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May 10, 2012
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Dear Father,

As I sit in a room two continents away, surrounded by clothes and books and pretty things, all bought with money provided by you, five years into a degree funded by you, I type away this letter.

Dear Father, two days ago you laughed when I excitedly showed you a photo of a thirty-five-bedroom castle and said that one day I will buy it, and you told me that at my age you had stopped having those grandiose dreams. Let me tell you a different story. Nineteen years ago, you pulled a drawer out of your wardrobe, to reveal a drawer behind it, and within this drawer was a single item: an old, ornate, large iron key. You told me it was the key to the gates of your Castle in Spain. Only years later did I learn that in French, "castle in Spain" means castle in the air.

Thanks to a man who never stopped dreaming... but who put his dreams aside to help his daughter make hers come true, today, I can dream.

Dear Father, when they ask me if I have a role model, I name you. You may be grumpy and stubborn, and you did give me the dandruff gene (and the gangly knee gene), but when I think of you, it is your big, boyish grin that I remember, whenever you look in the direction of your children and smile. It is your dimples and the way your eyes disappear behind your smile. It is your great heart and the sacrifices you have never stopped making. It is your unselfishness, and the way you have uncomplainingly driven me to tuitions and sometimes waited an hour for a teacher to finish a class. It is your generosity and your refusal to charge people money they cannot afford in exchange for their health. (It is not so much your terrible, distressing way of buying extravagant gifts for your children - you need to spoil them less!)

Dear Father, if there is one story about you that I want the world to know, it is the story of how you sent your only daughter to England to study medicine. It is the story of how, even though she came short of winning a scholarship, and we didn't have the money for her to go abroad, you watched as she applied to the whole wide world to do medicine, and when three out of four of her UK applications came back as offers, you told her to accept one of them, and you committed yourself to something you knew was impossible. Dear Father, today you've pulled off the impossible, and I don't even know how you did it, because you refuse to tell me. Dear Father, today, as I prepare for my final exam, after five years of watching you make that yearly hefty payment for my tuition fees... today, all my dreams are coming true, and it is thanks to your sacrifices. The world assumes you are rich because you put all three of your children through university in the UK, but the world does not know that what you are rich in is hard work and sacrifice - the magnitude of which is grandiose in its impossibility.

Dear Father, I want to thank you for bringing your only daughter up as a princess and as a son. You gave me pretty dresses and you gave me a thorough education. You taught me to be independent and dependable. You bought me stamps and first day covers. You taught me how to use the Olympus OM-2 and how to drive a car. Now we fight over who gets to drive the long journeys, and after dinner we fight over who gets to wash the dishes (I need to learn some martial arts to win those fights), because we are so similar we enjoy doing the same things and hate the same things (oh, drying dishes, how we hate you).

Dear Father, even though sometimes you've shouted at me when my younger brother hits me, I know you are on my side, because I will never forget that time when I was seventeen and he removed the aerial from the TV so that I could not use the TV anymore, and you sneaked to my room and smuggled a spare aerial to me. I never dared use it because I didn't want him to realise you were helping me, but I treasured that aerial and it's still tucked away in my desk drawer next to my bank cards and my ID card.

Dear Father, I am profoundly grateful and proud to be your daughter (even if this means I have your Campbell de Morgan spots). I imagine that perhaps when God decided who should be born as your daughter, it could have been any one of a million girls, and although I feel a bit sorry that they didn't draw the lucky straw... I am grateful that God chose me. Even though we've had our ups and downs because of how ridiculously like you I am, I'm glad to be your daughter.

Thank you, with love,
From the apple of your eye.
Completely true. Yes, I do have his Campbell de Morgan spots. :stare: Yes, even though my brothers (between them) stopped me from using the OM-2 and from watching the TV, my father sneaked in when they had their backs turned and saved the day. I have no hesitation in saying that I am the apple of my father's eye, because I know I am. My father was immensely delighted when I asked to be taught to drive at an even younger age than my brothers. My father loves that I read old classics (even if he couldn't get me to enjoy Sir Walter Scott without me satirizing his books to death). My father doesn't love that I love washing dishes as much as he does, though. :laughing: Or that I bully him now and then when he's being stubborn. :paranoid:

And myself? I love that my father is my father. C: We are ridiculously similar (even physically) but that's okay, it makes me feel even more like his son.
:icongrinstareplz:

