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fifteen years {4/30/19}

Kelley Clink

Dear Matt,

The branches are heavy with blooms. The birds are singing. Despite lingering snow and cold, the world is waking up, just like it does every year. And every year I miss you a little differently.

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My children are 4.5 and 2, and memories of and questions about our own childhoods have crashed over me like a tidal wave. There’s so much I want to talk to you about. So much I want to heal with you.

OMG, check out that pack of smokes on the end table!

OMG, check out that pack of smokes on the end table!

I learned something really amazing thing this year: it wasn’t our fault. We weren’t broken. We were perfectly imperfect, exactly like everyone else. Actually, I knew that already, I’ve known it for a long time, but this year I really started to FEEL it. To believe it. I try to say it out loud as often as I can, so your niece and nephew can feel it, too.

Buddy’s shirt and orange Faygo. This photo couldn’t be more Detroit if it tried.

Buddy’s shirt and orange Faygo. This photo couldn’t be more Detroit if it tried.

I still haven’t figured out how to introduce you to my kids. I talk about you sometimes, but I don’t think they get it. It’s hard to know who someone is that you’ve never met. Actually, I tell them that I think they knew you a long time ago, before they were born, which isn’t any less confusing. R is getting to the age now that when I talk about a time before he was born his face glazes over with existential dread. It’s adorable.

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Speaking of existential dread, I’m about to turn FORTY. It’s a reckoning year. I’m cleaning everything else out of the psycho-spiritual closet. It’s AWFUL. But it’s way past time. And holy shit, I’m kind of excited to see what life might be like without all that junk. I wish you’d had a chance to do this, too.

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I don’t have much to add. In a dozen journals, a book, and fifteen years, it’s all been said. I will never stop missing you.

And I am 100% going to hang a framed print of this last one on our stairwell.

Love,

Kel

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