I saw

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

The night before we went away, a storm erupted.

We were in bed, at some hour after midnight.

Earlier on in the evening, we’d been upset with each other over an inadvertent comment that one of us had made.

I was still raw and hurt, and was struggling to sleep.

Then, inexplicably, out of nowhere, I saw us, with my mind’s eye, being told that Cameron had no heartbeat. I saw us walking out of the hospital, in shock. I saw us back at our unit – like zombies, stunned, the wind knocked out of us, doing everything as if on autopilot. I saw us back at the hospital, in the birthing suite, labouring together. I heard Rick saying, repeatedly, how excited he was to finally see Cameron. I saw us cradling his stillness. I saw us mustering the courage to say goodbye. I saw the nurse wheeling Cameron away. I saw us, standing, propping each other up. I saw us, and the tears that we would shed forever…

The pain ripped through me. I let out a moan. Then another. And then a wail.

Rick rolled back over to me, and tried to console me.

“Cam, Cam…. Cam, Cam…” Our son’s name gurgled in my throat.

“What are you saying, Ronnie? What are you trying to say?”

“Cam…. Cameron….!”

His arms came forth, enveloping me. My tears came forth, like a waterfall.

I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop hurting.

My arms felt so empty, so horribly empty. I should’ve come home with my son, but I didn’t. The emptiness; such evil, terrible emptiness…

I cried and cried. It was a powerful release. Loud and beautiful.

We slept soon after that – facing each other, hands touching, our love for our son surpassing our own emotional wounds…

* * *

Friday evening.

We’ve just had our roast chicken dinner.

Rick is cleaning up in the kitchen.

I am on the couch in the family room.

Pete is squished between myself and the arm rest, quietly contemplating the two books he’s holding in his hands: No Roses for Harry, and Dirty Harry.

Jamie is behind me, choosing another book from the bookshelf.

Bear is crawling around, standing up here and there, every once in a while looking back at me with the proudest (and cheekiest) grin on his face.

Angus is crawling around after Bear, playing with him, helping him to ‘walk,’ and making him laugh.

I close my eyes and lean my head back.

My heart is full.

I am blessed. I am so blessed.

  • Steffie said:

    Beautifully written. I find myself crying after the first part. Thank you for sharing.

    • Rhonda Mason said:

      Thank you for always reading, Steffie.
      Ronnie xo

  • Hello. No words, really. Just felt I couldn't read and not acknowledge it. - Kate.

    • Rhonda Mason said:

      Thank you Kate. Often, that's all that's needed.
      Ronnie xo

  • Kathy said:

    Very emotional, very raw and very sad. You have your husband and 4 boys and I know that can never ever replace the family of husband and 5 boys and doesn't stop wishing that things didn't happen but acknowledging how you feel and letting it out is also good for you. Often relationship fights are not actually about the thing you are fighting about....it's always about something else. Have a good week and thanks for sharing. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    • Rhonda Mason said:

      "You have your husband and 4 boys and I know that can never ever replace the family of husband and 5 boys and doesn’t stop wishing that things didn’t happen..." I have never thought of it that way Kathy, but you have put it perfectly.
      Thank you,
      Ronnie xo

    • Rhonda Mason said:

      Thank you Jodie. It's all I can do sometimes.
      Ronnie xo

  • Ally said:

    I've always been drawn to your images, your use of light...it inspires me. Your words clutch at my heart x

  • Rhonda Mason said:

    Thank you, Ally, for such kind words.
    Ronnie xo