DEDICATION - JESSE'S STORY
Jesse’s story is not the only one. We have dedicated this site to his memory and to the hundreds of other children in Canada, United States and yes, around the world that have lost their lives to this meaningless game.
I would have never believed that the date of April 23rd 2005, would carry so much tragedy for myself and my family. We were like so many other families, maybe a bit luckier than most with a beautiful home in a quiet town and 3 wonderful children.
I was blessed with a daughter, Kristen from my first marriage. She is smart and has a heart of gold. She is 24 this year. When Kristen was 10 we decided to have more children and Jesse was born June 25th, 1992. He was an answer to our prayers, with beautiful blue eyes like his sister and father and the energy of 10 children. Wow, boys are much different than girls but we decided to have another. Jesse and Kristen had a brother, Joshua. Again different to Jesse, Josh was a sleepy baby and the most laid back and easy going child I have ever known. All three were so different and yet all beautiful in their own ways. We were the perfect family, with our regular ups and down like most.
None of us would have known that it would all come crashing down and end on a dreary Saturday April 23rd. It was the day the world ended for my family and me. Jesse stayed over night at his cousin’s house the night before and my husband brought both boys back to the house to play with my youngest son. The boys had played games and Jesse had, as usual been on the phone and outside doing tricks with the bikes.
I arrived home at 2:30 pm went to see where the boys were and only found 2 playing upstairs. Jesse was not there, I sent his cousin to find him and started downstairs myself. The horror of what I found will never leave me. My son, my pride and joy, the child I gave birth to and worried every day of his life was strangled by the cord from his computer. The knot he had tied was not the reason he could not breath, it was the cord that he had used.
The rubber coating on the cord held together and would not release. If this had of been any other material it would have let go and life would go on. But hours later at the hospital Jesse could not hold on and life was never going to go on for us. Ours will be a much different and painful course without him.
It had only been the night before that we had just spoken about the “Black out Game”. You see, in August of 2004 Jesse had learned this deadly game at summer camp. He was recalling all of the jokes they had played there along with this deadly one. We had talked about the dangers and he told me that he wasn't doing drugs or anything wrong. This is so like many other children that have lost their lives to this game. He even went so far as to tell me he had asked someone if it killed brain cells. I told him differently, but obviously it wasn't enough. Little did I know that he and his brother were playing “The game”. As we learned later, we found that there were also children at his school participating. I knew that this was not a new game and I knew of it when I was a teen. The difference being that he was now playing alone and not just hyperventilating.
I should have noticed the signs. He was having headaches most nights and his personality was changing to be a little more aggressive than normal. He was always a very sociable boy and still was but would argue more than usual. Jesse was 12 years old and was into anything athletic. In the winters he played Hockey, skied and snow boarded. In summer he loved Ball Hockey, Soccer, Cross Country running and Baseball. He most enjoyed camping with his Dad and Brother. Jesse was an "A" student, loved to help others at school and just lived life to the fullest.
This has been a tragedy that no other parent should have to go through. The pain this has caused his family, friends and schoolmates has been extreme. I truly believe if he saw the information that is available today, he would have never had put himself in harms way. We need to at least try to help make sure that these children understand that it is really not a game they are playing but more like tempting death.
Our home is quiet now and, only with the memories of Jesse, do we really understand the emptiness that such a beautiful soul can leave. He filled our home with energy, antics, laughter and most of all life. He will never be forgotten and will be loved with all our hearts always.