Camryn was the biggest dreamer. She dreamt of a world where there was no pain and suffering. She had bigger plans than even we could dream of for her. She saw the world as God intended it to be. Where tall, green trees swayed in the breeze. She saw the majesty of their leaves in abundance when the rest of us just saw shade from the heat. She saw the sun in all its brilliance and warmth and energy when the rest of us just appreciated the existence of clouds for it to hide behind.
Camryn's world was different to say the least. She saw it differently than the rest of us. She loved nature and couldn't understand why people didn't appreciate what they had and why we would destroy it, even unintentionally. She loved the animals that were placed upon the earth. Where we saw nuisances she saw glory and an opportunity for kindness. Animals brought life to her and she saw them as gifts to us.
But Camryn's world was also filled with harsh realities. It was filled with greedy people and unloving people who thirsted more for their own glory and self-righteousness, and that was difficult for her to comprehend. It was also filled with a mental disease that robbed her of the ability to function in everyday life forcing her to shrink into a world of places that most of us could never comprehend. It kept her from dreaming of a world that could be changed for the better. But that didn't stop her. She tried changing our world anyway. Even with the most difficult of obstacles to overcome she rose to the top and set a journey for the rest of us to follow. We didn't see that path when she was alive, but we see it now.
Camryn was this brilliant light with so much depth. But to achieve such brilliance she had to retrieve it from deep inside. The brighter she shined on the outside, the deeper and darker things got on the inside. It was a blessing and a curse.
Camryn challenged us in ways we weren't ready for, but we soon learned to adjust. She taught us to think outside of our own world and see the beauty of a world only few can dream about. We allowed ourselves to grow as human beings, mostly from trying to find ways to help Camryn. To understand her. We allowed ourselves to dream bigger.
Camryn couldn't see the movie industry as most of us would. She saw way more. She saw subplots and character flaws and back stories. She saw it the way a true artist intended it to be seen. She saw deeper feelings of how a world could exist, if only people could see it her way.
Camryn could never understand why people would abuse the world they live in. Why politicians couldn't get along. Why the world would argue itself to death, a slow death. She didn't take her life because she couldn't handle life. She took it because she didn't want to be a part of something so ugly and cruel. We are certain none of us will ever understand her pain or the cruelty of what she suffered through. We know she tried so hard to explain to us what her life was like, and regretfully we're certain we thought we understood. She needed us to open our eyes and see the world for how it was created.
We have so many memories of her. Thousands of them. They make us sad, happy, lost, or hurt. After a tragedy of someone taking their life, parents, community, friends, or schools believe all you have to do is go home and hug your kids or just talk to them. As if that could stop anything bad from happening to them. Well that's just not true. Camryn was loved by so many and never a day went by that someone in her life wasn't reaching out to her in a loving way. Camryn was an advocate for herself. Because of Camryn's illness she had a void that could never be filled. There were no amounts of hugs or love that could convince her that everything would be OK. Going home to hug your kids isn't going to change things. It will only serve to say, "I'm glad you're OK today."
Camryn had an angelic voice. Nothing on this earth sounded as beautiful as her singing around the house or on the stage. Camryn did not think she could sing. Yet she had the courage to sing loud.
Courage. A word thrown around and so often misunderstood. Camryn had the courage to stand up for anything that could not defend itself. She stood up for the weak, she stood up for those who couldn't stand up. She stood up for animals and nature. After all, these were the most important parts of her world.
So many well-intended people have told us that things will get better in time. But that's not true. We have learned to adapt to our "new" normal. There is a part of us that is now gone forever, never to be retrieved. And while we do the best we can, we cannot escape the feelings of guilt, anger, and an emptiness that leaves us numb and feeling that none of this is real.
The night she took her life, her dad laid down next to her and loved on her. It never seemed real that she wasn't breathing. He begged her to "say something" that was all that was wanted or needed. She was right there and we could see her, but she was lifeless. As her body became cold, he continued to cover her up. Repeating how much she was loved and that she didn't have to do this. We cried over her in anguish and torment. It was a nightmare. Then we were asked to leave and after those final moments, we never saw her body again. Seventeen years is not enough for a parent. Seventeen years is not enough time to share stories, ideas, laughs, or love. As they wheeled her body out on the stretcher to the van all that was heard were the cries of her dad begging and pleading that they couldn't take his baby girl away. We watched in torment as the van pulled out of the driveway knowing we would never see her again, touch her again, hear her voice again. She is forever gone.
Her pain may now be gone forever, but ours is still here. We are selfish. We want to fix this as we wanted to fix her condition. We want to believe that somehow she's in a better place. We know she is, but that does not ease our pain. We want her back more than anything in this world. To tell her that we see her world. To take her to the places she dreamed of and to see it through her eyes. The fields, the mountains, and the trees.
Camryn left in search of a better world. She wanted us to follow to create a better place. She would want others to see her world. A world full of magic wands from Ollivander's Shop. A world full of fantastic beasts and where to find them. A world of superheroes and galactic battles. A fantasy world for most of us. But it was Cam's reality. It was the world she dreamt about.
To make the world a better place like Cam would want, this foundation has been created to help those to Say Something and find those who have said something to help others.