Entries in Father (3)


‘Bitterly’ Disappointed Dad’s Email to Children Goes Viral

John Foxx/Thinkstock(PLYMOUTH, England) -- A retired British naval officer’s scathing email to his three adult children about his bitter and frustrating disappointment in all of them has gone viral with its eloquence and biting honesty.

Nick Crews, 67, of Plymouth, England, sent the letter to his two daughters and son to express his deep disappointment in them and their life choices.

“We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news of our own children and grandchildren,” Crews wrote. “I wonder if you realise [sic] how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us.”

He criticized them for failed marriages, lack of maturity and their inability to provide for their families.

“Fulfilling careers based on your educations would have helped — but as yet none of you is what I would confidently term properly self-supporting,” he continued. “Each of you is well able to earn a comfortable living and provide for your children, yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement. Far from your children being able to rely on your provision, they are faced with needing to survive their introduction to life with you as parents."

“The predictable result has been a decade of deep unhappiness over the fates of our grandchildren,” Crews wrote. “If it wasn’t for them, Mum and I would not be too concerned, as each of you consciously, and with eyes wide open, crashes from one cock-up to the next.”

Crews said he and his wife were sick and tired of listening to their children’s complaints and failures. The children are 35, 38 and 40. The disgruntled dad wrote that he did not want to hear from his offspring again until they had good news.

“I can now tell you that I for one, and I sense Mum feels the same, have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children’s underachievement and domestic ineptitudes,” he wrote. “I want to hear no more from any of you until, if you feel inclined, you have a success or an achievement or a REALISTIC plan for the support and happiness of your children to tell me about.”

His last sentence before signing the letter was, “I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed.”

Crews sent the email in February and his eldest daughter Emily Crews, 40, recently asked him whether she could make it public in order to create some buzz while she works on a book about starting over.

The former commander has since told London’s Telegraph that he does not regret sending the email, but fears it might have been misinterpreted.

“It wasn’t meant as a furious dressing-down; more like a finger raised to my lips in church, when I spotted them picking their nose or scratching their bottom, down the pew from me,” he told the paper. “I was trying to express my frustration at these wonderful grown-ups who had yet to make the best of what they had. They have read the criticism, but not seen the enduring love through the lines.”

He paused before adding, “I haven’t done well as a father, have I?”

Emily Crews is reportedly the only child still speaking to her father after receiving the letter.

“It was horrendous receiving that email from my father,” she told London’s Daily Mail. “What he said in his email was quite correct, but I don’t think it was the right kind of support or the kick up the backside he intended it to be. I think he has created a monster out of the worst of us and ignored the best.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Indian Farmer, 96, Claims to Be World’s Oldest New Dad

David De Lossy/Digital Vision(NEW YORK) -- A 96-year-old farmer in India says that he has set the record for the world’s oldest new dad -- for the second time.

Ramjit Raghav and his 52-year-old wife Shakuntala Devi, who live in Haryana, 31 miles northwest of Delhi, welcomed baby Ranjeet earlier this month.  The healthy baby boy was born on Oct. 5, according to The Times of India.

Raghav has now beaten his own record for being the world’s oldest new dad, which he set two years ago when he and Devi welcomed their first son together,  Vikramajeet.  Raghav credits his healthy sex drive at his advanced age for the two late-in-life children, and says it was all natural.

“I didn’t take any performance enhancers … I just prayed to go to complete my family, either a boy or a girl,” the nonagenarian said in an interview posted online.

Raghav’s age is recorded in the Haryana government’s social welfare department as 96 years old, The Times reported.  Those records could not be confirmed by ABC News.

Raghav told The Times of India that he remained a bachelor and was celibate throughout most of his life until he met Devi 10 years ago.

“After staying together, we decided to extend our family and aspired for two sons.  With God’s grace, our wish has been fulfilled,” Raghav said.

Raghav told The Times that he credits his vivacity to his diet and lifestyle.  He says he has been a teetotaler and strict vegetarian his entire life.

The world’s previous oldest dad was thought to be Indian farmer Nanu Ram Jog, who reportedly had his 21st child at the age of 90.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Secret UK Files List President Obama’s Father

File photo. PhotoQuest/Getty Images(LONDON) -- While the United Kingdom was violently suppressing a revolt against its rule in East Africa, the United States was in the middle of a growing civil rights movement.  According to previously secret government files released in the U.K. on Wednesday, it was during that time in 1959 when British colonial officials provided the name of President Obama’s father and other Kenyan students in America to the United States government.

“If we contextualize this, it’s fair to say the U.S. and U.K. were like-minded in their views on race,” said Harvard historian Caroline Elkins, whose research into the U.K.’s colonial practices in Kenya helped lead to the documents' release.

According to British media reports, one of the files reveals U.S. officials told a British diplomat that Kenyan students had a reputation for “falling into bad hands” and “becoming both anti-American and anti-white.”

It does not specify what is meant by “bad hands,” but the file shows British colonial authorities were annoyed by claims made by a U.S.-based group helping to fund the Kenyan students’ education, including a grant to Barack Obama Sr., who was the first African student at the University of Hawaii.

The African American Students Foundation – supported by black American celebrities including Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, and Jackie Robinson – said it was providing scholarships to Kenyan students because higher education was not available to them in their country at that time.  The BBC reports diplomats at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., denied the claim and accused the AASF of having objectives that were more political than educational.

“There were some limited opportunities for those Kenyans who supported the colonial state or certain missionaries, but there were by no means the kinds of opportunities in Kenya as there were in the United States,” said Elkins.

President Obama writes about the life of his estranged Kenyan father in his memoir, Dreams from My Father. The elder Barack Obama was 23 when he enrolled at the University of Hawaii.  A year later he met and soon married American student Ann Dunham, the president’s mother.  Obama went on to earn a graduate degree at Harvard University and became an economist in Kenya.  He died in a car crash in the capital city of Nairobi in 1982.

The list of Kenyan students drawn up by British colonial officials is among thousands of documents kept secret by the British government until it was forced to release them by a court order.  The old documents shed light on brutal British practices to maintain power in Kenya and dozens of other former colonies and protectorates.  They will likely be used as evidence in a lawsuit brought against the United Kingdom last year by four survivors of Kenya’s Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.  Kenya’s Human Rights Commission say tens of thousands of Kenyans were executed, tortured, or wounded in the fight for independence.

“Kenya was in a state of emergency. The British were fighting an all-out war and using unprecedented, unbridled torture to repress the struggle for independence,” Elkins said.

The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Imperial Reckoning said it does not surprise her to learn British colonial authorities told U.S. officials they should be concerned about Kenyan students, because at the time officials in both countries feared people campaigning for freedom would become dangerous extremists.

“It’s ironic,” said Elkins, pointing out most violent acts were committed by British government soldiers.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio