It’s hard to know where to start with what you have been up to in your life, you may not think it’s amazing but all I ask you to do is a look around and try to see what others see, and how others see you.
Some of the things I need to say about your Mum, you really loved your Mum didn’t you, and your Dad.
When you were a boy, crikey you were no more than a nipper, you lost your Mum, to anyone this is a terrible, but you seemed to have been left alone without all that advice your Mum should have given, the disapproving looks when you brought home the unsuitable boyfriends, the honest loving truth only your Mum can give you – there is nothing that can replace that. I think it is has all to do with a sense of security you know, living with people who love unconditionally and can criticise you, because it is done in love. I am not sure who you replace that, and yes you could have done with a lot of wise advice over the years, but you got through one way or another.
I know at the time losing your Mum at the age of 5, or was it 6, it seemed like your world had ended, that your Mum had left you – we both know that is not true, she would have given anything to watch you grow up, but she couldn’t, through no fault of her own, stay with you – and that is a tragedy, and it is one you survived. I know you remember the good times, the time your Mum took you to Sheffield even though she had to pay the bus fare, which was difficult, letting you ride on the front seat of the bus which was facing backwards, and the times she sacrificed herself for you – that’s what Mum’s do best! She worked hard, and she fought for you, she even slept on her Mums floor for six months and took on the bloody Sheffield Council to get a house for you and your brothers, she was an amazing woman.
She did a lot of jobs to feed you, scrubbed floors, buffed knives and worked in Station Cafe (yes I know you still go back there to the Cafe on Platforms Six, to sit and have a cup of tea, regardless if you want one or not – I suppose it gives you a connection with her, and that is good); yes you were a ‘Latch Key Kid’ but you had good neighbours and I am sure Doris didn’t want to leave you out on the street, but she was doing what she had to do to feed her familiy Mothers do what they have to do!
I think Mothers are a force of nature, you never mess with them when it comes to theirs, and your Mum wasn’t going to let Sheffield Council separate your Mum from you – Council’s beware!
You didn’t see much of your Dad I know, but he was your Dad regardless of what he did, or did not do, and I know you accept him as such. After your Mum died he was under a lot of pressure to look after two growing lads, and the break up of his second relationship, it makes me smile that you refer to her as ‘the other woman’ – but don’t judge her too harshly, you know from experience how complicated relationships can be. All I will say is that don’t make the same the mistakes as your Dad, that is not to say he was wrong, its to say that he was not perfect – and neither are you!
Finding you were not meant to amount for much, perhaps the cruellest thing people can say about family, wasn’t very nice. I know you laughed it off, but look at what you have achieved, you are articulate, brainy, well-travelled, and have done things that those people can only imagine when those comments were made, the most important thing is that you survived, and you have made a good go at things. Where are you off to this Christmas, that’s right Germany, bet they never thought you would be doing that did they?
Anyhow it’s time to end this letter, perhaps another one later, just be good to yourself and more than anything be true to your core beliefs. I know you are a good person, sometimes too good, a little childish at times – wouldn’t it be lovely if we all could get excited by clouds and stars – and sometimes a little selfish, but you are you. If you can do one thing for me it is start going to Church again, you know it’s something you can understand, and even though you feel a little out-of-place at times.
Take care of yourself, and lots of love