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!
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!!