In my papers I found this letter I wrote to my brother. I must have written it after his wedding the family attended in Manila, but before his child Jasmine was born. As it was written by hand in my barely readable script, I can only assume it was a draft and I certainly hope he received it before he died:
"Dearest Brother Ben,
This is just a short letter with some brotherly praise, but also a little advice or a few suggestions for your future; feel free to interpret them as you will.
Firstly: I'm so enormously proud of you and my heart is filled with joy for your future; I've seen more than ever before the man come forward in control of his world, confident (as far as that's possible for any person) and happy (ditto). I don't know if you realise the extent of your achievements, things I would have had a tough time doing but you have done successfully and with style - I know you like us all have doubts and trepidations every now and then, but as I've told your new wife you can, have (and I believe will better learn how to) control these periods of misapprehension and distress. Here I mean in times of difficulty following your own path into a new culture and ensconcing yourself in that world. You looked after your family and friends; organised your wedding like a champion; with surety you shared a piece of your life with us. I have tears in my eyes trying to describe my emotions vis a vis my admiration.
Anyway, enough praise, you get the picture. In a way, undoubtedly unintentionally, you've followed a Lasko/Achimo path in forging into a new world. Be patient with yourself. Draw strength from your relationship and most certainly from me, your loving brother. Whatever happens in the Philippines or Australia or Pyong Yang for that matter for me you've more than succeeded. You're very special, we all know that. Me more perhaps than anyone, at least now.
I think you wouldn't be able to comprehend the love and respect I have for you and your goals in life. Go forth; bear fruit; love them as I know you can, and hopefully there may be some who share our enthusiasm for life and may perhaps sometimes even turn to me for advice, knowledge and supervision.
I love you enormously Ben - I can of course not predidct the future, but whatever your choice I know that you, like me, will recognise your investments in the past, learning and developing and changing.
Lastly, thanks for a very special chance for us to get together and for organising it with style and furthermore with good dry humour.
I'm there right behind you. I'll always be there to help you. My house is your house; stay in contact dearest one.
Much fraternal love,
© May 2008 Nachtschimmen
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