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Dear Caroline,

I know how you feel. I can feel your unease and uncertainty. I know what’s in your heart and how your mind struggles to understand. I know how you take words to heart.

I know what you want. Deep down, the things that you don’t share with anyone. The things that make you feel alone and abandoned. Your fear of being left behind again. Your intense fear of not being good enough, not filling the void, being unable to keep it together.

I’m here. I’m with you. I want to kiss your broken pieces back together. I want to hold you and love you as if I squeeze hard enough, I can make them stick back together.

I want to sort through your pain and anguish, looking for the corner pieces first. Then I want to put you back together, one piece at a time. I want to find all the hard edges, attach them to the corners. Then I want to examine each piece in the million piece puzzle that you are and put it all together. I want to see the whole picture. If there are pieces missing, that’s okay; I’m an artist. I’ll painstakingly design and cut new pieces to fit. I’ll make it whole. I want to.

I want to work on your puzzle with you. I don’t want to hand you back a shabby, dilapidated box, saying that I’m sorry, it’s just too much work.

I don’t care how many times before you’ve been handed the box back. I don’t care how many other hands have tried and failed. Given up. Walked away. I don’t care if there’s a huge chunk missing and several pieces may be irretrievably lost. That’s okay. We’re not on a deadline. I can fashion new pieces. You show me how they go, where they are missing, how some pieces are worn and ragged and bent or crushed. We’ll just make new ones.

I want to put it together. I want to frame it and put it in a place I look at every day. It’s a beautiful picture.

So, beautiful girl, don’t doubt me. I love puzzles. And I love you. We can do it together. I’m not afraid of hard work. I’m not afraid of frustration and long, sleepless nights. I’m not afraid of anything.