Dear Home,

I’m sorry I left you, and with you my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. My friends. My safety. My me. You were there for me for twenty five years, and I jumped on a plane without thinking for a moment what losing you might mean.

I had always been so proud to be Irish, but pride implies that a person has done something worthy of that esteem. Nationality is determined by birth, not by some lofty act. Because of this line of thinking, my pride withered. I became a woman of no country – neither here nor there. I am at a place that I can go back to acknowledging my background. My love for my country. My family. My people. Why did I abandon you? My act now seems so flighty, fickle, and casual. I did not know how each year would erode our relationship more. I am still of two lands and of none. It feels like less of both each day. I am sorry. So, so sorry. I miss you terribly, and will until the day I die. I cannot go back. Cannot erase my decision to board EI123* DUB – ORD on August 7, 2003.

Le grá, **

Ingrid

* EI123 is an Aer Lingus flight that runs 364 days every year between Dublin and O’Hare airports

** “Le grá” is the Irish for “With love”

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