Letter of Henry Adam Wood (apology to Mother)

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Dearest Mother,

Before reading any further, please ensure that you are seated with smelling salts on hand, for the news I am to impart will most surely be devastating. I have been told by my physician that a visit from the reaper is drawing nigh, and thus I should write to those who love and adore me to give them time to honor me in advance of my impending demise. This letter will provide you with enough advance notice to sew for yourself a new mourning dress, as I do not believe you currently have any such clothes grand enough to show respect to the death of one such as myself.

You are surely brought to despair by this news, as giving birth to me was without a doubt the most magnificent accomplishment a woman such as yourself should hope to have in life. Seeing as I am your greatest achievement, I do feel that I owe you an apology for depriving you of the pleasure of my company and marvelous personality over the past years. Though it was your own erroneous assumption that you would be moving into my house when Father passed on a decade ago, I know that you have come to understand why that would not have made a suitable arrangement for me, being the important man and pillar of the community that I am.

At the time you claimed that I had more than enough room in my house for you, and had the audacity to suggest that I should give up my study to be your bedchamber! But really, how could I give up my study when it is of utmost importance that I have a place to write my correspondence and dispense my life-advice to those less fortunate than myself? I have yet to come across another person that is not in need of the type of improvement my words can offer, and thus must do my duty to better this world by imparting my knowledge and wisdom to others. As far as your willingness to stay in the maid’s chambers, I could not dream of letting such an outrage occur! With your gnarled joints and plodding pace you could never have kept up with all the cleaning and cooking that I require of my houseservants!

And thus, I forgive you for being so forward in your assumption that you were entitled to live in my house just because you are my mother. As time has passed I am sure that you have come to enjoy the simple life in your new surroundings at the Angels of Mercy Home for Indigent and Aged Women. My understanding is that it is one of the better almshouses in the county, and that they are able to keep most of the vagrants and derelicts out. I would have made a visit but I find such institutions insufferable, and I know that a caring mother such as yourself would not want to cause suffering in her son by forcing him to witness such impoverishment!

And so, dear Mother, I hope the knowledge that I have led a happy life and have been an important man to many softens the news of my upcoming death.

Your loving son,

Henry Adam Wood


P.S. I should also inform you that as of this letter, I have stopped payments to the almshouse for your weekly loaf of bread. Upon my death, the remainder of my vast fortune has been bequeathed to the city such that they may erect a grand statue of my likeness outside of town hall, as a reminder to you and every citizen of my great wisdom and generosity!

Created: Mar 04, 2014

Tags: henry adam wood, story, fiction, letter

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