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Thread: To my children

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    To my children

    A few years ago, my mum produced a letter written by a great uncle which he wrote to his children. It was a family history and a summary of his experiences in life and his advice to them.

    It was a fascinating read. Full of many people I never knew and good advice.

    A few months ago I had a massive heart attack (just hit 40). Known as the "Widow maker", I should by all rights be a dead man. Somehow, I made it through and am still here.

    I haven't written my own "Letter to my children" yet, but put this post up for all family members here to put up theirs. Hopefully I'll be around to put my own post up, but if you have some thoughts on this, who knows, maybe your kids will find your message here.

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    There's a lot My Kids will find in My Diaries, letters I've kept from years ago and the books I have. An upto date letter I haven't made as I impart My wisdom on a daily basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    There's a lot My Kids will find in My Diaries, letters I've kept from years ago and the books I have. An upto date letter I haven't made as I impart My wisdom on a daily basis.
    Your wisdom?



    ...oh dear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi
    There's a lot My Kids will find in My Diaries, letters I've kept from years ago and the books I have. An upto date letter I haven't made as I impart My wisdom on a daily basis.
    I do my best to do that too - cheers Wasabi.

    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme
    Your wisdom? ...oh dear.
    Come on Jeff - Wasabi is far out, but no different to his avatar. He brings a lot of wisdom to the table, David44 style but none the less.

    As does your good self.

    Peace and One Love to all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnasty2017
    It was a fascinating read. Full of many people I never knew and good advice.
    Please share a few nuggets.
    It's been a long time and I don't have the letter to hand anymore.

    Sorry.

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    Couldn't bring myself to do it as i expect to be around for another 20 years at least.

    If morbidly i was to know in advance of the grim reapers knock on my door, then i would make a video for each of my kids birthdays/weddings/grandchildren births etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang
    Couldn't bring myself to do it as i expect to be around for another 20 years at least.
    I'm hoping for that too mate - It'll take more than a major heart attack to get me to shuffle of this mortal coil

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    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear you made it through alright, Albert. It's another reminder of our mortality. I've known quite a few people my age or younger who have popped their clogs. Not me yet, though. But you never know the day. As for a letter, I wouldn't know where to start. Nice idea though.


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    Heart attack at 40? Instead of writing letters to your children, how about fucking quit smoking, heavy drinking and Md'Doing after visiting gogo bars? Perhaps even moving out of Thailand where shit healthcare is the norm and go back to the Western healthcare where a even a half educated nurse will set you straight?

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    ^WTF?...Ya can't write without smokin' and drinkin'...

    Not anything worthwhile, anyway...

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    meant as a term of endearment

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    Fair enough...

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    ...a letter suggests the parent thinks he/she may have something valuable to say that's worth noting:

    a) remember to pull up your socks
    b) forget the pettiness, meanness and insincerity of your siblings: you're no better than they are...
    c) unlock your inner other: no idea what it means..read it Reader's Digest...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

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    There is a book out that is about letters of advice fathers would impart to the children. I know the author was a well known American who wrote his own letter then went around getting other Dads to do the same.
    Cannot recall the name of him or his book.
    There was also a good piece sent in to Stickman by a father advising his son on different types of women.

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    Jeez Albert. Had no idea you had a heart attack. Take care. This too shall pass.

    Advice to kids is good but setting an example is best. However, this thread gives me the thought to write down a few bits myself. If I can come close to the eloquence of this fellow kids may be bothered to read and heed.

    "If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same:.
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!"

    Rudyard Kipling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnasty2017 View Post
    A few years ago, my mum produced a letter written by a great uncle which he wrote to his children. It was a family history and a summary of his experiences in life and his advice to them.

    It was a fascinating read. Full of many people I never knew and good advice.

    A few months ago I had a massive heart attack (just hit 40). Known as the "Widow maker", I should by all rights be a dead man. Somehow, I made it through and am still here.

    I haven't written my own "Letter to my children" yet, but put this post up for all family members here to put up theirs. Hopefully I'll be around to put my own post up, but if you have some thoughts on this, who knows, maybe your kids will find your message here.
    It's natural to consider your own mortality after that.

    You cut down/out the booze and the cigs yet, Alberto? Best of luck, bud. Unhealthy habits can easily be swapped out for healthy ones.

