Do over

USPS delivered a heavy box

To our door Saturday

Securely taped

From a distant relative

Not really expecting anything

But it was a fancy scrapbook of

The life of my father

Thomas Joseph Cameron

Born April 06 1911

Left us June 29th 1969

It must have been in a safety deposit book

Appeared untouched all these years

Fumbling through the plastic covers of the pictures

Trying to explain who this man was too my family

Pictures, newspaper articles

Since he was eleven years old

Never really got a chance

To know you

Saw you every day

Talked to you every day

But pretty much about the routine

Of a father and his eldest son

Fixed up a bike for my first bike

Flew model airplanes

Played catch

Every spring you would plant

Grass seed where the neighborhood kids

Would play marbles

Ever hopeful

That nonetheless grass would grow

As a child it is difficult to remember many details

Especially now 50 years later after you left

Went on family camping adventures

With seven children and grandma

Driving our green VW bus

A Salem light clinched between your teeth

Had your youngest child at 50

Don’t really know how you and Mom did it

Don’t know if we were any different than many families

Of that period, many children and little money

Parents legacy waxes and wanes

Pretty much just within their offspring

Others just knew of you for the most part

So who were you Tom Cameron

I’m afraid you left too quickly

For a summation of your life

By a nineteen year old

Actually now that I am an older parent

I too am experiencing the different views

That children have of their parents

Used to try to explain the juxtaposed opinions

Now I understand it’s part of the process

I miss you but still only visual memories

From antiquated Polaroid and old Super 8 films

Remain to bring you to mind

How would you look today

Can’t know

But Tom Cameron you are still here

In me, my children and my grandchildren

I love you

And poor Dad in this life there really are no

Do Overs



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