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Submitted on
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.

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 )
PHarold Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Nearly a week ago my father who is 78 went into the hospital. It's one of the sad things about getting older is that we deal with aging parents. We have had to start preparing for the future and we can only keep faithful to God that he'll be good in the years to come.
My father taught me to draw. He and I were the only artsy ones in the family. He taught us that it was OK not to be conformists when it came to things in life and love.
He was blunt, with opinions but he was always honest.

But he is still stubborn enough to keep fighting. Always has been. Thank you for saying what is always on my heart but I never have said out loud. It's time to change that.
RideordieStudio Featured By Owner May 17, 2014
Very cute letter to your amazing father! I don't know if I could write the same way,
openly, to my parents. You are a very lucky girl! I do think the DD comment could
have described your beautiful writing in a different way ("bittersweet realities").
I'm very glad that your dreams have come true! Good luck with your training job!
Exillior Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, it's an open letter but I haven't pointed my parents to it. We're not a very sentimental family. I would like to know that they know I appreciate both of them despite our quarrels at various points. I strive to show this through my behaviour nowadays (I was very much not a model daughter when younger).

Thank you, and thank you for the lovely comment. :heart:
lilachiccups Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Funny, I say the same thing about my dad. How I pity those who weren't his daughter and how I know I'm particularly special enough to have been. We, too, are both almost exactly alike, share similar physical attributes and he too has given up almost everything, including his dreams, for my sisters and my self. I'm glad to see my dad is not a dying breed and that there is a girl out there who is just as lucky as me. Thank you for posting this and letting me remember how great it is to be loved by a wonderful dad. 
CrocodileKickingBear Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Few things in the world can ever pull any emotions from the black leathery blood-pump that rests behind the calcium cage I call ribs.
Exillior Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, if we're being scientific, lungs do go black but hearts don't generally, and certainly it's not going to be leathery, since leather is skin, but your heart is surrounded by muscle... :lol:

But I understand what you mean, and thank you for the comment. :heart:
CrocodileKickingBear Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
SmartAssery normally gets you nowhere; however if done properly, it can get you everywhere with me.

And you're very welcome, this was a very heartfelt letter that reminded me very much of my own relationship with my father.
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
G-A-AnimeFan4 Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So beautiful;~;
slendycreeper Featured By Owner May 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so wonderful... I wish my father was this kind to me.
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