For Your 23rd Birthday…
…we all had a few words to say.
Grant Zhao says, “Happy Birthday, Elaine!!!” “Amy asked us to describe you in a few words, and I guess the best thing I could come up with is cherished. Senior year has been very different without your company around, and often times I find myself wishing you were still here to crack jokes, gossip, and get late night food with. Nevertheless, you’re still always there for me when I need to rant or ask for advice, and I’m so so grateful for that. I hope you’re enjoying med school and your sick new crib 😛. Hope you have an awesome day today, as well as all of the days to come. Looking forward to the next time we hang out 😈 (pole class?¿?) P.S. Hope you enjoy these messages since I know you love sappy things. 😊”
George Mo says that if he had to choose one word to describe you with, it would be “Amazing!” “Happy Birthday, Elaine–I hope you have an amazing (also the adjective that I used to describe you haha) one 😊. I’m so so glad that I was able to meet and become friends with you in Japan, and I’m especially glad that we’ve kept in contact over the years. You’re a great friend and a wonderful person, and I’ve always thought that you’re one of the coolest people that I know hahaha. Keep on doing you and hopefully we’ll see each other soon!”
Barbara DiPaolo (DPizzle) shares the following image from her crib
Lo-Hua Yuan says you’re a “truly sweet, artistic, wonderful human being.” She also associates the following things with your presence: “unicorns, rainbows, glitter, multi-colored sprinkles” She loves your “gazelle legs and sexy booty shorts,” and that you often “collapse to the floor in high-pitched squeals and giggles.” But most importantly, she wants you to know that you are full of: “kindness and thoughtfulness and humility and intelligence and excellence.”
Cassie Wang is screaming from New York to wish you a
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELASTIC ELAINE!!!”
“I‘m so sad that I won’t be able to wish you Happy Birthday in person this year or take you out for a roomie Valentine’s/b-day date, but I am so reminded of
all the amazing times we had
like that through college and of how lucky I am to have grown close to such an
inspiring, kind hearted, and all around lovely spirit.
I hope you have the wonderful day you deserve! Miss you so much
Kelwen Peng also wishes you a “Happy Birthday, Elaine!” “We should celebrate with Spice when we’re in Boston 😈. But seriously, thanks for being an amazing friend. You know I’m not the most vocal person in general, but getting to know you in AADT and everywhere else has made life much more fun, exciting, and a lot less lonely. You’re super talented, and I’d be happy if I was a fraction of how creative you are. Thanks for carrying us through so many rehearsals, meetings, and shows. 😀 Miss you a lot, and can’t wait to see you soon. 🙂”
Kem Kemp admires your creativity, too, and can’t wait for you to visit St. John’s again. “Dear Elaine, Seeing you over break brought back how just being in your presence elevates my spirits. I will never forget sophomore and senior year and our unique class discussions and rapport and how deeply you connected with the texts and questioned. To be on that journey with a student is/was nirvana for me. I loved watching you wrestle with your angles of thought, and then reading your papers took me to a new level with the text as well. You always look for the best in situations and in people, and you are the “white light” that we so need in the world today– a light of kindness and connection and inclusion. Your artwork and writing inspire and move me. On this day of your birth, I celebrate you and thank you for all you are and all you do.”
Herman Charles III is doing a “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!” dance for you. “She was sooo shy, the 1st time I saw her in class….. now she so outspoken!!! And has always been kind to me…. one of the people I remember most @ GP!” YOU SO OUTSPOKEN NOW HIP HOP HURRAY!!!!!!! (see what I did there)
Mandy Che says: “ELAINE!!! Happy Birthday!” “I know I haven’t seen you since we randomly ran into each other at the airport (and it’s been even longer since we’ve really seen each other), but I LOVE YOU! I can’t believe you’re turning 23 already. I definitely miss dance class with you every weekend. You know you can always message me for anything. Love and miss you mucho.”
Ingrid Li wants you to know that you are an “exceptionally kind and rare human being.” “There are very few people who I’ve met who genuinely want happiness and success for the people around them, and I can say with full confidence that you are one of them. And for all of the good luck you wish for the people around you, it is apparent to anyone and everyone that such fortune has made a full turn and manifested itself in you and your talents and brilliance. Happy Birthday, Elaine!!”
Alison Jin says you’re “supportive, energetic, funny, and awesome!” Maybe your naps do work…
Mirhee Kim wishes you a “Happy Birthday, Elaine!” “I remember the first time I met you, I went up to you after your FAP introduction to tell you how inspiring your story is. I just want to say that you’re still such an inspiration to everyone around you and will be for many more years to come. ❤“
Elizabeth Xu knows what’s up when she says “Dong sis interactions are my FAV. Y’all are adorable omg.” She also thinks of you as: “slay, classy, kind, eye-smiley, too-nice-for-Harvard.” Eye-smiley is definitely the best kind of smiley.
