(Written to our 3 children on New Year’s Eve 2000)
To: Anthony, Georgina and Simone,
It is New Year’s Eve 2000. Tomorrow we commence the new millennium. While I believe this to be a significant date in our history, I also feel it is a time to stop and look back on what has gone and forward to what might lie in the future.
I would like to let you know how proud Mum and I are of each of you. Already in your life you have all had to undergo numerous personal hardships and you have performed creditably. We hold each of you in our hearts with the same measure of eternal love. You are more precious to us than any possessions or anything the world might offer us. As with our marriage vows, our love for each other and for you will extend through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
It is wonderful to see you maturing as adults and undergoing the metamorphous of change which must continue to occur as we are reborn with the coming of each day. Because of our closeness to you, we hurt when you hurt, we laugh with you and we cry if you cry. But most of all we enjoy the love you so generously give us.
We have always encouraged you to follow your dreams and to listen to your inner voices to determine good from bad. Continue to be yourself without pretence. Maintain the principles we gave you during your upbringing and don’t necessarily be swayed by the whims of society.
While life still holds many adventures for us all, the biggest adventure for us has been our marriage. It has been enriched and fulfilled by having the three of you as our children. We have truly learned to love and enjoy being loved in return. Daily we thank our God for you and pray for your safety and happiness.
Currently there is a wave of emotion sweeping the nation that seeks to obtain reconciliation by the meaningful use of the words, “I’m sorry”.
I believe it is important that reconciliation extend beyond the healing of relationships with our indigenous brothers and sisters. There needs to be an ongoing personal examination of our relationships with each other as individuals and as family. So this is why I am writing this letter to the three of you.
I do not dwell on the past, for it is from the past we learn how to live today and prepare for tomorrow. However, I know there have been occasions when I have not lived up to your expectations as a father. For these times I want to say “I’m sorry” and in this letter I seek your forgiveness.
As today ends and the new millennium begins, I can only encourage you to continue to maintain close, honest relationships with each other. Always be there to listen, comfort and enjoy one another, as we will always be available for you. With this strength of support you can face the challenges of life with a smile on your face because you know you will always have Mum and my love and the love of each other. This support will add to your inner strength and help you to make sincere judgements and mature decisions.
Continue to see the God of all creation in everyone and everything. Your God doesn’t dwell up in the heavenly skies but within yourself, so in your search for truth and happiness, you need look no further than within.
Be quick to see the good in others and slow to criticise. Always attempt to do something for somebody else without seeking a return and energetically apply yourself with zeal to whatever task you choose to undertake. Remember that persistence will always win out.
I wish each of you good health, happiness and joy throughout the years ahead and thank you for making my life so enjoyable and fulfilling.
I am, and always will be, your loving dad.