Letters 2024


Letter 76


14 Feb 2024 (Czech mountains}

Dear D,

I used to send you a Valentine’s card, always praying you would receive it, which over time seemed less and less likely; in my dreams that I could hand you the card in person, give you a hug and have a friendly chat with you. This, of course never happened.   Years have come and gone and I am now in the cottage in the mountains, where you used to come with me all those years ago, for the week of mid-term break from your school between Christmas and Easter.  You went skiing on the nursery slopes during the last two years we were together.  But the following year, you didn’t want to come and one of your first cousins accompanied me.  St Valentine’s Day also fell in that week that year and I had arranged for flowers to be delivered to your mum & you, to wish you love.  I knew your mum & I were going through a shaky patch, which I hoped a week away would help to clear, but I had no idea what was about to happen that was to bring about our separation.  I have not seen or heard from you in the intervening fifteen years. I can only pray that you are progressing successfully through your life.  It feels as if you are further away from me than ever, but I am ever hopeful of making contact with you again.  I always think of you with love and pray that some day it will happen with your blessing.

I am here with one of your half sisters and her family.  It’s not been a good year for snow, with some rain and temperatures well above 0°, not conducive to good skiing.  With difficult snow conditions, I have decided not to try downhill this year and there are few options for cross country skiing.  So, I am at the cottage looking after things, while the others are off skiing.  It’s very relaxing in this beautiful place, without WiFi, newspapers and TV news to disturb my thoughts, to do things I wouldn’t get around to at home.  I have some books, to keep me company. I started one, which is a hard copy, lent to me by my daughter, about how we process memories and how they can impact on our lives.  To balance it, I am also reading another book on my kindle, which is about modern understanding about love, and of course lovelessness.  They both, in different ways, bring you to mind, as I often think of you in quiet moments, particularly here in this place, with so many reminders of you.  I am only part way through both, so I can’t attempt to precis my thoughts, but some parts have resonated.  Do we retain accurate memories of childhood events, or do we enhance them, adapt them to suit our current ideas, or do we, particularly with difficult or unpleasant experiences, shut them off from our active memory bank.  Love, as a noun or verb, is not up for discussion and analysed in  modern life, with little understanding of the role it has to play or even the benefits it can provide in any relationship, overpowered by inward looking selfishnesss, 'because you're worth it', inevitably leading to lovelessness. The subject of lies is considered, how it’s more prevalent than ever nowadays with the breakdown of relationship and cancel culture.  I had better finish both books before giving any further thoughts, but both books touch on reasons why relationships in this day and age run into difficulties.  Where that leaves you and I is unclear.  Our failure to communicate is hugely regrettable, but it is impossible to put a finger on the reasons for it.  I might say that you deserted me, because you have concealed yourself from me, or you might say I have deserted you.  So, we are both right, or wrong.  But surely there is something that can be retrieved in our relationship, something I consider precious and will always view as desirable and attainable, for my, but much more so, for your benefit.

Writing letters to you like this, is my only lifeline to you.  In my previous letter I said I would continue to write to you, although I have at times wondered if I should continue.  I know I will now keep writing for as long as it will be my only possibility to make contact with you, fragile as it is.  I have put all previous seventy-five letters into a safe place for you to access if you ever decide you would like to do so. 

With all my love,


Dad xxx