A Letter to Sean on the Occasion of his 21st Birthday

©2013 Edward C. Lunnon

Saturday 19 July 2013: 6 years 10 months on …

Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Deuce

19 July 2013 (for 20 May 2013)

Ladies and Gentlemen

  • ·        To our Friends and family

Thank you very much for being here and celebrating this milestone with us.

  • ·        To Pera and her helpers

Thank you very much for all the arrangements and hard work that have made this the momentous occasion that I am sure it will be.

  • ·        To our son, Sean, on his 21st Birthday

Dear Sean Sean

I have written thousands, if not millions of words, and made hundreds of speeches in my life time. This one is certainly the most personal letter that I have yet had to deliver. I hardly know what to say or how to start a letter of the kind that I want this to be.

I have known you since the day you were born 21 years ago – in fact, from the time that you did flick-flacks in your mom’s tummy to the bass sounds at the 1992 Paul Simon Concert in St George’s Park. We should have known from the very beginning that you would be a non-conformist. It would be nice to say you were a lovely baby and rave on about how good you were. However, your Mom will confirm you had NO idea how a baby was supposed to behave. Sleep was a foreign word to you – and for us!

At this stage you are probably all thinking – GOOD HEAVENS, he is going to cover EVERY year of Sean’s life – well, let me tell you all – I could! I remember just about every memorable moment in your life, Sean – at least all the ones that I know about!

When you cut your first tooth; the day you first walked. When you began talking – and then never stopped! Your first day at school. Your last day at school. And all the in-between days at school.

Your university career would be a somewhat shorter number of days!

Getting the photos out has been a wonderful trip down memory lane.


I will spare the detail, Sean.

But first, and most important, is to talk about my love for you. Men and boys, men and men, do not express their feelings of love for each other nearly enough. Fathers just take it for granted that their sons know that they love them, but have trouble in expressing this to them. I seldom say or demonstrate my feelings for you. So let me say it now – I love you so very much!

Unless, one day, you have a son of your own like you, you will never know how much it means to me especially since I have been ill, how you care for me and the little thoughtful things you do. I love you all the more for that.

Secondly, let me say how proud I am of you as a man. You have fulfilled the hopes and expectations that a father could have for a son. You have proven to be the type of boy, and now the type of man, that I am proud to have as a son.

You are manly, yet gentle; serious and yet able to turn a joke or quip; strong in your mind and body but understanding of the weaknesses of others; thoughtful of the aged and the young, with respect for their knowledge, abilities and infirmities, and yet in yourself intelligent, more and far deeper than they.

I could continue for pages trying to tell you how and what I feel you are, but I think you know how Mom and I feel about you.

For myself, as a youngster, without a father, I had to learn about life – just the same as you have had to learn about life.

However, as an adult I may not always have set you an example of good living. It is true I am far from perfect and have made many mistakes, but your Mother has always been there to step into the breach.

I have tried to show you the world, both figuratively and literally. There are not many people your age who have been north to Europe, east to Thailand and west to America!

As to the future, unknown as it is, I do not know of anything I could say to you more than I have previously said. I have tried to pass on to you the ideals for which one should strive.

Now, the law says, you are on your own. You have no need for us. The heart says that we will always be there for you – hopefully not only when you need us for money!

Remember the little sayings I have tried to pass on to you.  Some of them you hear directly from me; some you hear from me on Wednesdays after my radio chat and some are pasted onto the tiles in our bathroom.

I have learned that you do not have an education until you know something about everything; until you have the knowledge to talk to a banker, lawyer, plumber or the cleaner, regardless of their occupation, and to talk intelligently to them about their subject.

Yes, know about cars and boats, your specialty, but don’t lose yourself so completely in this one thing to the exclusion of the rest of the world.

But, especially, take time to see the trees, the birds, the grass, and the earth and sky – to see and appreciate the wonders of nature around you.

In addition, take time to appreciate the wonders of the human body, and the health that you have. Look after it well and not for one moment take it for granted.

Your Mother and I are not openly very religious people. What your belief as far as religion is concerned lies within you. It will probably change and reform and be remoulded many times in your life. One thing is essential and that you already know. The golden rule is always “try to do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Have your religion, whatever it may be, and then live and be true to your beliefs.

So on the occasion of your 21st birthday I can say that Mom and I have given you our inheritance of good hardy stock, good reputation and a family background of men and women who did great things and made their mark on this world. You have already shown, in your activities at work and play, coaching and refereeing and at the NSRI, where you have already been awarded the Trophy for Enthusiastic Endeavour that you intend to carry on with this inheritance.

We have brought you to this day in a condition of mind, body and soul as best we could and we are proud of the results of our efforts and your efforts and the efforts of family, teachers and friends to arrive at this point in your life. We are glad we had and have you.

The World is a better place because of people like you and it is lovely to see you partying tonight with so many of your friends who are helping you to celebrate. They know what your mother and I have always known: You are intelligent, witty, ethical and, above all, loyal. You are a steadfast friend, a loving sibling and we are privileged to be able to call you our son.

 Studies made in Virginia USA about consuming alcohol at 21st parties revealed that one third of men blacked-out at their own 21st party. Please remember you do not have to be one of the statistics and that you are refereeing your brother’s 3rd tem match at one o’clock tomorrow!


God bless and keep you.

Have a memorable 21st Birthday and may you have many happy returns of this day!

Mom and Dad





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