If only

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

It is Sunday morning.

Bear, Lewis, and I are at home by ourselves. Rick and the other boys are up at church. We couldn’t go because of Bear’s conjunctivitis (and my virus).

It is morning tea time. Bear and I each decide to have a bowl of Crunchy Nuts.

He sits in Jamie’s booster seat, and I sit on the floor, with my back against the window. The pink azaleas outside are in bloom and warm sunlight streams through the glass and bathes me from head to toe.

Without warning, my eyes moisten and I begin to cry.

Because all of a sudden, I realise what today’s date is.

September the eleventh.

* * *

Yes, today is September the eleventh.

Thousands of women, children, and families in the United States will be mourning. Weeping. Remembering.

Halfway across the world, here, in our home, I am weeping too.

September the eleventh was Cameron’s due date.

He should have been born today, nine years ago.

If he had been born today, nine years ago, he would’ve lived.

If only I’d been induced.

If only someone—anyone—had done something.

If only I had done something.

* * *

Bear sees me crying.

“Why you sad?” he asks.

“I am sad because of Cameron.”

“But Cameron at Gumnut,” he replies.

“No, not that Cameron. My Cameron. Our Cameron. He was our first baby. He was the first of the Mason boys. But he died.”

Bear looks at me for a moment, then turns back to his Crunchy Nuts.

“Here very sad,” he says, as he pops the next mouthful in.

This makes me weep all the more.

Bear looks over at me and says, most matter-of-factly, “But Cameron with Jesus!”

I glance over at him, in awe of the way he has cut to the heart of the matter.

He repeats, with much affection, “But Cameron—with Jesus!”

And then he adds: “Maybe Jesus bring Cameron back.”

Oh, my darling. If only.

  • What a precious little soul, i love what young ones come out with. Thinking of you and your sweet first boy, followed by a little tribe of amazing brothers. One day you will meet again x

    • Rhonda Mason said:

      Thank you, Bec. That means a lot.
      Ronnie xo

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