Letter 35

23/06/2015 14:37

Dear Catherine,

The weeks seem to have speeded up.  I don’t know where the last 5 or 6 weeks have gone and now I am in the last week of my formal working life.  Everybody keeps asking me if I am excited or looking forward to it, but really it does nothing for me.  It feels as if my life will just have a change of emphasis and my Mondays to Fridays will not be dominated by having to spend 12 hours a day going to work, being at work and coming home again.  As often I think about you, whose birth I attended 18 years ago in the delivery room, all the effort, anxiety, excitement and absolute joy when  the first cry is issued.  Of my children, you were the only one whose birth I attended.  For different reasons I was not able to be present at the others, to see the absolute miracle of a baby coming into the world.  This is the moment of great hope for the life of the child.  You were 8lb 5oz, quite mature and well formed for a new baby, inquiring, peaceful and aware of the new world you had just entered, a thing of absolute beauty.  The eighteen years since that moment have gone quickly for me, not so quick for you I imagine as you grew towards maturity, with a bit to go, but I imagine you still have that same pleasant nature from those days.  I have reached a milestone this week in my retirement as you complete your secondary education and hopefully aim towards a university education. 

This brings back further memories of the day I left my secondary school for the last time.  Myself and my best friend, both only 17 years old burned our school bags in a bit of wasteland near the school and cycled off towards our idea of a new future, just as you are doing.  My brother was the first in our family to go to university and my dad wanted me to go too. He showed me the syllabus of the university and we went through all the courses available a the time.  It was much simpler then with only the Professions and Arts without the multitude of sub courses available nowadays.  I rejected one by one until I came to architecture.  Because I liked drawing and buildings, I chose that by default, rather than positively and based on my A level equivalent exams, I was immediately accepted and signed up for 5 years of study I enjoyed immensely.  Now 52 years later, I can say I have enjoyed the profession right the way through those 47 years of working, during which I only missed a short period after my previous company was liquidated in 2013 and I was made redundant.  In fact I didn’t stop working during that period as I wanted to help finish off a project nearing completion rather than desert our client at the time, which served me well as I was re-employed 3 weeks later when the company re-formed with half the staff.

Now it is your time to set off into your own choice of career.  I sincerely hope you achieve you’re A level results to get you to the university you wanted and that you will get as much satisfaction as I did from my career choice and my working life.  And I hope you gather good friends on the way, as in fact I did.  Unfortunately my best friend from secondary school died a few years ago and I still think of him with fondness and regret he is not still here.  It is almost nothing to the fondness with which I have memories of you and my regret that I don’t see you.  But there is always hope and prayers. 


With all my love for now,           


dad  xxx                                                                           at work