My other letters:
Letter to a motherDear Mummy,
Today I want to write a few words to you, before I leave you once again, for another year in a cold country two continents away from you and Daddy.
Five years ago I shouted at you, from the doorway of my room on the first floor, "I will never marry anyway, just so I can avoid your mistakes: being as poor a mother as you have been to your children!" You did not shed a tear as you stood there on the ground floor, and silently let your only daughter break your heart.
Ten years ago, in all the shops that you took me to, to buy me the brightly-coloured DMC embroidery thread I used for my tapestries, you would stand and listen with patience as every salesgirl would whisper to you conspiratorially, "She's such a little brat, isn't she?" while I stamped my foot because the greens they had were not the green I wanted. You never voiced agreement with them. You only hurried me and we would leave ten minutes later, a big bundle of embroidery thread in tow.
Dear Mummy, whe
To a twin sisterDear girl,
It took me twenty-two years and a hundred crumpled-up cast-away beginnings of letters to finally write something coherent to you.
I wanted to tell you that I have been in your life from the day you were born, as you have been in mine, and that I do hear your whispers at night when you beg me to reply – but, like you, I am trapped on the wrong side of the mirror. I want you to know that I look like you and we have the same eyes of veiled wistfulness and reined-in hope. When you were thirteen and you wondered why your eyes changed from stormy grey to chocolate brown, I wanted to reach out and tell you that you were simply binding your heart tighter to mine and that we were becoming who we were meant to be to each other. We are twins of the same soul and we share the same hesitant smile and lopsided chin.
Dear girl, I see you in your oversized jumper that covers your slender wrists and too-thin body, and your pyjama trousers that hide the two layers of tights you wear t


**Edit 17/05/14: Thank you to Kaz-D for suggesting and neurotype for the DD!! For those of you reading this today who don't know me - two years onwards from writing this letter, all my dreams have come true. I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, in an absolutely gorgeous and big flat, own a car of my own, and am just about to begin a training job of eight years at the end of which I will be a specialist doctor. I have travelled Europe at every opportunity I have had. And this is all thanks to the sacrifices my parents made and to a good many miracles along the way.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-05-17
Exillior beautifully describes the bittersweet realities of growing up in Letter to a father. ( Suggested by Kaz-D and Featured by neurotype )
:iconkarnivil:
Karnivil Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2015  Student Filmographer
I'm so homesick now.... This is so beautifully written :') Now I'm gonna go sit in a corner and miss my dad e-e) I wanna go home soon e-e)
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I know the feeling! :heart:
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:iconkarnivil:
Karnivil Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student Filmographer
Thanks for writing this though, you're a wonderful writer iui)
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you - although, three years have passed since, and I have changed a lot as a writer. :)
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:iconkarnivil:
Karnivil Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Student Filmographer
Wow three years already? I bet you've improved a lot since then :3
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmm, not really improved as such. I write mostly during Novembers (NaNoWriMo). It's more that my style has completely changed. I also write exclusively fiction these days.
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:iconkarnivil:
Karnivil Featured By Owner 18 hours ago  Student Filmographer
Maybe your life has moved on, it's expected, our art changes as we and our surroundings do :) which isn't a bad thing, it's like we're rediscovering ourselves :) it's fun :D
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:iconraving-psychotic:
Raving-Psychotic Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2015
I admire the message of gratitude and appreciation. It saddens me to see many of the privileged youths today become accustomed and self-entitled to the luxuries handed to them by their family. I probably do not have as close a relationship as you have with your father as depicted here, but I am eternally grateful for him providing for me, and I think on the sacrifices each parent inevitably makes for the sake of their children.

I'm also in my last year of medical school. Knowing that you wrote this back in your final year, and here you are 3 years on, successful and in a training program, makes me wonder in awe what my own future in 3 years time will be like. Which specialty have you chosen?
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
My parents spoiled me with almost no limits, so I was well on the pathway to becoming a spoiled brat who felt self-entitled to a life of luxury. What changed me was seeing that I was becoming a despised, rather disgusting individual. So I can only thank all the people who didn't put up with me. :XD: Parents make incredible sacrifices for their children, and I think many children only begin to realise this when they become parents themselves, because that's part of what makes our parents amazing: they don't do it expecting our thanks. Most of the time they don't even think twice before doing it.

I couldn't redo the last year of med school if you paid me :XD: I hope all goes well for you, and good luck with the revisions! Three years ago I didn't even believe I could be a doctor so, indeed, a lot of things can change in three years. I'm a paediatric trainee... but I would say it chose me rather than the other way round. I was always scared of children when I was in medical school; another colleague in my placement group wanted to be a paediatrician, so we always left the kids to her. :'D

What do you lean towards?
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:iconsadow393:
sadow393 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015
My dad passed away 64 days ago exactly...
I couldn't be there for his last moments, burial or even his funeral...
64 days ago all my dreams shattered...
Thanks for reminding me that i can carry on with his dreams...
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm very sorry to hear that. My father was recently very unwell, and as I live a train journey and two flights away from him, for a while I was terrified that I would lose him and that I wouldn't be able to get back even then. It drove home to me what my priorities are.