    Read this, though. There's still life in the old dog yet, mucker.

    -Do you remember my heart attack?

    -Fucking hell. Listen to this. Listen to this, Bill. You'll love this one.

    I'm -fucking- years of age, right? And I have a heart attack, right? So me and him have been out for two or three days. Been a bit naughty. We're out on this fucking bender, and we pull these two Richards. Right fucking sorts, they was. Weren't they?

    -We're having everything with them. -All tackled up. Fucking tackled up. We're having two's-ups and chop-overs with them. They're at it together. I still have a wank on the strength of that.

    So we're sitting there, and I'm taking these pills, right? I've got these pills. I was diagnosed with depression. This was years ago. And these pills, right, have got a fucking side effect.

    No one knows over here, right? The Americans know, right? We're like the fucking guinea pigs. We're dropping like fucking flies. So all of a sudden, I'm sitting there, and you know what? Know what they reckon now? That these pills make you violent.

    -You? You're not violent.

    -Not proper violent.

    No, like weird shit, like killing your mother.

    Wanna kill my mother-in-law for me?

    Yeah, fucking she needs it.

    And guess what they called them.

    Everyone called them the "happy pill." I mean, that's a fucking joke. Happy pill? They was like cunts. You couldn't piss, shit or come. Fucking happy pill? They could've fucking stuck them up their asses, as far as I was concerned.

    I used to give them to my cellmate when I was banged up in the Scrubs. -Remember that Brian? -Fat [at][at][at][at]. This geezer had the biggest head you've ever seen. It was like an armchair. Like someone had picked up a medicine ball... ...and stuck it on his fucking shoulders, right?

    So we're at Micky Tyne's house, right? Now, we are bang on it, right? We're taking everything. We're taking uppers, downers, sidewinders... ...reddies, greenies, blueys, greenies, Auntie fucking Jeanies. They're like Smarties, they're going down, and we're out of it. All of a sudden, I get these pains right across my chest.

    -Braces were too tight.

    -Yeah. All across here, right? All me arms start going numb, right? And I'm in fucking trouble. I'm bang in trouble. All across me chest, right across here, all me arms, all tight, you know? One minute I'm having a laugh, so he thinks I'm mucking about. I think he's.... Next minute, I'm on the floor screaming in pain. So all of a sudden, they've scooped me up, put me down in a motor... ...and off to the hospital.

    Micky Tyne wants to drive. Now, the three of us are totally out of our heads. Micky Tyne is murder in a motor at the best of times. Think nothing of going down a one-way street the wrong way. -Guy in the way, he'll run him over. -We're flying down the Old Kent Road. Next thing we know, we're down this one-way the wrong way. Suddenly, there's this big bus in front of us... ...with the biggest black man behind the wheel you've ever seen...

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    Thanks guys - thanks a lot.

    Norts, the poem you posted was exactly what was needed.

    As was yours Slap.

    There is indeed life in the old dog yet.

    I got off the smokes for a month, but having a few a day again now. Going to have another go at knocking them on the head completely again soon.

    Stopped with the erb - although that was cos me ole' mucker got done and I'm too old to be finding another old hippie mate. maybe.

    The booze has been cut down. some nights I do well. Others not so well.

    It's a lifetime of habits that have to change, but as you say Slap - that doesn't seem so difficult really.

    Thinking about heading back to the UK with the family, but it's a big big thing.

    Not even married - been together 12 years and have 2 kids, but still an issue re visa's etc.

    However best thing is, I'm still here, and the doctor reckons if I look after myself - I've got a good few years yet.

    Great to have the great TD as my virtual local, and hope to actually catch up with a few of you in the flesh at some point.

    Thanks folk.

    One life - live it.

    Cheers.

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    Keep yourself fit, Shag.

    Watch your diet.
    Be around for another 30+ years...

    Cheers.


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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    Unhealthy habits can easily be swapped out for healthy ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Shagnasty2017
    It's a lifetime of habits that have to change, but as you say Slap - that doesn't seem so difficult really.
    Addictions are easy to shake?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UrbanMan
    Addictions are easy to shake?
    ...of course not: that's why they're called addictions...resolve, however, is easy to shake...my money is always on human weakness...until such time as an event occurs that suggests death is a strong possibility: fear of death can be, on occasion, even stronger than addiction...

