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  • Raymond last had contact with his daughter Caitlyn when he went to visit her in Dublin. She was four years old. They played together in the park. Thirty years later, in 1981, he sends her a letter. These are their letters.


    I have carried you with me all of your life. I am getting older and you are now a woman. I remember you told me I spoke funny. Please write back.


    Dear Da – Raymond.

    I got your letter…
    I remember you put me on your shoulders.
    I am having my own baby.
    So much to say..

    Caitlyn Ellis (I am married)

    Dear Caitlyn,

    You probably thought I’d forgotten you. Sorry for that, but it was very difficult with your mother and your uncle Conor always against me. I was very happy and surprised to get your letter. When I wrote I was hoping you’d reply but I did not think it was very likely. The time you were born was a very difficult time for me. I felt bad about a lot of things including not seeing you. I would like the chance to find out something about you. I am glad you remember some of what we did and I have never forgotten you.

    I bet you haven’t changed.

    As you wrote, there is so much to say. I will tell you what is important now. I live in a large house in Time, Indiana, a wonderful town in the most beautiful state in America. My father built the house and I have made changes. I lived here with my wife Constance but we are no longer together. I am very pleased to hear you are expecting a baby and that you are Mrs Ellis. I am sure you have chosen a strong man.

    America has been kind to me and I am successful. I remember Ireland well and the challenges of living there. Perhaps I could help you, Caitlyn, in a way I could not before. There is opportunity here. I can support you and if Mr Ellis is a willing worker he will find himself welcome and prosperous. I know people and am well-respected. I know we do not know each other but I recognised myself in you and that is what I believe can make a home. This is my offer to you, plain and simple, as am I.

    Da (Raymond)
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