To My Son Nnaemeka,

May the good Lord bless you as you read my letter.

I received a letter from your wife telling about the interest of your sons—my grandsons to see their grandfather. It would be unwise to tell you of my anxiety after having read that letter, for such would probably make you feel pompous that I, your father could think of you with such strange compassion. However, it would likewise be cruel not to express the strangeness that seated in my heart upon learning about the two boys.

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When you were a young lad, I used to take you to the River Ryunuke very near the house of your grandfather. Once we get to the river you would ask me to let you go of your hand so you could run towards the river and have a good wash in the clear water. These moments in my mind created in me a slight fear that one day you would ask to be on your own, away from your father’s attention, or from his counsel. When you chose the woman you married, the recollections of those times I let go of your hand near the river doomed to me like mud and sand that were pushed aside by the gush of the river. Each night became a remorseful time I spent deeply thinking where I have gone wrong and what made you dissuade from my decision.

But the thoughts of you in the clear water and the smile on your face as you take a plunge haunt me now more adamantly as I think of your two lads. Though incredulous of the sudden happiness in my mind, I give in to the idea of how nice it would be to see them, just like you in the clear waters of Ryunuke.

At this time I am not ready to accept your wife in my house but your mother would probably be glad to do so while the two of us and my two grandsons have a small picnic at the same old river. Please do bring the old rod we used to catch fish with if you still have it with you, and I will ask your mother to make some barbeques and sandwiches.

Reference

Achebe, Chinua. (1930). Marriage is a private affair. Retrieved September 4, 2008, from http://chinua-achebe.com/marriage-is-a-private-affair.htm

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