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Friday, 10 December 2010

The letter I should have written

On a recent trip to the library I picked up a booklet about letters I should have written. Oh my god they were so moving. And it got me to wondering who would Iwrite to. At first I thought of the obvious like my mum to tell her about her grandchildren that she never saw, or my ex husband just so he might know what a total bastard he is. Or what about the job offer I turned down for the one I am now in. Or to the barking mad grandmother who died earlier this year estranged from her family for nearly a decade. Or to the friends who helped me so much over the past couple of years and to whom I will never ever be able to repay all their kindnesses. I thought I'd write this one instead..

Context
Me, aged 18 ventured off to France to be an au pair. I hated every minute of it as I'd been placed with the family from hell and wished I had had the courage to leave and follow my heart. Instead I stayed put for 6 miserable months and on return met Mr ex within a week. Whilst I was away my mum had become ill and was being fobbed off by her GP. She later turned out to have agressive throat cancer and died a year later. She was in the process of buying a village shop.

Dear Mum

First can you let Dad read this when he comes round as I can't afford the postage and have run out of paper.
Second you've probably guessed from our phonecalls that I'm really unhappy here. The details were so misleading. The child I'm looking after is not 18m old but 3.5 and still in nappies! Nor is she an only child but has a 17 year old sister who is at boarding school during the week. She is very SPOILT too ! The mother is nice enough but starts drinking each day earlier than the next, at the moment we are at about 1030am. If I get chased round the table by one of their randy male friends again I think I will scream. So I have decided to move on and leave. The whole point was for me to learn French and have decided I need to be in a city rather than the sticks. I'm not allowed out even on my day off and am stuck in the middle of nowhere. I contacted the agency who placed me here and they have found me a new position in Nice further up the coast. I start next week so will be leaving here soon. I'll ring you with the address when I leave here. In the meantime please go back to the doctors about the lump in your mouth, that doesn't sound like a cold sore to me. Give my sister a big hug and I'll be helping you in the new shop before you know it.
Au revoir

2 comments:

  1. My brother wrote me a dear big sister a few years ago - it went something like 'sorry I have never thanked you for looking after me (10 years younger, violent family background) and that I have always been cold and distant, it's because I can't cope with the guilt and I have been seeing a therapist for the last 3 years to get over it. Sad that he couldn't ever say it to me in person and I still haven't seen him for three years (perhaps the therapy involves being locked up?).

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  2. Thanks Betty my heart goes out to you, estrangement is horrible. Maybe 2011 could be your year

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