Several months ago, I grabbed some tickets to see a very special band Tenth Avenue North. For those who don’t know the story. Their song By your side was the last song playing in the car the night Sydney met Jesus. I hadn’t ever heard of the band prior to that but I immediately had to go listen. I cannot tell you the peace and comfort the words brought me, and then I came across Hold my heart and that song literally described my heart. Music was the tool God used to help me survive. The words to these songs were the truth I needed to be reminded of. Music somehow made me feel connected to God and heaven, which connected me to Sydney. I also know that God specifically chose this band to be a part of my journey. I had no idea when I got the tickets that this would end up being the last tour they would do as Tenth Avenue North. I can’t explain to you in a post all the ways God worked all around us the past several years through them. God is so good and these guys were so amazing. We got to sit on the bus and have coffee with them and just talk to them. There were only 6 of us. We got to share a little of Sydney’s story with them and thank them for the music they created and the sacrifice they make to be away from their family. We got to ask them about their lives and where they find encouragement when times get tough for them. I had 3 Play For Jeter bracelets with me and after the small group got through talking, I asked them if they would want to wear one of Sydney’s bands for my picture. They all said of course❤️These little small things mean so much. They actually kept them on throughout the concert. I know it’s just a bracelet but seeing it on someone’s arm never fails to make me smile. I always feel like Sydney is there with me but I couldn’t help but feel God gave her the opportunity to be there with them. Thank you God! My cup runneth over. Wishing them lots of luck on their next chapters and some much needed family time. Here are some pictures and videos from the night. Yes Mike personally made our coffee, yes he stood in our chairs, yes he played both songs By your Side and Hold my heart. #PlayForJeter #missablekindofgirl #tenthavenuenorth #noshametantour
I don’t even know where to begin. One of my dear friends said it best..WOW..yesterday we began the new year with the Annual Play For Jeter Memorial game and tailgate. This is the 6th year for the event and I’m still just as blown away as ever. The kindness and love they continue to pour over our family and Jeter’s Memory is unbelievable. I’m still shocked that even though none of the girls knew her they love and carry her memory and passion for the game as if they did. I work hard to keep her spirit and memory alive but only a bereaved parent can understand the beautiful gift it is to have others do it as well. This year they were able to play at Ellis Field (A&M’s soccer stadium) which I’m sure was a treat for the girls. The team has continued to showcase a “Play For Jeter” slogan on the sleeve of their team shirt they wear to school on Fridays since the 2013 season, but last night these girls had on a brand new maroon game jersey that also showcased “Play For Jeter” on the sleeve❤️This school, these coaches, these parents, these girls..they are teaching and learning something beyond winning and losing. They are learning compassion and how to love and care for someone else. That some how just kinda wraps up exactly who JETER was off the field. I am humbly grateful to everyone who stepped up to help organize this event. Coach Lockart and the other coaches, Chad Thompson with Morrison supply who helps sponsor the tailgate, Amanda Vaughan with Card My Yard for the amazing decorations, and all the amazing parents, the Dad’s who grilled the burgers and especially Jill and Gary Tomlinson who not only give their time to plan and organize the event but have included me and made me feel part of this soccer family. I am also thankful for everyone who comes to support us and the event especially my amazing friends who have made nearly every event the last 6 years, their sons have stood by and supported Cameron like true best friends. These beautiful people come not only to remember Jeter and support us but to support the Consol Lady Tiger soccer program. I am attaching some pictures and video and a tweet Jeter shared a little over 6 years ago❤️Thank you Consolidated Lady Tigers for having my girls back I’m positive she never thought it would be carried out quite like this. #PlayForJeter #missablekindofgirl #AMCladytigersoccer2019
This year was the 5th Memorial Game the girls soccer team has done for my daughter, and this is also the first year that there isn’t a girl on the field or a Coach out there that actually knew Sydney. It cannot be an easy task to try and memorialize someone you didn’t know however these girls never cease to amaze me. I want people to see the beauty of the soccer community, the beauty of being part of a team, and how these girls continue to carry a teammate they never even knew. This started with Jeter’s original teammates wanting to honor someone they would miss, but seeing it pass through the hands from captain to captain and even coach to coach has been remarkable. I believe that every sports program works hard to win games, but I believe a program has won so much more when you have taught your team compassion, empathy, and that sometimes you are entrusted with not only carrying your teammates on the field but also carrying their Legacy and passion for the game. I enjoyed getting to sit down and visit with them hear what positions they play and get to know them a little as they also sat and listened to stories hoping to get to know Sydney from her prior teammates. There are not words to express my thankfulness and appreciation for the soccer parents who were responsible for putting this together, the parents who I got to meet and get to know, the 2017-2018 Lady Tiger soccer Coaches and team for continuing to Play For Jeter and allowing us to continue to be part of your family, the Alumni and their families who continue to fill my heart with so much love. Continuing to be a part of their lives is a beautiful and priceless gift. #PlayForJeter
Another beautiful night honoring Sydney. What an amazing blessing this game continues to be. Thank you to the girls who continue to carry my daughters memory and the community that continues to show up and support us. The soccer community is FAMILY
Sometimes I get tears in my eyes simply because I know the blessing it is to be able to watch Cameron play soccer. There simply aren’t words to describe how much I love and cherish every moment God gives me with him. I am so proud of his passion for the game and his desire to create opportunities to work on his weaknesses and continue growing as a player. As I already posted he choose to wear number 8 (his sister’s retired number) in honor of her. What many don’t know is t…hat Sydney’s high school number her freshman year was not 8 but 18, it changed to 8 her sophomore year and she also wore 18 her last competitive season so when the accident happened they asked me if we preferred to retire 8 or 18. We decided on 8 since it was her most recent number. When Cameron was asking me which number he should choose I told him it didn’t matter they are both special. He chose 8, however last week he stepped out on the field with number 18 when I saw him I couldn’t help but smile. It was a beautiful surprise. There is no greater feeling than watching him find ways to let her play with him and keep her a part of his life. I am in awe of the gifts God has given me and I am so grateful that he chose me to be their MOM.
