In the wake of the release of the memorial film produced by Anson Fogel entitled "When We Were Knights" several people have asked to read the whole letter I had written Ian Flanders. I wrote this letter in case I died unexpectedly so he would have some final words from me. Here it is in it's entirety.

The Video is available in the video link on this webpage or by this link
https://vimeo.com/167054481

 

Well Ian,

If you’re reading this it means I’ve had a bad day and probably means that you’ve had several following it, but if you are reading this then it also means that you’re okay so…silver lining?

I don’t quite know where to start so please forgive this letter reading a bit disjointed. There is no way I can sum up the life we lived together so I’m trusting that you know all the things I may leave unsaid.  First let me begin by saying I’m sorry. You’re the only one whose letter contains an apology. I know you held us to a higher standard and I’m sorry I couldn’t hold up my end. Know that, in my mind, no matter what happened in the end, you held up yours. Please make sure that no one is held responsible for what happened to me, my Dad will help you.

I hope that If I saw it coming I went out screaming “I regret nothing”, I know we joked about that, but “One cannot regret the things they’ve done, only those they did not do.” Look up who wrote that they’re probably worth of notation. You know, now that I think about it I don’t think this quote actually works for me because I should regret everything in life I can’t do now that I’m gone. Or maybe dying itself is something I did, so I can’t regret it. Hmmm…figure that out for me, for now I’m going with I lived with no regrets, sounds better.

Man am I glad I went before you.  I mean I always expected us to get old together, raise shredder kids and then when we were eating strained peas in some old folks home huck off one last BASE jump without parachutes, but if we didn’t go together I would literally have no idea what I’d do without you. I mean shit man every detail of my final wishes I’ve left to you so it kind of imperative I die first.

Thank you for being you Ian, you were never anything, but that and I always respected the hell out of you for it. Too often we allow ourselves to be the chameleon in the room or in a relationship and, I don’t know how you pulled it off, but you always left it to the room to match your colors. I’ve not met a single more genuine human being than you, and it doesn’t look like I will in the future.  Thank you for keeping our motivations clean. Having clear uncompromising motives is the one consolation I’ll be taking to the grave. Thank you for holding onto enough integrity for both of us. In our game integrity sells for so little and with so much at stake I don’t know what I would have done without you.

I know that we left a lot of projects unfinished and walls unclimbed, but I could not have hoped for a better partner. A while back someone asked me what made you the best climbing partner and the reply was simple. I said that often a team’s downfall is one’s partner believing that their contribution toward a common goal is most important, but that you understood that your contribution toward strengthening your partner, me, was the only thing that mattered. We made it farther together than I could have imagined alone.

Know that I learned too much from you to put into this letter and these lessons unequivocally changed my life for the better.  Know that you’re loved by more than me, but loved by my family as well. They’ll always be there for you. Not because you were family to me, but because you were family to them. Spend as much time as you can with them, you’re the closest thing they’ll have to me.

Love,

Mat 

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