The day came when we celebrated the soon-to-come wedding. I would have liked to say I knew Raina since childhood, but that just isn’t so. We only met five years ago through a mutual acquaintance.
In 2006 Mom and I flew out to San Diego to visit one of Mom’s high school friend. It sounds so normal on paper, but I think it’s quite extraordinary. You see, Mom and her friend, Dum, went to school in Bangkok, Thailand. Catholic boarding school for girls. Somewhere along the way they both ended up marrying Americans, started families and, of course, lost touch a long time ago. Somehow they reconnected in the twenty first century. During this trip we stayed at Na Dum’s (that’s translated as “Auntie Dum’s”; Thai culture dictates that we give familial titles of Uncle or Auntie out of respect for a close family friend) house. The following day after we rested a bit in the morning and lunched on the beach, which was literally in their neighborhood’s backyard, we drove into downtown to pick up another mutual high school friend, Na Yui. She was in town for a conference, and we came to take her back to Na Dum’s house for a feast of Thai food.
Raina is Na Yui’s daughter. Our mothers gave birth to us three months apart, and I met her for the first time after moving from my home state to Texas. At the time she is my only Thai friend. And it’s so nice to have a friend who understands what it is like to be raised by Thai mothers in America.
We celebrated her and her fiance’s wedding shower. I’m so very happy for them both. Raina deserves the best, and I believe she has that in Frank. I see it in his eyes when he looks at her, and I see how much she loves him by the way she looks at him.
Congratulations, Raina and Frank! Best wishes to you both.