Today’s love letter is a rather special one. All week I’ve shown love letters of great and famous men to their spouses, fiancés or girlfriends and today I wanted to share a different kind of love letter, that of a father to his daughter.
The following letter was written in 1974 by a father to his 5yr old daughter. The family lived in London but the father, as part of his training to be a Social Worker for the Blind, attended a residential course in Birmingham for 6 weeks every Monday- Friday. He wrote to his daughter every day, sending a note card with a white rabbit on the front of it who he called “Snowy Rabbit.”
I hope you are feeling a bit better and that the doctor has given you some nice medicine. I was very sad to see you weren’t well, but don’t worry, just get some nice rest and you will soon be better. Daddy will phone you up on Thursday to see how you are and I hope you will be able to talk to him.
Daddy loves you and Mummy all the world and he sends you a special kiss X – a big one for being a good brave girl.
Don’t forget on Friday he will bring you home a little present, so get better soon and look after our lovely Mummy. Snowy has a bad cold as well and thinks he would like some of your drink but be careful because he likes to drink it all up.
Anyway, I must go now my two girls.
Sleep tight, stay bright, wake up bright to do what’s right with all your might.
God bless you both,
All my love
Every day after his course has finished, the father in the letters would go to the library in Birmingham to do further study, write his letter to his daughter (and wife) and then catch the bus back to his residence. The night after writing this letter, he didn’t go the library but went instead to buy the gift he mentions. It was a long dress with a cream bodice, long sleeves with a dark green velvet skirt. After purchasing the dress, he didn’t go to the library and instead caught an earlier bus back to his flat.
That night, 21st November 1974, bombs exploded in two pubs in Birmingham killing 21 people and injuring 182. Had he not been shopping that night, the father would have been outside one of the pubs, at the bus stop when the bomb exploded and possibly have been injured or even killed.
How do we know all this? Well the Father who wrote these letters was my Father and the Sarah mentioned in them was me.
Was this man a famous man? No. Was he a great man, yes. What made him great, other than the fact that he was my dad was that he had a great amount of love for his family. We never had much in the way of financial wealth, but he gave me everything that money couldn’t buy in terms of his time, his love and support. I never doubted for one moment that I wasn’t loved or that I wasn’t the most important thing in his life. I kept that dress for many years as a reminder of his love for me and how it was the dress(and his love for me) that saved his life that night.
My father died just three years later when I was 8yrs old but the memory of him lives on through these letters and I shall treasure them always. I have always enjoyed receiving hand written letters and I have kept everyone that I have ever received. I think it is a shame that email and text message seem to have replaced the hand written letter and sadly they seem to be a dying art form.
I continue to send hand written letters to many friends and family and I still treasure any that I receive today.