Kelly Sue-Fan is not exaggerating when she says that you are the “embodiment of an elegant, sexy, and badass queen in one person.” “I still remember you cheering for me at a dance competition both before and after I made a fool of myself, and my heart died of mortification and burst with happy embarrassment all at once. Thanks for being such a role model for us baby peacocks. Wishing you all the litty-ness and good vibes this year.” “Keep killin’ it at life!”
Michelle Yang says you’re “one of the happiest people” she knows! “She is such a mom, a big sister, a friend, and a role model to me. I love her infectious laughter and her ability to express her cheerfulness without even smiling.” “Happy birthday lovely! I so very appreciate your presence in my life.”
Yasmin Khalfe echoes Kelly when she says you embody “intelligence, beauty and artistry inside and out.” “I’m so happy to have you in my life! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more to come.”
Anya Ring thinks you’re “fearless” in “every sense of the word,” but especially when you go and “try pole dancing and then make her come along.” “It was so fun — but I may never have done it without Elaine’s fearlessness in the first place.”
Marsha Zhang says, “Hi Elaine, Happy Birthday!” “Ours is a friendship where, despite never being in the same city at the same time for the past 4 years, and even more so now, we always pick up right where we left off before, and it feels like time has just breezed by.” “Cheers to a happy 23rd year! ❤”
Eugenia Chen says, “Hi El-angel (LOL), My word for you is RADIATING! Not only are you a glowing student, but you have the brightest smile and a most eager heart to help those around you. You are always taking care of others first without a second thought, and I just wanted you to know how lucky we all are to know you! I’m glad to have met you and gotten to know you better this last month! Even though it hasn’t been too long, I feel that I am able to connect with you and know that we’ll grow closer down this road. Thanks for taking the time to reach out and make me feel welcome and adjusted. Transitioning into a new class was hard for me, but you were so open and proactive to make sure everything was as smooth as possible for me. It really meant a lot to me and I hope you know that you are very much appreciated in my life :’) So Happy Happy Birthday and I hope you feel as celebrated as you deserve today!! Cheers to being one year older and one year wiser! ❤ Eugz” I’m going to start calling you El-angel now too. 👍
Anuj Marathe wants you to know that “you are one of the most cheerful and hard working people I have the pleasure of knowing and calling a friend. You’re always fun and exciting to be around and have some of the most amazing talents! Hope your birthday is a special one!”
Alex Kahng says “Hi!!” and “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!” “Was reminiscing on our hangouts and trips and dance nights and food runs and hugs and late-night convos and smiles and laughs and OMG I JUST WANT TO SAY THAT IF YOU’RE NOT MARRIED BY THE TIME YOU’RE THIRTY PLS MARRY ME. Nah, just kidding, just hit me up though so we can talk again. Life at Harvard has been certainly different without you around. We all miss you dearly. Such a genuine, bubbly, beautiful soul…Sigh. I definitely did not show you enough love while you were here. But there’s lots to catch up on. I hope you’re slaying your pole-dancing classes and saving lives in med school. Please don’t go crazy and keep on brightening the lives of others. I’ll be SEEING YOU AROUND (when you’re thirty and finally done with school). deuces + love + what is dis grammar, Alex “the boulder” Kahng. P.S. 👍 here’s a picture of me!”
Sarah Tsou says that the perfect adjective to describe you with is “fierce.” Not only in your dancing, but also in your “fierce loyalty, intelligence, kindness, and love.” She also left you a little message: “Elaine!!! Happy Happy Birthday!! I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day ❤❤ . Thank you for your friendship and for so many amazing memories through AADT–I’ll never forget all those hours of rehearsals/drill sessions/performances/pre- and post-rehearsal meals–and I’m so so glad to have been able to meet you in college. You are truly a role model not just in your incredible sense of self and command of performance, but also in your leadership and work ethic. Your unbelievable kindness and genuine enthusiasm for anything and everything honestly brings such a light to any place you go. I hope you’re having an AMAZING time in med school– all of your future patients and colleagues will be so so incredibly blessed to have you in their lives, for all of the passion, compassion, empathy, and genuine love that you will undoubtedly bring. Love you!! ❤”
Adrienne Propp would agree with Sarah and also knows that, like “a ray of sunshine, you brighten the room wherever you go.” “Absolutely beautiful inside and out, you spread that beauty to the rest of the world with your art! I feel so lucky to have gotten to know you, and I hope your birthday is as lovely as you are!”
Carl Gao says that when he thinks of you, he thinks “sassy, artistic, and very competent.” I would also use the first word to describe you.
Allen Hu would say that you’re quite “bubbly and lively”, which perfectly complements the fact that
Anastasia Grieb thinks you’re “soothing and comforting.”
Eric Gao breaks it down even further. He simply says you’re “the best.”
