I am no longer at the Council on Foreign Relations at Sixty-eighth and Park but sitting across from John at breakfast in the dining room of the Bristol in Paris in November 2003. We are each reading theΒ International Herald Tribune, hotel copies, with little stapled cards showing the weather for the day. The cards for each of those November mornings in Paris showed an umbrella icon. We walked in the rain at the Jardin du Luxembourg. We escaped from the rain into St. Sulpice. There was a mass in progress. John took communion. We caught cold in the rain at the Jardin de Ranelagh. On the flight back to New York John’s muffler and my jersey smelled of wet wool. On takeoff he held my hand until the plane began leveling.

He always did.

Where did that go?

–Joan Didion,Β The Year of Magical Thinking;Β I had to take a breather after reading that one, and I’ve thought of that passage every single time I’ve traveled by plane since then.

Our heartache poured into one another like water from cup to cup. Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain. It was that day that I knew I wanted to tell my story to my family. Because horror on Earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like the sun; it cannot be contained.

-Alice Sebold,Β The Lovely Bones

When anybody, no matter how old they are, loses a parent, I think it hurts the same as if you were only five years old, you know? I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.”

–Sherman Alexie, The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian