There are moments I reflect back on my life when I met someone who interacted with me in an impressive way. Though unknown to me then, I feel now that they perceived my authentic, true self when I was still searching.

In those moments, I think about how lost I truly was. Running away from anxiety and an unhappy past by keeping myself busy. Overthinking and ruminating on all my social interactions with others. In many ways, living in under the shadow of generational codependency. Yet through all of that, I still maintained a simple desire to be good and help others.

I think of the interactions that you and I had in those same moments. I am brought back to that evening, laughing in our hearts and hearing each other as we sipped wine under the setting sun on the river. A late-night taxi trip back to the hotel after a night out with old and new friends. The gifts you shared with me.

They are memories I do not only see in my mind, but also feel with my whole being. Even this long after they have passed. For that, I remain grateful.