Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy birthday, St. Annette!

In April 2008, I wrote about our dear friend Annette and how much she has meant to us throughout our children's lives. She is a regular reader of this blog, so I thought it would be fun to embarass her yet again (while also reminding her how much we admire and love her!).
With a little boy, Mick, at church
(who is now not so little any more!)
This is what I wrote back in 2008: 
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My parents went to Pacific Lutheran College (as it was known back then) with Annette and her husband Neal, but I didn't get to know them well until after they returned from Africa and Asia in the early 90s. They have since become close friends of ours, as well as my parents.
Annette is one of the most generous, giving, and genuinely altruistic human beings I have ever met. Not only is she caring and nurturing, but she is also incredibly well connected. I love to tease her about the fact that everywhere she goes, she meets someone she knows. It is amazing. I think it must be her positive magnetism that draws people to her.

As the photo at left says, Annette was the first person at Mike's side when I was having an emergency c-section for the birth of Chris. Throughout the biggest crisis of our lives, Annette was our own personal parish nurse and friend, and we will always be grateful for her tender loving care. She has provided the same level of caring and loving dedication to many members of our community when they have gone through crises. In recent weeks, Annette's been caring for a woman at our church who is suffering from a very painful cancer in her mouth.

In recent months, she and Neal have regularly cared for Nicholas so Mike can get some writing done in the morning, which has been tremendously helpful to him. Nicholas can say two people's names clearly at this point, and one of them is "Annette." He has developed a very special relationship with both of them. Our family has christened her "Saint Annette," because of her giving and loving spirit.
At Kieran's third birthday
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Now, three years later, Annette and Neal are grandparents to their beautiful grandson Tarun. In the past year I've had the pleasure of working with Annette on our church steering team, allowing me to experience a new side of her compassionate wisdom.

Annette always thinks of other people first--it's how she's wired. But the great thing about St. Annette is that she's not pious or prude...she has a great sense of humor and always has a smile on her face. Our kids view both Annette and Neal as extended family.

Happy birthday Annette! We love you!
At one of Chris' birthday parties


At a music gathering at our house

Dinner party

Nick's second birthday party
(Neal holding Nick, Annette in background)

At Kieran's play last December--along with her son Corey,
his wife Nandita, and their son Tarun


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