Cameron’s book

The Shoemaker's Daughter. A memoir of days, both past and present, by Rhonda Mason.

Bear is at home today because of conjunctivitis.

I have a massive amount of work to do in preparation for the launch of Cameron’s book, and I had planned to hide out in my cubby office for the entire duration of Lewis’ morning nap.

I wonder whether I’ll have to put on a movie.

First, I print out some colouring sheets for Bear. I ask him whether he would prefer dinosaurs, spaceships, or robots. He picks robots.

As Bear sits down to half a dozen robot drawings, I sit down at my computer, ready to crank out a couple hours’ worth of work.

Bear’s colouring in lasts a little over ten minutes.

I start to stress, but before long, I find him entertaining himself with the plastic blocks and the Little Architect set. He ends up playing happily by himself for the rest of the morning.

At lunchtime, Bear sits in Jamie’s booster seat and Lewis sits in his bouncer. I make Bear a peanut butter wrap and I offer Lewis some rice cereal and milk.

On impulse, I decide to check the letterbox.

I find an Express Post satchel. I know what this is.

I rush back to the patio.

“Rick! Rick!” I exclaim, my voice pulsing with anticipation.

Rick runs out of his office. “What’s wrong?” he asks.

With trembling hands, I tear open the plastic satchel and open up the cardboard mailer inside.

I reach in and take out my prize: Cameron’s book.

Yes, it’s a prototype, but it is the book.

It is my book.

It is Cameron’s book.

We wrote this together, Cameron and I.

I hold it out to Rick, and he takes it from me. He takes it back to his office, and I follow him.

He sits down in his study chair and takes a closer look at the book. He studies the cover, reads the back cover, and then carefully flips through the pages. I wrap my arms around his neck and hold my breath while I wait for his reaction.

A smile appears on his face, and he chuckles softly under his breath.

“What are you laughing about?”

“Oh, darling. This is beautiful. It looks so professional! I reckon you could do anything you put your mind to.”

I smile at such beautiful, kind words from the man whom I love.

As I clean up from lunch and put Bear and Lewis down for their naps, I cannot stop smiling.

My dear Cameron, this is finally happening…

When the boys are home from school, Angus comes upstairs to my studio, and I show him the book.

“What is this?” he asks.

“It’s the book I wrote about Cameron.”

“Can I read it?”

“Of course! You’re in it, you know.”


He disappears downstairs.

“Hey guys, mum’s an author!”

“What?!” Pete and Jamie are understandably confused.

“Mum’s an author—she’s written a book!”

“No, she hasn’t!”

“Yes, she has!”

I can hear Angus rushing back up the stairs. “The others don’t believe me—can you bring the book down and show them?”

I follow him downstairs with the book in hand.

“Hey guys, I’ve written a book, and it’s about Cameron.”

“Oooohhh….” I watch Pete and Jamie’s faces as they try to process this information. I can see both wonderment and incredulity in their eyes.

“Did you draw the cover?” Pete asks matter-of-factly.

“Sort of. I drew it using the computer.”

“Cool!” says Jamie. “Mum’s an illustrator…!”

Later in the evening, while Rick sorts out dessert for the boys, I retreat to my studio once more to take photos of the book.

I decide to keep the styling simple: I lay my wooden trestle tabletop down onto the floor, and put the book on top. I take the dried eucalyptus leaves from my desktop and arrange them around the book. I duck downstairs to the kitchen and return with my favourite teapot and teacup.

As I reach for my camera, I realise I need one more element.

I walk over to my Expedite shelf and take out my box of journals. Down at the very bottom is the journal that I’m after. It is the journal with the teal leather cover. It is the journal that I wrote in after Cameron died. It is a journal filled with my heartache and grief.

It is the journal that started the book.

I open up to the second page, and lay Cameron’s book over the top. It looks perfect.

In the twilight, I photograph my book. I take only a handful of frames, but I know that I have the shot.

Much later at night, when all the boys are in bed, I upload the photos to the website. I make a couple of amendments, and then it is done. Finished.

I sit back and start reading through the book with tears in my eyes.

My darling Cam, this is all for you…

  • Essie said:

    This is so beautiful. Congratulations.

    • Rhonda Mason said:

      Thank you, Essie. It's lovely to have you here.
      Ronnie xo

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