A Father's Letter
Janice looks back on a difficult childhood and the father she never knew.
"My mother died when she was 21 and my father went to the war.
It was 1944 and I was left with my grandmother whom I adored. We were very happy.
My father married again and was posted to Germany to guard Hess in Spandau prison.
He demanded that I go with him and dragged me kicking and screaming from my Gran.
My stepmother didn't want me and I had a terrible life being witness to my father's drunken rages.
I ran away but was brought back by the military police.
Berlin was in ruins and we went to school in an army truck.
When we returned to Wales my father gave me back to Gran. We were overjoyed.
In the coming years, I had only one letter from him saying what a good time we'd had in Germany. It made me so angry I wrote and told him the truth and asked for an apology.
I received a short note in reply. At the end of it it said, "P.S. I'm sorry."
I cut it out and framed it for my living room wall.
I didn't hear anything of him for more than 50 years until a friend told me he had died on Christmas Eve.
I contacted the hospital, and discovered that my father said he had no family.
When I went to his funeral there was only four people there. I read one of his poems and his ashes were left at the crematorium.
I felt angry because he had missed so much of my life - my wonderful children and grandchildren he had never seen."