In November, 2014, I wrote a blog post called The trouble with lies. While decluttering I came across a letter my second cousin, Anne, wrote to me in response to that post.
In the post I mentioned that my absent father supposedly sent me an Indian doll and later sent me £5 for passing my 11+. I said that I had been told lies about my father (that he and my mother were married but separated and he lived in India) so, when I discovered the truth, I began to doubt that the doll and money actually came from him but were more likely just embellishments to maintain the pretence.
Anne wrote that though she lived away during my childhood she had a clear recollection of her mother (my gran's sister) telling her that my father had sent me a doll and that the family were very surprised. She wrote:
The story is true; your father travelled, thought of you, took the trouble to pick you a present he thought would give you pleasure and brought it all the way home for you. I have no recollection of the money you received but if the first story is true then it is more than likely that the second story is also true.
What I do know from first-hand experience is that you were loved and cherished by all of us. Margaret was a very special person with very special qualities. I loved and admired her and I still think of her and remember the happy times I spent with her.
P.S. I have added a photo of the Indian doll that I still have.