My Letter To Cameron On His “21” Birthday….
Cameron turned “21” on June 11 2019. What does turning that all important birthday mean? When you are young, you can’t wait. It seems that, that is when the whole world opens up to you. You are old enough to do as you please. You don’t have to do anything your parents want you to. You can go wherever you want and buy anything. You are FREE to explore anything, anywhere. You can now legally drink, gamble, smoke, rent a room in a hotel and rent a car…..The World is Now Yours…….You are “ETERNAL”
Now, what does it really mean….lol….Your now an Adult. You are legally of age…..yes…but you are legally responsible for everything you do. Your parents aren’t responsible for you anymore. They don’t have to pay your way. You have to work and pay your own bills. At first its really cool, but eventually you learn that the money sure doesn’t stretch when you have to support yourself. Yes life begins to get real. You can buy any vehicle you want, but now your also responsible for payments and insurance and repairs.
Yes Cameron, that is where you are now. You have come so far in the last several years. You are now becoming that man. Life can be tuff. But…..Remember, it can be 2 steps forward, but at any time it may be 1 step backwards. Learn from your mistakes. Take ownership of them. Treat each one as a learning experience. Look at each one without blinders and learn. Then take the 2 steps forward again. Life can be harsh at times, but keep trying to find your niche in life. You will with time...…………..But how did it all begin?
You were born the morning of June 11, 1998. Your were our first grandchild. I remember your mom came home from her doctors appointment and announced she was in labor….lol…she was so excited. She didn’t feel the contractions yet. She wanted to go to Mendota to Plano Molding where we all worked and tell everyone, which she did. She came home all excited. We went to the Spring Valley Hospital late at nite on June 10. They put your mom in the labor/delivery room. At first she was really in a good mood and happy, as they let her get out of bed to walk around. Then we had a crabby nurse that made her stay in bed. At that point it became harder. She wanted to walk and the nasty nurse said no…:Stay in bed”….The early morning hours went by. Early in the morning I went down to the end of the hall to make a phone call. After the call I came out to the hall and I thought I heard a baby crying. I seen the nurse at the other end motioning to me to hurry. Here it was your mom screaming for me…..“Mom…..Mom”….lol….You finally came into the world around 9:30 am. I forget how much you weighed, but you were perfect….and bald….lol….Seems like all our baby’s start bald….Its that blonde hair.
We all took turns taking care of you as we all worked. Tina and your mom had a lot of fun dressing you up. You and your mom lived with us a number of years. Your first birthday came and we had big Birthday Party.
Your mom bought you your first Harley.…A handmade Motorcycle rocking horse…..Your Grandma and Grandpa on your dads side came also. Ruth and Steve Rydz.
They surely enjoyed being their and celebrating with us. It wasn’t soon after, they got sick and couldn’t travel out of LaSalle anymore. During this time you were just a skinny peanut, still with barely any blonde hair.
We took so many cool pictures of you. You finally started growing the blondest hair. Christmas time was really fun. We all spoiled you, and Santa was “ALIVE” in our house again.
Santa came to visit on Christmas…..“You Really Believed in him”.…It was really grandpa. He went downstairs and dressed up in his newly purchased Santa Suit. He went out the back basement door carrying some bells. I waited near the front door and heard Santa coming shaking the bells. He came in with his bag of toys. You sat on the chair with him. He gave you the toys and when it was time to leave, you had to kiss him good bye. It was all so sweet. Then Santa went out the front door, went around back and in the basement door. Grandpa then came upstairs and found out he missed Santa…..lol….It was so much fun. Grandpa played Santa even after you moved. I remember in Depue sitting a block away in the car at 5am waiting for Santa to come back from bringing in the toys. Your mom had woken you up and had you peek through the crack in the door. She told you to be very quite so Santa wouldn’t know you were peeking. You watched as Santa came in and left the toys under the tree. As soon as Santa left, you called us and said Santa had come. You were so excited and wanted us to come over. Well we showed up about 10 minutes later even though it was a half hour drive from our house in McNabb……lol…I don’t think you ever knew for years….It was funny to be sitting at the end of the block in the car at 5am, and see Grandpa dressed as Santa walking down the street on Christmas morning, with a full bag. Cars would come by and slow and just look at him…..Hilarious…..
This was probably one of my most remembered birthdays when you were young. Grandpa bought you a battery powered motorcycle. You also received a jacket and hat and looked so cool…..Like a real Harley Dude…..You loved to wear those sun glasses and run all over in the yard.
