Dear President Obama:
Hi! My name is Jenn McKee. I’m a Michigan-based arts reporter/critic who’s been scrabbling together a freelancing career since getting laid off about a year ago. I have two young daughters, Lily (8) and Neve (5), and I’m married to a good man I first befriended when we both played trombone in the University of Michigan Marching Band – back when a Rose Bowl trip was an almost annual occasion. 🙂
I know this letter, if you receive it at all, is late in coming.
I know by now you’re transitioning to civilian life, and moving, and de-compressing. And you should have all the time and space you need to do so. You’re definitely earned it.
For after years of long days and hard work, and feeling a responsibility to represent the interests of millions of Americans, I’m sure you’d like to just be a husband and a dad and a “regular person” for a while.
But I nonetheless felt compelled to write this letter to you. I’ve been meaning to do so for many weeks, but the craziness of the holidays (my husband’s Jewish, so we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas), my tendency toward procrastination, and the fact that writing this letter would somehow make the end of your presidency more real all conspired to delay me until today – the day before the inauguration.
A day that fills me with anxiety and dread.
But I’m not writing to tell you about my concerns. I’m writing to thank you for your many years of service, and tell you how much I appreciate the dignity, intelligence, compassion, love, and openness you demonstrated in office. Even when I sometimes questioned your choices, my belief that you were a good man with a good heart, and that you were always seeking the best path forward for the country, never wavered. I trusted you, and as you leave office, I still do. Continue reading