Letter From my Father
- For Parents and Family
January 31, 2016
Cameron’s poignant letter describes what he wished his father had said and done while he was in the hospital fighting cancer.
Let me start out by saying, first and foremost I’m sorry. In your eyes I might seem like a terrible father for how I treated you. In reality I was scared, because my only son was diagnosed with cancer. I used to come in your hospital room at inconvenient times, and wouldn’t stay for very long. I would do that because it hurt me that you were sick, I hated seeing you as sick as you were. I’m sorry Cam, that I didn’t visit or talk to you as much as you wanted and that’s all my fault. I could have chosen to come and see you but I didn’t.
To this day I wish I got to see you more and be the father that you wanted me to be.
When I would drop your sister off she would tell me to come inside and that you were laying on the couch waiting to see me. I couldn’t do it, I was afraid to face you because I was guilty for how I treated you. I would always say I’m sick or make excuses. I used to make up lies to my parents about why you couldn’t come over.
When you used to come over, you were so sick that you would lay on the couch. The chemo was wearing all your energy out, but I thought you were faking. I then asked “Why do you even come to visit?” After I said that to you I could tell that what I said hurt you, and you refused to come over. Whenever you had medical emergencies I was never there for you when you needed me the most. When you had your seizure that was the scariest night of everyone’s life, because you almost passed. It was about two in the morning and I noticed I got eight calls from your sister and I woke up just in time when your mother was calling me. She was telling me all about your seizure and they were running code to the hospital. When she called me I was at the trailer. It was about a two hour drive, and I thought you would be fine so I never came up to see you till two days later at ten o’clock at night. I saw you, you seemed fine so I just figured you would have of been fine no matter if I came or not.
But I never realized that you would have been hurt by me not coming to see you.
When you had your “BIG” surgery, I saw you, but once you got into surgery, I left because I figured that’s all you needed, for me to be there before and not during. This was a terrible choice on my part, I was scared on how it would turn out. I should’ve shown support, I just never considered your feelings.
Because everything you’ve been through has probably frightened you, and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you during those frightening times. Because I’m a teacher I get most breaks off and a lot of my summer off yet, I didn’t come and see you. In your sisters and your eyes it made me seem like I didn’t care but in reality I did care. I cared so much that I thought you didn’t need me. I just never considered maybe having me there was all you really needed. You wanted me there, you wanted me to care, you wanted me to be your dad.
Whenever I was around you, I felt like an outsider and that this whole world revolved around you. I felt not needed and left out of everything you did. So I just stopped coming up and that was my mistake.
I used to blame you for things I did and didn’t do. I thought that you were trying to attract attention with your cancer so I just decided to pull away and not be apart of your life. I pulled away from the best things in my life, you and your sister.
Cameron, I made terrible mistakes that make me seem weak, You have been through so much and are the strongest person I know. When everything around you is falling apart, you know how to rise. Cameron, I’ve made many mistakes that I know you will think ‘why should I forgive you after everything you put me and everyone else through?’ I know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness but I wanted to let you know I do feel regret for everything I did to you and your sister.
Everyone in there lives need a father or father figure. Most teens when they turn sixteen are thinking about what kind of car they are getting or when’s prom. But, when you turned sixteen your biggest worry was staying alive and not letting the pain you felt bring you down.
I wasn’t there when you needed me and I will always be sorry for everything I did to you or didn’t do for you. Everyone makes mistakes, I hope to learn from mine. To be your dad is the best thing that could’ve happened to me. Cameron, everything you’ve been through, from your type 1 diabetes to this cancer journey has only made you seem like a stronger person and that’s a gift. Not many people can walk in a hospital say I’m going to beat cancer and continue to beat cancer without giving hope. You might have of given up on the inside but on the outside it looks like you have never lost hope. Cameron, I’m so sorry for everything that I put you through.
But as a father I’m proud to have a son who can be an inspiration to me as the strongest person I know.
Cameron lives in Michigan and wrote this letter after he was treated for Osteosarcoma from 2014-2015. Cameron won Honorable Mention in the 2016 Andre Sobel Award.