Friday, 14 October 2011


The letter arrived on the Tuesday. A blue-tinged envelope held the words that over the years I dreaded most. 'Dear Dad..........'

Kids we were, your mother and I. Babies making babies, and look where it got us. The day the mid-wife swept you away through the swing doors, you bawling in her arms, was sickening. One kiss on that tender, peachy face and you were gone. 'Best all round' the cast of adults assured us. I can remember that night my mother sobbed her heart out, repeating over and over that she was sorry. We split up soon after, your mother and I, well, removed by distance. Wasn't I just lucky to have landed that job with Uncle Alex?

You were that shadow in the back of my mind. The one I could skip over, ignore even, but it didn't go away, just shifted itself into many other shapes, but always formed its original heart outline when not in use. 

I should have been your hero, your protector, your driving force, your hormone advisor even, and sharing laughs and plans that only we need fill. Then again, I should be down on my knees kissing your adoptive father's arse. He's the true hero. There for you all your life. Not even did he stand in the way of you finding me and gives his blessing for us to cohere if we decide to!

I know you know that your mother passed away and you are survived by a sister on her side.  You also have two little sisters via me! If ever a man needs a son, it's now!  Pure blood races through our veins.  I can't believe how maturely you're taking this. I deserve the anguish, guilt, shame, melancholy and all its awful trimmings for my absence.  But you trust a mere hug will bury them.

Seany, we'll try one day at a time, lad. If this doesn't work out, then the heart-shaped shadow will remain perfectly fixed as so.



Deborah said...

Wonderfully written ... poignant and very real.

Morning said...



Seany said...

I couldn't possibly read this without comment! Nicely written

Susannah said...

Lovely story, very believable and wonderfully written! :-)

(Thanks for your visit to me, it is good to meet you.)

keiths ramblings said...

It's never too late. A very moving piece

Lena said...

Aw - thank you for the comments! Well appreciated.

Hi Seany - the orginal name I chose was 'Sonny' but when reading it back Sonny and son were clashing a bit too much. My stepson is called Sean (or Seany sometimes) and the baby in the picture resembled him at that age! BUT it brought me a nice 'hello' from you. All things come to

Lena said...

'I won't take everything for granted'. If only the rest of the world took heed of this!

Kay said...

It would be so nice if all the disappearing daddies of the world would magically become as gracious as the one in this letter. xoXox

The Cello Strings said...

some sad loss, packed with hope and love.

reflective and lovely story.

Ann LeFlore said...

excellent and so full of love and images so well done just think this prompt brings out such wonderful writers

The Tame Lion said...

Well done!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Lena: The "shadow" is the lingering feeling more could have been done, should have been done to father/parent this child. Excellent perspective! Don't think I've ever heard this side of the story. Thank-you!