Meet Kameron Jacobsen
It is a very difficult process to write about my son’s life, but my hope is that you become a bit more familiar with him and you realize that he is the same as any young boy. They are all loved, they are all our sons. They all have dreams, they all have fears. They sometimes cry and sometimes hide their tears
-Kevin Jacobsen Sr.
In fall of 2010 Kameron and I talked about what path he may be thinking of choosing as the beginning of high school arrived and the prospect of considering colleges and career choices lay in the not so distant future.
As we spoke I said to him that no matter what path he chose, I knew in my heart that one day he would have a positive affect on the world. I explained that we both couldn’t know what was to be right now, but I had no doubt he would do great things. I explained it could have been anything from a major discovery to a simple solution. Perhaps the latest and greatest advances in technology or science would benefit from his expertise. Art, music or service to his nation might be the calling that would set him apart from the pack. It could also have been as simple as one day introducing one person to another, thereby setting in motion a chain of events that did indeed change the world because of him.
I knew somehow Kameron’s life had a purpose and a goal and we as a society would benefit from it. I just didn’t think it would happen when he was 14 years of age, just a couple of months shy of 15.
This tragedy is a sobering fact of life, evidence that none of us has a guarantee of longevity. I had no reason to expect in such a short time so many people would be affected by his death and now so many more will be changed because of it.
Kameron was a typical young boy who could light up a room with his goofiness and bring laughter and joy to his family and friends. He was the youngest of three children – Kevin Jr, is the oldest by nine years and his big sister Kiersten was six the day Kam was born. Kameron, as well as his brother and sister, was a child that every parent would be blessed to call their own. And on a spring day in 1996 his mother, Wanda, and I were given that honor.
A family of five. We had everything.
As he began school, like many children Kameron played soccer. Although he didn’t care much for running and thought the purpose of shin guards was to kick each other without getting hurt. He loved T-ball and like everyone else in the infield, believed all nine players were always in a race to be the first one to get the ball – every play and in every inning. As time went on soccer lost out to basketball and T-ball became little league baseball. Kameron loved baseball and, like his father, became a frustrated, yet devoted New York Met fan. He played each spring and for a couple of seasons he was on a travel team.
It was during one of those travel team practices that Kameron, weighing all of 72 pounds, became the victim of a brutal assault by a bully.
Though Kameron continued to thrive. In fact, the following spring in the 8th grade he persevered, and with focused determination, he made his middle school baseball team.
He loved to play video games and watch Nickelodeon. He wore UGG moccasins all the time and disliked greed and hypocrisy. He ate Happy Meals in the backseat while listening to Cudi or Eminem, as well as Miles Davis and The Zack Brown Band on his iPod. He wrote rap music and sometimes wore his baseball caps backwards. He was our very own child actor in his brother’s short films. Texting and ding dong ditch, manhunt on summer nights with his friends and basement parties with his ‘krew’ is just a sliver of a life too short.
His sister took him to midnight movie premieres and sometimes to haunted buildings in search of mystery. He loved movies like Saving Private Ryan and Toy Story 3D and Cool Hand Luke. We always planned a Godfather 1 and 2, night at home. But never did it happen. Neither will the trip to Ireland he wanted to take me on or going to a Super Bowl one year.
My heart will forever hold those voids.
Halloween and Christmas were his favorite holidays and #4, his favorite number. Ramen noodles, Chef Boyardee ravioli, Stouffer’s turkey dinners always in the pantry along with Fluff and PB&J. Visits to Brooklyn had to include L&B Spumoni Garden and Joe’s of Ave U. He cooked tofu and hibachi rice and it tasted pretty good. His 90 pound frame began P90X and he wanted to study mixed martial arts. He knew he was small and wanted to grow to be able to defend himself against the cowards and stop the comments and the insults in school. His report cards said mostly ‘pleasure to have in class’ with a few ‘missing homework assignments’ rounding out his progress. Kameron wanted to have perfect attendance in high school looking ahead as a freshman, but then became reluctant to even go to school and looked forward to snow days instead of being victimized in the hallways or the cafeteria.
He began to quietly withdraw from us and on my birthday in 2010 he broke down and told us he was being bullied both in school and over the internet. One was intertwined with the other as we now know.
Today our family begins a terrible journey to discover and share with you the phenomenon of relentless bullying and its horrific repercussions to a developing teen.
It is our challenge and Kameron’s legacy to stop this scourge of bullying before it causes irreparable harm to another and to find ways of preventing the causes of bullycide. In doing so, our hope is to spare one young person and one more family this never ending pain.
Kameron was a child of The Most High God and for eternity that promise will never change. I believe God has a purpose and a plan for us all and when our earthly lives are finished we will all be reunited in God’s glory.
In the meantime it is our promise to all of you, that we will do everything we are able in order to save just one life, if not more. When we accomplish this lofty goal, then we will become what we knew Kameron was to be.
Together we will change the world. One child at a time.