updated 11/07/2013 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/08/2013 AT 10:30 AM ET
Our Dearest Lord Grantham,
How strange, that on this happiest of milestones – the golden celebration of your 50th birthday – we are overcome with Grief! Sadness! Heartache! as we recall your tumultuous 49th year. Even the Dowager agrees with us: you’ve had a rough go of it. Please, by all means, have one of those newfangled cocktails before you continue reading this entreaty of well-being and support. There, there, our good Lord. There, there.
It would appear those unfortunate war time investments were a test of your heretofore stedfast and solid business sense. Indubitably, your confidence seems to be faltering even now. We can’t blame you. Not only did your always lovely and true wife Cora start doubting you, but so did your oft-doting daughters and their upstart husbands. Dear Lord, you were besieged from all sides! Not to mention lacking of a suitable valet. And yet we were heartened that Downton did prevail, as you came to your good senses and the entire family enjoyed a rousing match of cricket. (Always so mirthful! Many thanks for the invitation, and sincere apologies for our absence.)
Regrettably, the sunshine of financial hardship once-triumphed soon gave way to unfathomable tragedy, not once but thrice! Poor luckless Lady Edith left at the altar … ethereal and vivacious Lady Sybil losing her earthly life in childbirth … And last but certainly not least, the terrible automobile accident which killed your son-in-law and heir Matthew Crawley – on the occasion of meeting his and Lady Mary’s newborn boy, no less. Oh, the horrors of the real world, Dear Lord, they are unmusical and our desultory cross to bear. It pains us to even put it all into words.
But enough with all that grief and woe. (After all, being defeatist is to be middle class) Tomorrow is a new season! As you celebrate your 50th birthday this fine Saturday, please know that you are in our prayers. And we are delighted to hear the news of your journey west; we look forward to toasting our good Lord very soon indeed.
Infinitely and apologetically yours –
P.S. Happy Birthday Mr. Bonneville.