An Australian mother’s debut memoir recalls the childhood and accidental death of her son, whose life revolved around his faith.
From the moment of her son Cameron’s difficult birth, when the doctors had already declared him dead, his mother knew he would be special. A devout Christian, Everingham taught all three of her children about heaven from the time they were young. Cameron was a precocious child who had nighttime visions of Jesus starting when he was a toddler. At age 5, he found his “niche”—running—after unofficially joining a track meet and defeating several older kids. Cameron participated in a church youth group and began to preach to his cohorts at the age of 13 (“He would take notes of the sermon each week and, using the notes, repreach Sunday’s sermon to his little group of friends at school during the lunch hour”). His ambition was to become a minister, but his mother already sensed that “he just didn’t belong on this planet” anymore, and even Cameron said he would be going to heaven shortly. Cameron is often funny, such as when he plans his own funeral: “a no-frills funeral, not a yes-frills funeral.” Everingham supplies a detailed rundown of her 14-year-old son’s last week of life, which ends in a horrific car accident. At just 54 pages, this account seems too short to really get to know Cameron. The author powerfully conveys the deep shock of losing a child so young, as well as the sense of peace that her faith and her awareness of Cameron’s presence give her. His story could be even more affecting if it were expanded to the traditional length of a memoir, allowing space to tell additional tales about his childhood and show the impact he had on the people around him. Cleaning up the formatting—to remove the frequent ampersands, for instance—and editing the stiff language (he “commenced cycling”) would also improve the work. This memoir should be a comfort to readers with strong Christian convictions who have lost a loved one. It includes several black-and-white photographs of young Cameron.
An emotional account of a short life rooted in Christianity.