creek, GA, where I’ve now lived since 1997, while I’m cheering on the Cubs, there will be hundreds of teenagers gathered in a small church, to say their goodbye’s to a friend who lost the will to live just one week ago. A freshman in college, with so much life and love ahead of him, was perhaps afraid to talk about his illness. Yes – his illness – not his character flaw, not his attitude, not his issues – but his illness. His illness that could have been treated, contained, and yes, cured. His illness that is not talked about for fear of the stigma and it’s repercussions.
So tonight – just by wearing that bowtie – Ken Rosenthal is talking about it. I pray with all my heart that people listen, take note, and as a good friend of mine told me realize that “hey, it’s ok to not be ok.”
So tonight I cheer on the Cubs with excitement, but also with sadness and fear – but perhaps most importantly, I cheer them on with hope. As each teammate “helps” each other after an error or a bad at bat, I pray that our teens today reach out to their teammates and tell them that they love them and that they are there for them. I pray that the adults in our teens lives recognize that being a teenager in 2016 is not like it was “in our day.” I pray that we show them that we know it’s hard – but that together we can not only get through it – we can enjoy this life – we can increase each others Will To Live.
October 29, 2016
To purchase your autographed copy of John Trautwein’s acclaimed book, My Living Will – click here