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A Shout From The Attic: The Letter

Ronnie Bray tells of a short but unforgettable letter from his father.

To read more of Ronnie's wonderful autobiography please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/a_shout_from_the_attic/

I think I was about twelve or so when my Dad, Tommy Scott, gave me a letter written in pencil in a pale green envelope. It was addressed to

Ronnie Bray,
121 Fitzwilliam Street,

and date stamped ‘Durban 1943’.

It was from my father, written as he lay in the British Military Hospital in South Africa, expected to die.

Dear Son,

This is your daddy’s dying wish.
I hope you will never grow up like me.
Grow up straight and honest - be a man!

I was a bad dad to you sometimes,
but I always loved and wanted you.

Your loving Dad.

The letter vanished years ago, but its lines remain in my memory and evoke sad feelings for they may be the only truly honest things my father ever said to me.

There was no letter for René.


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