To my four sons, I give thee gifts, on this, a usual day,
To Matthew, my first, I give thee the burden of responsibility, I show you all the flaws of the world and request that you do all you can to help, assist and correct,
To my second, Mark, I give thee blessings, the notion of, and the ability to count. Of you I request that you count them, each and every day, without fail,
And to Luke, my third, I give thee the ability to teach. I ask that you teach not what is expected of you but what is right, truthful and honest.
And to John, my last, I give thee the gift of parenthood. All I hope for is that the children will learn from their uncles as their father will learn from them.
And to you all, my four sons, I give you all the gift of communication, the ability to listen and speak. All I ask in return is that you share your gifts.
You, the first, and you forgot to listen. The distractions of the earth’s curses deafened you. And yours was the toughest, for the world is wide. The toughest task for the toughest child. But you chose to choose and that distracted you and you forgot to listen. And so you fought, fought the world, and then beaten, you fought yourself. Your life is now nothing, and there is nothing for you to give. Blinded, you looked inward and allowed the gift to curse thyself. We will mourn the death of responsibility for many years but we will not celebrate the selfish.
O! my second son, your patience has punished you and you are now curs’d. My gift has left you with a debilitating and deathly illness and it is only now that you have started to count. You forgot to listen, you chose your own way and it has punish’d you. We will mourn you and the loss is all ours to bear, in life and in death.
My third son, you were my biggest disappointment. Instead of sharing wisdom you allowed yourself to be distracted, as with my first. The size of the world, the size of the task, proved too much. You chose to teach the common message rather than the greater good. It is right that you now hide, reside beyond the horizon.
To my last son, you have the burden of a daughter, now misguided and misinformed. She staggers the roads of life, floats as an island, forever lost. You communicated as asked but the messages were muddled
To my granddaughter, Ruth, I can only offer apologies. For you there were too many interventions. You were destined to become stifled by the unbalanced attentions that you received from your uncles. Your slewed education meant that you knew no better than to take the path of least resistance, take all that was free and reject restriction. You are left to stagger under the weight of excessive intervention, unable to think or feel for yourself. And your actions, you were allowed to do as you wish and I am left defending the indefensible.
Nigel D Paul 30/5/2011