My Very Dear Rumple,
I got your letter. Several centuries in the post has found it a little rumpled but my response is no less urgent. My deepest apologies for the delay, I only found the bill for my inter-realm mail service yesterday and it has, unfortunately, gone unpaid for a millennium. As I have seen the state of your former castle and your current shop, I know you can well imagine how the clutter tends to accumulate when one is very long lived. I have hired a new elf to head the Division of Correspondence, and I hear she is already causing quite a stir.
Forgive an old man rambling on about business when there is the matter of your letter to attend to. Rumple, you may not even remember writing this, young as you were and as long as it has been so I will remind you of your requests. And, for future reference, the Enchanted Forest tradition of burning wishes on the darkest night of the year is a charming but impractical method of sending a letter.
The contents of your letter are as follows (I have taken the liberty of correcting your creative spelling):
I wish for my Papa. I want him here and to love me.
You did not write much, little Rumple, but letters like these are the most important ones.
Imagine my surprise, when upon looking back at your life, I found you still living. I thought, surely, when I got to reading this after so many long years that the young author would be long passed to the underworld. I admit, I was hoping that I would look at your life and see you had found some love, some peace. That is what I always hope for, of course.
Yours is not the first tragic letter from a child I have received, as you can well imagine. But most of those letter’s get to me in a timely manner and I can give them something at least for their winter gift. Do me a favor and ignore all that pomp and circumstance manufactured about me in your present realm. I maintain a healthy weight and I do not traffic in baubles, thank you very much.
No, for most children, I provide small miracles like warming a heart at just the right time, or helping the child notice a smile. But I wasn’t there for you Rumple. Had I nudged the spinners to hug you just once more, what difference could that have made to you? We will never know and it grieves me.
Among other vicious rumors about this old sorcerer, I pray you to ignore that nasty tale about giving the naughty coal instead of gifts. That, my dear boy, is a malicious lie spread by parents to manipulate the urchins they fail to discipline. Doling out punishments, that is not what I do. I am not in the business of judgment.
And so, Rumplestiltskin, Darkest One, since I could not meet my end of the bargain when you were a child, I will meet it now. My gift to you is advice.
You made a deal with your wife recently: if she were to let you love her, you would do so with honesty and courage. I am so proud of you for that, by the by. Now that she has accepted the terms of the arrangement you offered, it is time for you to keep your word.
Tell your wife, Rumple.
No matter the consequences, breaking deals is expensive, as you well know. Speaking of the price of magic, consider my debt to you paid.
I wish you the best, my boy.