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Isn’t email great. You
can send a message almost instantly to the other side of the world to
be read in moments and replied to just as quickly no fuss no bother
just easily done. Your other option is face to face internet calling
again where ever in the world you wish now but twenty odd years ago
the quickest method of written communication was via expensive Air
mail and just to show off to the postman that you knew someone abroad
you stuck little blue “Air Mail” stickers on your post when you
did that.

This was not a quick
process though by any means so patience was a necessary commodity
when writing to folks abroad and in my case I was not sure I was even
going to get a reply. Just because his family has decided to turn up
and say hello when I went down to drop the letter off was no
guarantee that this fellow would write back to me at all. So what
can you do in a situation like that?Well you just carry on with your
life really trying not to dwell upon it all and leaving things to be
what they will be. I think most of that sort of attitude has been
lost these days in our over connected world of needing to know what
all of your friends are family are doing every minute of every day
getting blow by blow updates via social media on your phones.

I got on with my life
not expecting much and the world kept turning oblivious to my wants
or desires like it always does. I worked and played, spent time with
family and friends but after a couple of weeks when I returned home
one evening from work there was a letter in an unfamiliar hand
waiting for me on the coffee table. (Yes you even got to know who had
written to you by the handwriting on the envelope! Sometimes I feel
we have lost too much) Not only was it an unfamiliar hand but it had
that little blue airmail sticker on it as well so I knew exactly
where it had come from and this was confirmed by a quick glance at
the postage frank mark.

It was here already.
Only a couple of weeks had passed so this was indeed a quick
reply…very quick indeed. All of a sudden I did not want to pick it
up let alone open it up. I feared the news it would contain why I do
not know because why should I fear rejection from someone I did not
know or who did not know me? Over the last couple of weeks
everything had settled back down to my normal in fact this letter had
taken a step back in my mind as the daily grind had once again
smoothed out the bumps in the road of life like it always has but
here once again was something to rock the boat in a big way and this
was entirely of my own making.

I picked it up turning
it over slowly in my hands noting the smoothness of the envelope
wondering at the mileage it had travelled to get here. There was a
surprising amount of weight to it for such a small envelope that
immediately got my attention as unusual. What could be in it? What
could you fit in it to make it so weighty?

The wife to be looked
at me from the doorway to the kitchen with a look of “Are you going
to open that?” but said nothing but the eternally most British of
question in times of stress or hardships

“Cup of tea?”

Of course I said yes I
mean I am English through and through after all and I walked across
the living room to park my backside onto the sofa taking one final
look at the envelope before turning it the right way up and slicing
it open along the top.

I sat there peering
down into the now open envelope and I could see a rather thick wad of
paper folded neatly over on itself so I reached in and pulled it free
from its transatlantic cover. I opened it out several times over on
itself and there was a three page hand written letter along with a
dozen or so photographs. I started with the photos because my main
purpose at this point was to see what this chap looked like. Well,
it would not have been hard to figure out who he was in the pictures
because it was like looking into a mirror for me. My God we looked
alike so alike that if we had bumped into each other in the street we
would have stopped dead looking at each other almost as
dopplegangers.

So that settled that
mystery then in picture after picture showing an age timeline of
himself and his family over there from when the other kids in the
picture were small to their ages now which were about 10 and 7 years
old.

Two more siblings for
me then bringing my collection of them up to seven in all!

So with that most
urgent of mysteries over for me I settled back with a steaming hot
cup of tea by my side to see what this chap had to say…

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