Letter 39

06/12/2015 09:32

        6th December 2015

Dear Catherine,

I am sitting in a study in Mark’s house in a suburb of Melbourne writing this on my laptop, wondering how you are and what you are doing.  That is as much as I can do with all avenues to you closed to me, as if there is a conspiracy to ensure no information about you reaches me.  I sometimes wonder why people would be so convinced that complete separation of a daughter and father makes any sense.  Especially when we had such a close and loving relationship for the first eight or nine years of your life, until a mysterious poison was drip fed to bring about a change in your thoughts and feelings for me.  It took me a long time to understand, even years after our separation when you were nearly twelve years old, that, at that time and probably even now, you have a hatred for me.  How could such a thing happen, when I never caused you any harm or changed my feelings of love for you.  It has happened though and I will never fully understand it, despite reading extensively about this phenomenon or syndrome as it is called.  I will always imagine that the hatred is on the surface, but totally dominating the natural feelings of love you would have for me.  So I pray every day that somehow these latent feelings will surface.  I try and remain hopeful that you will change your mind and sometimes I feel really hopeless about a future for us, but I do believe that God will find a way to re-unite us in a way that does not cause you hurt or pain and that I can carry on showing my love for you as before.  Whatever happens, I will not upset the balance of your life, however it has evolved.  As always I will accept you exactly as I find you.  I notice you changed your profile photograph on Facebook recently.  This is my sole connection to your life, at least giving me a view of how you looks as you mature and I really thank you for the privilege of this glimpse.

I never wanted to travel as far as Australia or even USA, but Mark, your step brother, has been here in Melbourne for 10 years now and I have never managed to get to visit him, being difficult to fit in while I was working full time.  I always promised I would visit him when I retired and having finally done so four months ago, I booked flights and have now been here over three weeks.  It is actually just starting summer here with a temperature of 32°today.  There is so much to see in Australia, such a large country that it would take months or even years to fully appreciate it.  In the short time here I have seen kangaroos, wallabies, emus, wombats, koalas, Tasmanian devils, cockatoos, parrots, rosellas and lots of other weird & wonderful animals & birds I would never see at home.  The scale of the country is something else as well – it took 10 hours to drive the 840 Km from Melbourne to Sydney, which I always thought were quite close together.  This Friday I am flying to Nandy in Fiji with the rest of his family to join Mark who is there already organising a youth group of twenty four on a venture to do charitable works in a Fijian village.  I will then fly home to Heathrow via Hong Kong on 19th December ready for Christmas.  It is by far the longest I have been away from my home but two friends and a neighbour are keeping an eye on the flat and car. 

If you are at university, I would love to know how you are getting on in your first term – I hope and pray that you have chosen wisely & enjoy the experience of university life and that you are successful in absorbing everything to do with your course.  Of course, I hope you make good lifetime friends while there, as I did all those years ago.

All my love for now,


        dad  xxx                                                                           Melbourne