28 years ago (actually, a day to 28 years); on January 19th, 1994; I was in Subang Jaya and I called up this lady / girl / gal and told her I was nearby her office, just around the corner. Her office was then in MUI Plaza, Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. As those of you who are familiar with Subang Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, know that the distance between them – definitely not a stone’s throw away. But heck, I wanted to get a date with this lady. I asked her out for lunch and she said, “yes”!

Now, I was in a bit of a fix. It was about an hour to her lunchtime and I had to maneuver through what Kuala Lumpur was notorious for: it’s massive traffic jams.

Somehow; this lady had magical powers

I Dream of Jeannie Bottle, Genie Bottle, Handpainted 1964 Jim Beam Bottle |  #310123100

as I managed to get to her office in time that was thinner than a strand of hair. No coincidence that her name was Jeannie. I don’t believe in coincidences.

By the way, lunch was at Macdonald’s at The Weld, which was the building just next door to MUI Plaza. We had prosperity burgers (Chinese New Year, ma! Got to throw in a few “ma”s and “meh”s to flavorize the sentences – Chinese style). I still remember the dress she wore that day.

Though I knew a lot about things at that time (I was a life insurance agent and was supposed to know just about everything. The truth is I didn’t, and still don’t. I am trying to figure out how an atom is formed [nah! At one time maybe, no longer now]); I didn’t know it was her birthday. And, she didn’t tell me until I found out several days later.

Jeannie and I started dating and the rest as “they” (not sure who they are) say, is history.

Here is Jeannie with me; my cousin, Richard Harding; Keith Ganesan and colleagues from the life insurance industry
On the white sandy beaches of Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.
Glamourous with Spongebob Squarepants style shades.

Laura’s Christening, two months after she was born.
Cake-cutting, celebrating Laura’s christening. Left to Right: Me; my cousin and Laura’s Godfather, Dato Seri Jeffrey Raymond; Laura’s Godmother, Datin Seri Joyce Raymond; Jeannie; the star – Laura, in Jeannie’s arms; my nieces Ashley and Alana Atkinson.
Jeannie with Laura
Laura’s third birthday. Alright, alright… I counted the candles.

As you can see, our lives are surrounded by family and the many celebrations like birthdays.

This was in Makati, Manila, The Philippines.
On one of our travels.

Jeannie has always had the Jeannie’s touch with people – with family and friends; with people from the world over. She is very approachable and adapts and assimilate with the cultures very easily.

As you may have guessed by now, it is Jeannie’s birthday 🎂 today. Laura video-called from the U.S., 3 minutes before midnight of today, to bring in and start the celebrations. She and I, together with our families; have been blessed with Jeannie in our lives. May Jeannie be blessed with God’s choicest blessings🙏 today and many, many more awe-inspiring years to come.

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