"Today is my son Adam's 38th birthday. Having been born the second son, like many second sons born into families across the land, he will often have often run the risk of feeling 'second best' or that of having been obliged to live in the shadow of his older brother.
He lived the first four years of his life with his full family, but after me and his mother split up, he lived the next nine years in the custody of his mother along with his older brother. During those years, his acess to me was frequently denied by his mother and when it did resume, it was invariably frustrated at every opportunity. After having run away from his mother's house on three occasions to live with me, I applied for and got his custody. However, having lived in an emotionally repressive environment for his formative years after his parents' divorce, he has paid a heavy personal price ever since.
The state of all unhappy marriages is akin to the detonation of an atomic bomb. First comes the awe and shock of parental separation and no sooner than the children have bodily absorbed that blast, the residual effects of the 'fall out' continues to adversely affect their lives long after the maritial union has been dissolved. Whatever the subsequent benefits felt by the parents following their separation, divorce in family units always places a heavier burden upon the shoulders of the children to that marriage in their later lives. The precise nature of their parents' attitudes, mannerisms, beliefs and behaviour (whether good or bad), always find themselves endorsed or strongly reacted to in the behaviour of the growing child within the relationships that they go on to form with their own partners and children.
Since leaving university, Adam has always put his family, community and social conscience above that of material advancement and career prospects. He has always worked in caring positions within the community, at the work face or in a managerial and supervising capacity.
On this day of your birthday son, I just want to tell you that I love you and am proud of you. I am well pleased with all that you have achieved and the caring man you have turned out to be. Of all of my character traits, the one that I am most pleased that you have adopted is being able and unafraid to express your true feelings at the moment of their birth, as being able to express the way one truly feels is the key to emotional stability. Over the past few years you have had your own difficulties in a failing marriage to contend with, but you now seem to have turned the corner again after your divorce. I am also extremely pleased that you seem to have made your peace with your mother during later years.
Karl Marx once described his relationship with one of his daughters as 'Tussy is me'. For good or bad son, this is how I have often thought of our relationship; 'Adam is me'. Have a lovely birthday and don't forget to phone your mum as she loves you also. Love Dad x" William Forde: September 7th, 2014.