I remember the day that a mutual friend of The Scotts and myself called to tell me that Hudson had taken his own life. I remember the feeling of utter despair as I tried to process what it would feel like to lose a child at the age of 14, and to all things suicide. I had gotten to know Wes and Jenna over the last few years via many mutual friends and social gatherings, but being that I never got to know Hudson personally, I sent Wes a text expressing my sympathy in Hudson’s passing, while letting him know that my family and I would be there for him, and his family, if there was anything they should need, even if it was just to sit in silence and listen. Once Wes and Jenna reached out to Libby (whom is my significant other), I knew that helping Project Hud;Son was that “anything we can do to help” moment.
Through the path that my life has taken me on, I have had many occurrences with situations where I was sitting in a strangers’ living room, helping them get to a rehab facility, or to a mental health facility, to receive the help they were so badly needing or wanting. I, too, have have experienced the loss of loved ones to suicide, starting with a close childhood friend of mine attempting suicide when we were 13 years old, then to another close friend who was afraid to tell anyone what his sexuality was when we were 18 years old, to the loss of an Uncle who no-one in the family knew was dealing with depression and mental health issues. Armed with those experiences and my extensive background in fundraising for other charitable foundations in our city, the message started to become as clear as day to me. The day that I officially became a member of the board is a whole other story.
Due to the growing friendship between the Scott family, Libby and myself, along with Libby’s involvement with Project Hud;Son, I was able to participate in the majority of Project Hud;Son’s events and fundraisers, but I was not an official member of the board as of yet. Now that I have explained the “why”, let me explain the “how” I became a member of this beautiful organization.
I am a Real Estate Broker, and being as such I spend a large amount of time driving through every part of our city on a daily basis. One day the GPS in my car stopped working while driving through downtown Indianapolis. Naturally I pulled over to see what the problem was and looked up to find the street I was on to use the GPS on my phone. The street I was on was Hudson Street, I found myself just sitting there, on a beautiful day, lost, and the street I stopped on was Hudson Street. After a few seconds the GPS in my car began working, and it said a phrase that we all hear daily when using our GPS to navigate through life, but this time the message had a little more meaning… “Continue straight and your destination is in front of you.” At that moment I took a picture of the street sign and sent a message of the “sign”, as well as the story, to Wes and Jenna and said… “If there is a spot, I would be honored to be an official member of the Project Hud;Son board.” Jenna simply replied that they had wanted me to fill the 6th and final position, but were unsure what all I had on my plate. The answer to that question was as clear to me as the “sign" that day on Hudson street.
I am a firm believer in the credo that everything happens for a reason. While that reason is not always clear at first, if you are seeking the answer, it will one day reveal itself. I have had countless times, since I have been a part of Project Hud;Son that reaffirmed my reason for being involved with this cause.
I have drawn so much strength from watching Wes and Jenna walk through this journey hand and hand with their heads held high, always remembering why they were doing it. With every step they take, every step we take, we get one step closer to making sure that everyone in this world knows that it is Okay to not be okay and that above all else, YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE NEEDED. YOU HAVE PURPOSE. - J
#ProjectHudSon #FlyHighHudson #StopSuicide #LoveAll #BeDifferent