This young man blows me away..It is not just the athlete that he is..it is the Man he has become. It doesn’t matter where he goes he never fails to bring Sydney’s memory with him, but this time when I looked out on the field, he was standing next to a teammate and I saw not one Play For Jeter bracelet but two. You see that bracelet is something my family recognizes without even trying, so to look through the lens and see number 87 standing next to Derrick I immediately noticed it..I can only imagine the joy Sydney feels knowing that Derrick has shared a little bit of her story with his teammates. As far as our family, there is no greater gift than the gift of knowing that Sydney is not only remembered and loved by Derrick, but that she is..in the only way she can..still meeting new people and touching their lives in some way. However with Derrick is doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t have to but he continues to allow us to be a part of his life, to join him on his journey, to be there for Cameron offering advice and guidance as he walks through high school. It’s hard to explain, but after losing a child, a lot of people become uncomfortable around you, or choose to avoid you..Derrick makes us feel a little less broken and a little more normal..He treats us just like he always did when Sydney was here, and for that we are grateful. We love to watch him play this game, and I always know that as I’m taking pictures I’m going to capture a pic of him smiling and that always makes me smile. Thank you Derrick for everything!
Again I am overwhelmed and blown away by the support and love this community continues to show to Sydney and our family. This year as I sat in the stands I was surrounded by parents who had no child on the field, but they were there to support the Lady Tiger Soccer team and Coaches as they continue to play a memorial game in honor of Sydney and what her life meant to the A&M Consolidated Lady Tiger Soccer Program. When I lost Sydney I had in my mind the people I thought would walk next to us, but as time moves on I’ve realized the people you thought would never leave..do..but then you are overwhelmed when you realized the people who step in..unafraid to stand next to you..cry with you..and most importantly share stories and pictures with you. The soccer community whether competitive league or high school has given more than I ever imagined. People often say competitive soccer is about making money..I am proof it is not..I believe almost all of Sydney’s competitive coaches not only came to her funeral but were there for the 1st memorial game (7 months after the accident) and a few consistently at EVERYONE of them..this is above and beyond what someone would do if it was about making money. This is what you do when you are part of a family and that is how the soccer community makes me feel..like we are forever part of their family. I know Sydney feels all the love the soccer community has shown her and I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing family⚽️
Again…the soccer community goes above and beyond to walk beside our family..this time stepping in and on the field to play some soccer with Cameron..You see out of all the projects people have started “Play for Jeter” is one that Cameron has the desire and opportunity to pick up and be a part of..He has attended two Play for Jeter memorial games but has never had the opportunity to “Play” with her teammates and friends..I can’t think of a better way to support him then for some of her original teammates who started the project “Play For Jeter” and some of the young men that knew her, giving their time to step on the field and play soccer with him and a few of his teammates..What a beautiful gift it is for not only Sydney to have been a part of this soccer community but Cameron as well. Much respect and appreciation for all of these people
I wanted to include the names of all the people who showed up to play with Cameron:
Back row left to right: Cade Williams, Tucker Simms, Kylan Lewis, Daniel Zivney, David Gan, Alex Acton, Oscar Cameron Jeter, Shane Grant, Allen Aldape, Jack Edner..front row-Alex OCampo, Carlos Espina, Maddie Wilke, Megan Lewis, Callie Walton, Alex Stewart, and Sammy McKenzie
I never knew when I took Sydney to her first middle school football game the adventure ahead of us. She was a soccer player and my son was too small to be playing so of course I had no idea I would be sitting in the stands week after week but Sydney and I feel in love with watching the boys her age play so passionately. I’m so thankful for all the memories we made traveling to and from games. After the accident I wasn’t quite sure if and how I belonged anymore. My son still too small to be a part, and my daughter no longer here…My heart wanted to be where we had planned to be together but I didn’t want to make people uncomfortable. That is where this young man stepped in..He not only carried Sydney’s memory as he played but he texted me before games and made sure I felt welcome and always found my family after every game making us feel a part of something I no longer knew how to be a part of..He was never too uncomfortable..never too upset..never too popular..and never too busy. As soon as the Soccer community began promoting “PlayForJeter” bracelets he not only asked me for one but told me he would continue to play for her..even as he transitioned from High school football into College Football at UTSA. Many things have changed over the last two years and many people have faded away..So trust me when I say there is NOTHING that lifts a broken mothers heart more than someone who continues to walk beside you when you know they have so many other choices. His heart is as special as his talent. He is always interacting with the younger generation inspiring them to never give up on their dreams and always seems to keep an eye out for the less fortunate offering his support. He helped us pick out and pick up our Christmas tree last year because we didn’t have a truck to get it home and continues to watch out for and be a part of Cameron’s life. I can not thank him enough for all he has done for not only Sydney but my family. I have included some of my favorite pics of him (wearing the blue “PlayForJeter” bracelet)..some pics of him and Sydney and a pic I edited of them together..I still believe she is one of his biggest fans!!