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    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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    As my heart feels a bit "wobbly" this evening, I'll pen a few words for any offspring I have, known or otherwise, in case today is my last day on this earth.


    Enjoy your life, you only have one. Try to be good but if you can't be good, be careful.

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    Shit a brick, Albert....commiserations. I'd wondered what had happened to you. I even made a "missing" post about here you because my best educated guess was that you had been in a motorbike prang.....I remembered you posted a few pics of your bike.

    You may not believe I'm saying this, but have a look at some of ENT's posts (and others) about giving up smoking. Lobelia apparently works, but you do have to be very careful with it, as it can make you vomit in larger doses, and ENT did not explain that clearly enough.

    Regarding letters to offspring, I reckon Lord Chesterfield's must be amongst the best in the English language....even though they are pretty damn old.

    Here is one (and actually some of the others are worth looking up too). It's about dealing with other people :

    LONDON, October 16, O. S. 1747

    DEAR BOY: The art of pleasing is a very necessary one to possess; but a
    very difficult one to acquire. It can hardly be reduced to rules; and
    your own good sense and observation will teach you more of it than I can.
    Do as you would be done by, is the surest method that I know of pleasing.
    Observe carefully what pleases you in others, and probably the same thing
    in you will please others. If you are pleased with the complaisance and
    attention of others to your humors, your tastes, or your weaknesses,
    depend upon it the same complaisance and attention, on your part to
    theirs, will equally please them. Take the tone of the company that you
    are in, and do not pretend to give it; be serious, gay, or even trifling,
    as you find the present humor of the company; this is an attention due
    from every individual to the majority. Do not tell stories in company;
    there is nothing more tedious and disagreeable; if by chance you know a
    very short story, and exceedingly applicable to the present subject of
    conversation, tell it in as few words as possible; and even then, throw
    out that you do not love to tell stories; but that the shortness of it
    tempted you. Of all things, banish the egotism out of your conversation,
    and never think of entertaining people with your own personal concerns,
    or private, affairs; though they are interesting to you, they are tedious
    and impertinent to everybody else; besides that, one cannot keep one's
    own private affairs too secret. Whatever you think your own excellencies
    may be, do not affectedly display them in company; nor labor, as many
    people do, to give that turn to the conversation, which may supply you
    with an opportunity of exhibiting them. If they are real, they will
    infallibly be discovered, without your pointing them out yourself, and
    with much more advantage. Never maintain an argument with heat and
    clamor, though you think or know yourself to be in the right: but give
    your opinion modestly and coolly, which is the only way to convince; and,
    if that does not do, try to change the conversation, by saying, with good
    humor, "We shall hardly convince one another, nor is it necessary that we
    should, so let us talk of something else."

    Remember that there is a local propriety to be observed in all companies;
    and that what is extremely proper in one company, may be, and often is,
    highly improper in another.

    The jokes, the 'bonmots,' the little adventures, which may do very well
    in one company, will seem flat and tedious, when related in another. The
    particular characters, the habits, the cant of one company, may give
    merit to a word, or a gesture, which would have none at all if divested
    of those accidental circumstances. Here people very commonly err; and
    fond of something that has entertained them in one company, and in
    certain circumstances, repeat it with emphasis in another, where it is
    either insipid, or, it may be, offensive, by being ill-timed or
    misplaced. Nay, they often do it with this silly preamble; "I will tell
    you an excellent thing"; or, "I will tell you the best thing in the
    world." This raises expectations, which, when absolutely disappointed,
    make the relater of this excellent thing look, very deservedly, like a
    fool.

