My aunty came back from Jamaica having spent some time abroad. She told me that she didnt find any details about my brother.
My father … He was still alive. He didn’t die mummy had got it wrong or did she?. I like to believe she did get it wrong. As someone fitting the surname Did die , but it was my fathers brother.
My Beloved father was alive and well. Yes, he was involved in the hurricane but he was alive. Well you can imagine how I felt. “Could she be wrong”. I Didnt want to build up my hopes. After spending over a year grieving for the loss, I’m now being told my father was alive. Telephones were not available at that time. It would take some time for me to get confirmation, There was no way of making contact. I needed to write.
why didn’t he try to make contact, this was most strange.
I thanked my aunty and went back home, heading straight to my room for a pen and paper. My pending wedding was not a priority now, as I neede to put my mind at rest. Nervously, I started to write but my hands were shaking, I didn’t know how to start the letter.
” What if she was wrong”
“But surely my aunt couldn’t have got it wrong”, Could she?
My dear father. I started my letter just as he taught me to when I was six years old. It was as if he knew it would be a long time before we saw each other again. I was now 26 years and it was nineteen years since I saw my father. I longed to feel his embrace and I would sit and imagine holding him again. I really wanted to go to Jamaica but how was question. I wouldn’t have a clue. I was too naive. Insufficient funds, scared to travel, due to being knocked down so many times, I had no confidence to do many things. Travelling was one of them.
I continued. How are you.. Its been a long time I thought you had died. No I crossed it out and started again…
My dear father
How are you? . I long to see you. I don’t think the letters were coming to you because of the hurricane. I hope you get this letter I miss you. I hope you miss me too…… I explained that I was doing well, that I was planning to get married, that life was good, talked about the children , the last year, I wrote a long letter four pages, I didn’t give my father anything to worry about.
Because I loved my father pure and simple, and love shouldn’t cause pain.
I quickly ran to the post office the next day and posted it.
Then I waited..
One week week passed then, the second week arrive. nothing.
By the time the third week had come I was feeling upset, but I didn’t tell anyone. “Stupid ..stupid”, I thought. I thought that he must be dead and my aunty got it wrong. It wasn’t her fault. It was mine for getting over excited. But, I couldn’t shake the feeling off that he was still alive, maybe it was desperation maybe it was hope, In my heart, he had to be alive I couldn’t grieve twice.
Saddened by the absent reply, I got back into the preparation of the wedding although this time with a heavy heart. Although, it wasn’t possible, how nice it would be to have my father walk me down the aisle, a family member even but it wasn’t to be. D… was being nice he somehow understood how I felt. I didn’t cry but I wanted to. By the end of the third week of posting my letter, I was still having hope. Many thoughts continued to race through; I thought maybe the hurricane destroyed the post office. Maybe he was injured. Maybe he had no money, and as always maybe he was dead.
Or Maybe he just didnt care about me, after all there was a younger sister. Despite this I would still wait for the postman, like a ritual.
Another week passed.
As I was leaving to come out the front door I saw the postman coming up the road. I watched as he came closer and closer, sometimes peeping and drawing back so as not to look so eager. Three doors to go before mine. I waited.
I waited, perched on tiptoes, like a dog eager for its bone. I don’t know why as it was now four weeks since I wrote to my father.
I watched as the postman delivered at the last house before my own and as he approached my home, I took a deep breath as he walked up to me with a pile of letters in his hand. But one letter caught my eyes. It had the red and blue stripes. I grew to recognise these envelopes over the years. “Expecting something” the postman said with a smile. I answered with a resounding Yes!
My heart was pounding.
I quickly closed the front door and sat on the stairs and put all the other letters down.
The familiar handwriting beautifully scrawled across the envelope, caught my eyes, and I recalled running up the stairs and into the bathroom and closing the door. First I kissed the letter. Then I looked at the back. I smelled the letter. I put it to my cheek. I put it to my chest, it was as if I didn’t want to read it, as once read it would be over, My father the love of my life was alive. I had gone through the grieving process for nothing.
My dear daughter. I hope when these lines reach you they find you in the best of health. I couldn’t hear from you I thought I was mad.
My tears rolled out my eyes and fell on the paper and I carefully wiped it away not to spoil the ink. I read some more and through the words I knew…
My father loved me unconditionally.
The only person in my life who wanted nothing in return but my love. I desperately wanted to see him. But how?
That morning I felt invincible I felt happy, I went back to my room and lay in the bed looking up to the ceiling. At that very moment I started to redraft another letter to my father answering all the questions he asked.
After writing my third letter I asked my father if I had a brother in the UK, I knew I could trust him, as I waited for the reply I got on with life, after all could it be possible there was someone else. My father wrote back to me to tell me I did in fact have a brother and he would locate him for me. Despite the fact that him and his mother didn’t speak and he hadn’t seen him for many years. So I waited..
From this day my father and I continued our communication over the waters, it was like I knew what he was doing as much as he knew what I was doing, we were like pen freinds. I was, I was happy I could make my father smile. So although the letters always took long to arrive they kept coming, and I always waited anxiously like before.
He loved my letters as much as I loved his. We spoke about life in Jamaica and mines in UK. I never ever told Him how I was treated. I Didnt want to loose him again before I was able to see him. I then brought myself a pencil case. A different one to store my fathers letters. These went with me everywhere I went.
The pencil case was packed with most of my letters my treasured possession.
A treasured possession is something that is very valuable to you. It is not necessarily something that is worth a lot of money.
I really don’t think D..understood this definition at all…… See why later.
By the time my father sent his next letter to me a phone number was included. For my brother..
Naturally I called the number, when a lady answered i said, could I speak to Rupert please…
My brother, a real one, The words felt so good on my tongue and I wondered if he would like me, we shared the same blood, but not the same mind. Maybe D will respect me I thought, the desperation for someone of my own to protect me was very real. …
I waited for Rupert to come to the phone…