During that time we also had a parakeet. Tweety was a “Awesome” bird. We let him fly all over the house. He would take baths in the sink, eat off our plates, drink from our glasses, sit on our heads and crawl all over us. He was so much fun.
You and your mom moved to Granville for awhile and managed some apartments and then to Depue. That is where you started School.
You had a best friend Larry. He was about 2 years younger than you. He lived 2 houses away. You both played a lot together. Most of the kids in town were Mexicans, and you were both little white boys. You really formed a bond with Larry. Unfortunately, Larry had Asthma. He had an attack one evening and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately he passed away. He was probably only about 10. This hit you hard. I took you to the wake, not so sure if you went to the funeral but I think you did. I remember, on the way to the wake, we seen a rainbow in the sky. I told you it was a Rainbow for Larry to enter Heaven. You wanted to visit the cemetery, and we did several times after that. You saved his picture and remembered and talked about him through the years. This year Larry would have graduated High School. The class had an empty chair at the ceremony in remembrance of him, and you even went to graduation…...You never forgot your Childhood friend.
During the years in Depue, Cassidy was born. You were a good Brother. You were a big help to your mom with getting diapers and holding her bottle. As you grew older, you started to go on vacations with us. You were such a hyper little boy, but we put you in the car and you settled down and loved traveling. We took you to Albuquerque several times to visit family. My dad had remarried Grace my step mom. So now I had 4 Step brothers 1 step sister and 1 half brother. Grace was an Awesome lady and always made us feel at home and part of her family.
On the way we stopped at the Cadillac Ranch on the west side of Amarillo Tx. A number of Cadillacs are buried nose down in the dirt. Everyone stops and spray paints their name or a saying. We found some cans laying around so we painted also. Of course a favorite stop on these trips was McDonalds.
My favorite picture of your family was when Scott and Tasha were married. We took group pictures in the church. Gosh, you all looked so nice in your dress up clothes. You were in a Tux because you were the ring bearer. So Handsome.
Cassidy and you did a lot of fighting as brothers and sisters do, but you also had some fun times together also. Your Mom moved you all to Spring Valley. It was so much more convenient for work, shopping and much better driving conditions in the winter. Grandpa always spoiled you. He always bought you the fun things that cost money….lol…
He bought you a real 4 wheeler. You loved your 4 wheeler. You rode it all around the yard and up and down the edge of the field in back. Probably in it also….lol…
Sometime during this time I decided to take you out for a driving lesson. We were over by Granville, Hennepin area. You were a big boy for 12, you looked 16 behind the seat. I had you start to drive around the Florid area. You started off slow, and you did so well. It was hard to believe you had never driven before. You definitely had the knack to drive and felt comfortable. I let you drive all the black top roads back to McNabb and all the way home……Then I told you mom what we did…..OMG….She was so mad…”What were you thinking” she said. I laughed at her…..He had to learn, and he was a natural.
Grandpa turned 60 and had a party at Steweys Bar in the Valley. It was a surprise party. This picture was early in the evening. Later Scott was still their after we left and others. He became the life of the party and was on the bar…..minus a Shirt…..OMG...I do have pictures. Carly was born in the Valley and you gained another sister.
Your mom was in Nursing School about that time. She depended on all of us to help with her including you. You were again a good brother. In fact you have been so good with her that she looks up you as a father figure. You are so patient with her, and share so much of your time.
You graduated 8th Grade from JFK Elementary in Spring Valley. We all came including Aunt Tina, and Uncle Scott.
You then attended Hall High School and tried out for football. You only played one year and decided it wasn’t for you. but at least you tried.
You were invited to a school dance with Maddie Dose. She is the daughter of one of your moms very good friends, Jamie. You and Maddie were born around the same time. Jamie and your mom were very close in your early years and you both grew up spending much time with each other. You were both attending different schools. You both looked so nice. You picked out that special hat to wear with your suit. You went on to attend St. Bedes Academy, but eventually earned your GED.
You decided that a GED was the route to take and you proceeded ahead to prove to yourself and all of us that you were serious. You then enrolled in CDL Truck Driving School at College. With the help of Scott, you graduated and obtained your CDL license ……Quite a feat for an 18 year old. You started Volunteering for McNabb Fire Dept. around 2 years ago and recently, Bureau Fire Dept.
You have also just graduated after much hard work with your EMT Basic. This took a lot of hard work, and now your working on getting your probation hours in so you can continue in this area for a career.
So continue on Cameron. “21” years old. You have accomplished a lot. I know you have learned a lot also. So keep striving forward. Remember, for every 2 steps forward, you may take a step back…..take ownership, examine, learn from it, and proceed forward. You WILL find your niche in life…….