    If you would particularly gain the affection and friendship of particular
    people, whether men or women, endeavor to find out the predominant
    excellency, if they have one, and their prevailing weakness, which
    everybody has; and do justice to the one, and something more than justice
    to the other. Men have various objects in which they may excel, or at
    least would be thought to excel; and, though they love to hear justice
    done to them, where they know that they excel, yet they are most and best
    flattered upon those points where they wish to excel, and yet are
    doubtful whether they do or not. As, for example, Cardinal Richelieu, who
    was undoubtedly the ablest statesman of his time, or perhaps of any
    other, had the idle vanity of being thought the best poet too; he envied
    the great Corneille his reputation, and ordered a criticism to be written
    upon the "Cid." Those, therefore, who flattered skillfully, said little
    to him of his abilities in state affairs, or at least but 'en passant,'
    and as it might naturally occur. But the incense which they gave him, the
    smoke of which they knew would turn his head in their favor, was as a
    'bel esprit' and a poet. Why? Because he was sure of one excellency, and
    distrustful as to the other. You will easily discover every man's
    prevailing vanity, by observing his favorite topic of conversation; for
    every man talks most of what he has most a mind to be thought to excel
    in. Touch him but there, and you touch him to the quick. The late Sir
    Robert Walpole (who was certainly an able man) was little open to
    flattery upon that head; for he was in no doubt himself about it; but his
    prevailing weakness was, to be thought to have a polite and happy turn to
    gallantry; of which he had undoubtedly less than any man living: it was
    his favorite and frequent subject of conversation: which proved, to those
    who had any penetration, that it was his prevailing weakness. And they
    applied to it with success.

    Women have, in general, but one object, which is their beauty; upon
    which, scarce any flattery is too gross for them to swallow. Nature has
    hardly formed a woman ugly enough to be insensible to flattery upon her
    person; if her face is so shocking, that she must in some degree, be
    conscious of it, her figure and her air, she trusts, make ample amends
    for it. If her figure is deformed, her face, she thinks, counterbalances
    it. If they are both bad, she comforts herself that she has graces; a
    certain manner; a 'je ne sais quoi,' still more engaging than beauty.
    This truth is evident, from the studied and elaborate dress of the
    ugliest women in the world. An undoubted, uncontested, conscious beauty,
    is of all women, the least sensible of flattery upon that head; she knows
    that it is her due, and is therefore obliged to nobody for giving it her.
    She must be flattered upon her understanding; which, though she may
    possibly not doubt of herself, yet she suspects that men may distrust.

    Do not mistake me, and think that I mean to recommend to you abject and
    criminal flattery: no; flatter nobody's vices or crimes: on the contrary,
    abhor and discourage them. But there is no living in the world without a
    complaisant indulgence for people's weaknesses, and innocent, though
    ridiculous vanities. If a man has a mind to be thought wiser, and a woman
    handsomer than they really are, their error is a comfortable one to
    themselves, and an innocent one with regard to other people; and I would
    rather make them my friends, by indulging them in it, than my enemies, by
    endeavoring (and that to no purpose) to undeceive them.

    There are little attentions likewise, which are infinitely engaging, and
    which sensibly affect that degree of pride and self-love, which is
    inseparable from human nature; as they are unquestionable proofs of the
    regard and consideration which we have for the person to whom we pay
    them. As, for example, to observe the little habits, the likings, the
    antipathies, and the tastes of those whom we would gain; and then take
    care to provide them with the one, and to secure them from the other;
    giving them, genteelly, to understand, that you had observed that they
    liked such a dish, or such a room; for which reason you had prepared it:
    or, on the contrary, that having observed they had an aversion to such a
    dish, a dislike to such a person, etc., you had taken care to avoid
    presenting them. Such attention to such trifles flatters self-love much
    more than greater things, as it makes people think themselves almost the
    only objects of your thoughts and care.

    These are some of the arcana necessary for your initiation in the great
    society of the world. I wish I had known them better at your age; I have
    paid the price of three-and-fifty years for them, and shall not grudge
    it, if you reap the advantage. Adieu.

  23. #23
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    When I was 23 my dad went on holiday and sent me a letter asking me to get out of the house with all my posessions before he returned. He thought I should have been paying him rent.

    I took the letter to Islington Council and they sent me to one of their hostels in Barnsbury Park then rehoused me 3 months later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Pat View Post
    When I was 23 my dad went on holiday and sent me a letter asking me to get out of the house with all my posessions before he returned. He thought I should have been paying him rent.
    He was right. You were a sponger.

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    Member John Lennon's Avatar
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    As a young kid, my ol' man put me on the kitchen table & said jump boy, I will catch you.
    Good lesson - he said that this shows you can't even trust your ol' man.

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