So I think I am ready to share something that was meant for only me. This is a letter my Dad wrote to me to read after he died. I may not have followed a lot of the advice in it, but it is still good advice and means a lot to me. I don't know where, at 17, my Dad pictured I would be at 23 years old. He probably thought I would have finished my degree and maybe met someone, settled down. Things don't always work out that way. It's weird to think, what advice would I give someone If I knew I were to die?
Don't be too sad.
I will still be around for you, you may not see me but I will be there.
I just wanted to write you a few lines for you to read over again when you miss me.
I wanted you to know you are the most wonderful daughter a Dad could have and one day you will make a wonderful wife and mother, but don't forget I chose carefully, don't rush into anything darling.
I hope you have at least a couple of children and when you do i'm sure they will be as wonderful as you.
Don't forget to work hard and get a good job. Don't do a job if you don't enjoy it, money isn't everything. I would like you to have your own business one day or become an artist or an archaeologist. Something you can enjoy as well as earn money at. I know you are clever enough. I hope you take a bit after your dad.
One good hobby I can recommend is collecting old books. Read as much as you can, reading has always helped me, you can never have enough general knowledge. It helps with work, don't let those old books get thrown out, read as much as you can.
Stay close to Lewis for me, don't fall out, if one of you moves away, stay in touch (don't drift apart), take care of each other.
Don't forget, if you have any problems come talk to me at Knapwell, that's why I wanted a quiet place where you can go for a walk and visit me.
Please go and see Alyson now and again and keep an eye on her for me. If you make her your friend I am sure she will give you some good advice if you want someone outside the family to talk to.
Also, try to stay in touch with my family, they're not all bad, though some are a bit dodgy. I must admit, Lucy is a good person to talk to also and Karen and don't forget some of your cousins. Keep as many aunts and uncles and good friends as you can and don't forget Noreen if she is still around. If she is not, take her some flowers now and again and my mum.
Don't forget your mum, look after her, i still think a lot of her, she's a good mother to you.
Don't forget to try to be independent though, you must not rely on others, get yourself a car as soon as possible, save money and get a house as soon as possible even if you are not married, it's the best investment you can get. Don't get more than one credit card at a time.
Don't forget: if you want to get away, come to Knapwell, Sit and read to me, a good old Bernard Cornwall, The Winter King is a good one, you must read it one day.
I do hope you enjoy the things I have had fun doing over the years, festivals, camping are great fun and of course the music.
I strongly recommend you explore this country before you go abroad, it's wonderful. Try the Lake District and Devon, Cornwall, Yorkshire and West Scotland, and don't forget Dorset and the New Forest.
DO NOT go out with men alone on the first date. Keep your mobile phone with you and check in with your mother often as you can. Keep a rape alarm handy and learn self defense. Again, don't forget talk to Alyson if you want advice. I know I do go on about her, but you know why. But she will be good to talk to. Romantic stuff, you know. Although, i'm sure you will be okay with boys.
1.) Choose your friends carefully
2.) Be Independent
3.) Get a good job, one you enjoy
4.) Read good books
5.) Be careful, don't trust strange men
6.) Take no risks with your life
7.) Look after your mum and brothers
8.) Don't forget me altogether
9.) Hang on to good friends, they disappear as you get older and you wont meet many good ones.
10.) Stay cool, if you can not solve a problem then get away from it. Life is too short to delay, move on.
Well I hope this will help, I am very proud of you and love you very much. I'll be watching over you wherever you are.
Bring me some flowers now and again, violets, snowdrops, ivy, you know, all the wild things. You can plant them, they will look nice. (Not bloody daffodils though)
Anyway, don't forget me. Look after yourself, and above all enjoy your life. I will love you forever. God bless you darling, with all my love,