Carolyn and Cameron

Cameron’s birthday

After Cameron’s graduation from high school 2005

I’m not going to say “happy” birthday since not having the person here is sad rather than happy. I’m sure other parents who have lost a child will agree with me on that one.

It’s been 17 years since we celebrated with Cameron. He turned 18 on May 29, 2005. And actually on his last birthday celebration, he was very glum and seemingly depressed. He shouldn’t have been since I allowed one of his girl “friends” come from Ohio to come and stay with us for his birthday and graduation. I asked her later why he was so sad and she said she didn’t think he was. I can look at the pictures and see extreme unhappiness.

We went to Pappadeaux Cajun restaurant to celebrate. We took lots of pictures since my sister and mom also came to celebrate the two Cameron occasions – 18th birthday and high school graduation. The pictures from our birthday lunch show a very depressed and glum Cameron. He had turned 18 and ready to go on with his life – or so we thought.

Graduation night came and we were all excited to drive to Denton to watch Cameron walk the stage and capture his diploma. There were so many graduating from Marcus High School! I took lots of pictures and later on I received a video of the graduation. (Cameron never told me that was available but one of his teachers shared after his death that it was available and gave me the recording.)

There were many happier birthdays for my ray of sunshine so I’ll try to start dwelling on those instead. It’s just that the summer of 2005 was fraught for Cameron. He seemed to have lost purpose. While in high school he took photos for the yearbook and newspaper; that gave him great purpose. I feel sure losing that was sad for him on many levels.

I helped him find a job with an inventory company but he would take early jobs and get there late. That’s not good in the working world so the job didn’t last long. I can’t recall any other jobs after that. He just drifted with his friends that summer and before long he started using meth again.

Damn drugs. They get their tallows in the young and suck the life right out of them! Cameron went to rehab during his senior year and went he “graduated” he was a joy to be with again. But somewhere along the way he started using meth again and that created the spiral.

Boy! I didn’t mean to go down this road of remembrance so I’m going to stop now and return to happy memories of my son celebrating his birthday. I’ve already written a book on the topic (Save the Teens) so no need to do that here.

Peace to anyone who understands this loss. Let’s try and remember the happy days on their birthdays.