In the late 1970s, a few years before his death, my father was hospitalised and he wrote me a letter. It was one of the few times, perhaps the only time, that he reached out to me. But the letter, written in a shaky hand, barely legible, never actually reached me because it was never sent. It was handed to me by my mother after my father returned home from the hospital. Mother was his emissary and usually acted as the go-between for my distant father and me.