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I am afraid to write this letter. I am sitting in public, and I am afraid I will cry.

I’m afraid I will cry the same way I do when pictures of places we walked along the canals pop up on my Instagram. When the wind hits me just right and my boots fly down concrete watching neon signs pass. When I think of the taste of prosecco and it’s a secret a winekeeper kept until just the right moment. When I think about how if I were not who I am, I would never have gotten back on that plane.

I am instantly plunged back into a whirlwind that can’t possibly have been real, and I burst into tears.

But it was. It was so goddamn real, I had to check, so I came back. I came back. And I was supposed to come back.

But 5000 miles is no small thing when you have small children and small businesses.

It feels trite to say, “We’ll always have Paris” because I will. But for you, it’s just home.

You cracked me open in a way I will never be able to repay you for. But I hope I can thank you, and it’s worth some small thing.