Annie became a very special person in our lives when Erin was about 18 months old. She used to be a server at one of our very favorite sushi places.
From the first time that they saw each other, both Annie & Erin have had a connection. Back then, Erin wanted nothing to do with anyone or anything even slightly Asian. Annie quickly set about making sure that Erin realized being Chinese was special. When we went to the restaurant, she always took special care of Erin - drawing her famous mini-rabbit on Erin's lemonade cups, teaching her to use chopsticks, even taking her to see the koi pond that is in the restaurant!
When Erin was about 4, Annie left the restaurant & moved south. Before she left, Annie wanted to make sure that Erin didn't forget her & gave her a gift. Of course, you know it had to be a bunny. Yup. A 5 foot tall stuffed, pink rabbit. We actually kept it until this past week when we discovered that Riker & Troi had been giving Pink Bunny (Erin named it!) a haircut.
We even went to visit Annie once at the restaurant that she moved to. Yes. David drove an hour just to go see this very special person. Anyone who knows David, knows he doesn't go anywhere unless there is a very good reason! In the middle of the day. In the middle of a crowded restaurant. Annie & Erin saw each other & the tone for the afternoon was set. Yes. This girl must have been special.
David & I always talked about how we needed to go & visit Annie, but time got away from us. Between both of our jobs, being parents & life in general, we never made it down to visit Annie again. It bothered us, & we lost touch for a while.
FaceB**k is so amazing that Annie & I found each other again. Immediately she asked how Erin was doing & wanted to see pics. When Erin discovered that Annie was one of my FB friends, she demanded to see pics of Annie. Since this time, Annie has gone on to a wonderful career working with the Taiwan Cultural Association. (Sorry if I got the exact name wrong Annie.)
Annie has continually invited all of us to the many Asian cultural events in S FL. She insists that Erin be proud of who she is & where she came from. That said, a few days ago Annie sent us tickets to the Taiwanese American Heritage "Chinese Diabolo & Folk Sports Performance" event that was practically around the corner from our house. Erin asked that her buddy Chianna come to the event along with her parents.
What a great evening!! Both Erin & Chianna were totally amazed by the kids' performance. Heck! Shari, Myke & I were pretty amazed too! To top it all off, Annie & Erin got to see each other after 4 years. I don't know who was more excited!
Annie, thank you. Thank you for being such a kind & caring person. Thank you for helping Erin to see that being Chinese is important. Thank you for being you!
Oh! And Annie, I finally found the chops that we got from China. Now we have to get together again so you can translate them for me. Let's not wait another 4 years!