Nothing I can say can be adequate in this instance, so I shall say no more. Simply send you a virtual hug. :hug:
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:iconcatann985:
catann985 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015
Beautiful, just beautiful and heartfelt.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. :heart:
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
... Sounds thoroughly unappealing.
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:iconmoonymina:
MoonyMina Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
this is really beautiful and touching...
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. :heart:
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:iconilovesomethings:
ILoveSomethings Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  New member
So heartwarming :)
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :heart:
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:iconilovesomethings:
ILoveSomethings Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  New member
No probs :)
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:iconilovesomethings:
ILoveSomethings Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  New member
No orbs :)
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:icontieko2000:
Tieko2000 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  New member Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautiful! ;o; Cry forever 
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:P Thanks!
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:iconnevir-saedi:
Nevir-Saedi Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015
Must be great to have a relationship with your father like this. I won't say I'm a total disappointment to my father and neither is he a total disappointment to me but it's pretty close sometimes.... -_-
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
My father once told me I must be the world's most selfish person. And I'm sure when I was younger I thought he was one of the world's biggest grumps! Digging deeper we now understand each other better, and distance, sacrifice and love has allowed us to both appreciate that neither of us is perfect. We are three children in our family, and we have at many points each of us seen the look of complete disappointment on his face... but one thing I have always believed is that nothing is beyond redemption. I was a shit person as a teenager (especially with PMS, I would find myself screaming insults and hurtful comments across the house); it doesn't mean I will always be a shit person, and nor does it mean people will remember me only as that teenager.

So, I don't know the situation between you and your father, but nothing works without effort, and although we're not always ready to put in effort... it is a solution to many problems.
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:iconnevir-saedi:
Nevir-Saedi Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015
Thanks for the words of encouragement. When I was a teen I wasn't even close enough to my dad to be terrible to him. I suspect I'm a bit older than you as I am about to turn 30. It's rough having a parent butt heads with you as a kid, but as an adult IMHO it is worse hearing your parent say, "So, when are ya gonna do something with your life?" Luckily it doesn't sound like you'll be hearing that as I can't imagine anyone asking a doctor when they'll do something with their life lol.

It's ironic that now I am working doing the job that my dad did when supporting us for a large chunk of my childhood and I was rather disappointed in him when he quit and made our lives significantly harder because he wanted to pursue a different career, and he is disappointed that I won't quit the job to pursue a different career lol.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
We're quite close in age as it happens.

I am in a small group even among doctors, for having gone straight from school to medical school to foundation training to speciality training, without doing anything in between. Most people take a year out, do something else, another degree, a research paper... it's different for me because I am on a visa, and also I'm on a race against time to finish everything and return home. So no, I haven't heard the "when are you going to do something with your life" question (since I am burning my life out faster than I can gather fuel to keep going), but my brother, also a doctor, heard it plentifully. We all hear it at some point because the people around us analyse us as if we were them. As you insightfully say at the end, your father perceived that job as something to be left behind; and it seems that this hasn't changed.

My father studied in India and he had a terrible time there - it was well over fifty years ago and conditions were very bad. He left and didn't return home for many years. They didn't even have the possibility of phoning. When it came to me applying to university, my father swore he would never send me to India, no matter how hard it was to send me elsewhere. And he was true to his word - he made a lot of sacrifices he wouldn't have needed to make if I had gone to India. Now I am older, I suggested travelling to India with him, to revisit the old places he knows so well, and he point blank refuses. He can't see it as anything other than the place where things were horrible for him, and he sees it as being the same for anybody else, and he never wants anybody he cares about to be in that situation as well.

Most strong, illogical opinions people have about a topic tend to stem from personal experiences.
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Damn, I have no friends. There goes my chance of becoming a millionaire! :(
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:iconvsg-girl:
vsg-girl Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  New member
How sincere and beautiful.

*Marching over to take my place among all the crying people*
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I should prepare a very large stack of tissue paper, I think...
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:iconvsg-girl:
vsg-girl Featured By Owner 5 days ago  New member
Yes, I think you owe us that! ;_;
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:icondionnemars93:
DionneMars93 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  New member  Traditional Artist
D'aaaawwww ^v^
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:heart:
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:icontheshadowofnothing:
TheShadowofNothing Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  New member Hobbyist General Artist
So emotional!
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :heart:
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:iconsherrilisa:
sherrilisa Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  New member
I am moved to tears!
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I hope not in a bad way! :heart:
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:iconfishbeef:
Fishbeef Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015
Beautiful, emotional and sincere letter. The best part is that I can relate to it perfectly. I wouldn't be studying Aerospace engineering halfway across the globe if it weren't for my father. Bravo!
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I saw a photo one day on Humans of New York where the man said he considered his children to be his investments, and he was extremely proud of what he'd helped them achieve. One of them was an engineer, if I remember correctly.
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:iconawsomness123:
awsomness123 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohhhh my god, this is sooooo sweet! :tears:
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:heart:
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:iconawsomness123:
awsomness123 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohhhh my god. This is sooooo sweet!
:liptremble:
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:iconawsomness123:
awsomness123 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god... This is soooooo sweet...
:tears:
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't have any dollars in my pocket - in fact, I don't even have a pocket. Guess I'm doomed to remain poor! :(
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:iconalexistheeliatope:
AlexisTheEliatope Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  New member Student General Artist
this is touching. sincerely touching Llama Emoji-08 (Crying) [V1] 
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:iconexillior:
Exillior Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :heart:
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:iconalexistheeliatope:
AlexisTheEliatope Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2015  New member Student General Artist
ur welcome! i couldnt help but love this and i basically started crying at one point because it was so beautiful
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