Mother receives letter from deceased teenage son
Gail Sharp of Andersonville, Tenn., was caught off guard when she got an envelope in the mail addressed to Cameron Sharp.
“I could tell by the envelope that it was Cameron’s handwriting,” she said.
Cameron is Gail Sharp’s youngest son of two. The 17-year-old high school senior died in January 2013 after the Norris Police Department said the car the teen was riding in hit a Ford F-250 truck at the interchange of Highway 61 and Highway 441.
When the teen’s mother opened the envelope, she found a 30-word letter her late son had written while he was a student at Norris Middle School. It read: “Dear Cameron. On this day my brother will graduate from middle school. On the same day I watched the movie Night at the Museum. My favorite teacher is Mr. Cawood”.
The Sharp Family received the special delivery just ahead of a difficult time.
“I wasn’t looking forward to Mother’s Day and then we got that letter and it did make it special,” Sharp said.
It turns out Cameron wrote the short letter in class on May 22, 2007. It was an assignment given to the class by Norris Middle School teacher Dale Caldwell.
Caldwell explained, “The assignment was for them to write themselves a letter to remind themselves of things that they enjoy most in life, to remind themselves of things that maybe didn’t go their way and how they felt about it. If they made any promises or set any goals, to put that in there. To talk about things that they dreamed about and hoped about, who was their best friend, what was their favorite movie, things that were most important to them in life, where they wanted to be when they graduated high school, and what their dreams and expectations are for after high school.”
Caldwell said he then mails the letters to the students the month of their high school graduation.
“When I ran across [Cameron’s] for just a moment I paused and asked myself, ‘Do I mail this?’. But I knew that probably it would be really special to his mother,” Caldwell said.
“I’m so glad he did. I really am glad that he did,” Sharp said.
Cameron’s mom said the teenager would have graduated from high school May 2013, but she’s glad the special note arrived when it did. She said the letter means everything to her because it’s in the handwriting of her late son.
“I always thought his penmanship was atrocious. I always told him that he needs to practice on his penmanship, but looking at it now it’s a treasure to us,” Sharp said.
Cameron’s mother said she plans to put the letter in a memorial book dedicated to the memory of her son.