Lauren Jhin notes that she has “always admired your relationship with Amy,” (because I rock) “and it’s definitely influenced my life and my friendship with Jackson!” (because we rock ❤) “I can picture you skipping across the Quad and always spreading a joyful presence around SJS.” “Happy Happy Birthday!”
Lilly Shen says that “you look like JBrekkie and are just as cool ❤.” “Dearest Elaine, I miss seeing you around, and I hope your birthday is splendid!”
Anna Poliner has the answer to why you were born on this day: “It seems so appropriate that someone so filled with love for others and the world would be born on Valentine’s Day. Smiley, cheerful, intelligent, and fun doesn’t even begin to describe Elaine. So thankful to have you as a friend today and every day. 🙂”
Peter Yun wants you to know that he thinks you’re “honest and down to earth!” He also pointed out that “She is one of my first friends at Baylor and I am so glad she is my friend.” And what he associates most with you is your “smile. Lights up an entire room.”
Shirley Xu loves your smile, too, and your memorable “laugh!” An adjective that she would use to describe you is “quirky. haha.” Note: This is like when people call other people “interesting” because they have nothing nice to say but they also don’t want to be mean. Just kidding! She does a better job explaining what it actually means… “Dearest Elaine, Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!” “I am so excited to have you back in Houston after four years of sporadic meet-ups during winter break. I hate describing anyone or anything with the word “unique” since it’s such a copout and a non-descriptor, but it really does come to mind when I think of you! You have this wonderfully effervescent quality, yet you’re not the stereotypically loud outgoing type of person. I always enjoy our conversations and how comfortable it is just to talk and be friends no matter how long it’s been. You are so talented and brilliant I’m honestly kind of like “wow how do I get to be friends with you” hahaha. But you are also one of the most approachable people I’ve ever met, and I love that you don’t have even a hint of that Harvard snobbishness about you lol (no shade intended…maybe). I hope that on your day you get to be celebrated and loved on lavishly, and that this year will top every other in terms of growth, fulfillment, and happiness in the little things. Hope we get to hang out more and maybe finally go take a dance class or two! Let’s get coffee some time—I know all the best places 😉 Much love, Shirley”
Kit Wu explains what you mean to her with this “true story”: “Freshman year, I sat across the table from Elaine in Annenberg and tried to talk to her. She didn’t notice me. Senior year, she knows who I am.” “Four years well spent.”
Doug Elliott wants you to know just how “brilliantly artistic, beautifully talented, critically discerning, and uncommonly kind” you are. “I loved teaching her, Amy.”
DLR adds on, noting that you are “a Renaissance woman in math and art,” and that “elegant beauty would only be the starting point for a description of you.” Guess you were decent at math after all. 😛
Xavier Gonzalez says that you’ve been both “full of surprises and supportive,” consistently! He first “met” you through the Honors Geometry grapevine at St. John’s, when you would help Lydia at dance practice, who would then help everyone else! He was “so excited to finally meet you in person” when he came to Upper School! And while he thinks your “mathematical talents were certainly mighty” (LOL), he was even more astounded, like DLR, by your “artistic creativity.” He remembers your colorful fish bag best! Even more surprised was he when you “chose to run for SAC, showcasing yet another talent for oratory and for organizing.” Yet he was “most surprised and most touched” when you reached out to schedule breakfast when you were both in college. “Elaine is one of the only people in college who has reached out in that way to me! And while the uniqueness of hercaring was a surprise, by this point it was also an affirmation of the constancy of her friendship, for which I express my continued gratitude. “Happy Birthday, Elaine! May it be filled with the love of your family, and the support of all the friends whom you have supported so selflessly.” Note: Yes, your suspicions are accurate. None of the exclamation points are mine.
Angie Rao loves that you are “always super happy and smiley and ready to welcome everyone with a hug!” She finds it even more admirable, though, that “as a leader,” you “also strike a great balance between being firm about expectations and still being really likable 😊.”
Caroline Labonowski says that you were a “warm welcoming face” at Harvard coming out of the St. John’s community, and that your “shining, friendly smile” always brightened her day. “I was very lucky to get to know her a little better at Harvard. I hope she has a truly amazing birthday!!”
George Wu says “Hi Elaine! Happy Happy Birthday! 😄” “I hope you have a wonderful day filled with friendship and happiness. Just wanted to say that I am super grateful for our friendship and all the memories we’ve shared. Here’s to your 23rd year and many more memories to come! Stay amazing just the way you are! See you at Eastbound (and Houston/Austin maybe?)! P.S. Heming and James are taking dance classes and we might all dance together 😛. I’ll send a video.”
Michelle Chiang is obsessed with your “pointed feet hahahaha.” (Her hahahaha not mine. But that’s exactly what I thought too when I read this. Don’t kill me.) She would also describe you as a “confident, sparkly, incredible dancer.”
Brandon Lucari: thinks “you’re the GOAT,” but “not an actual goat.” Plus, he’s aware of the fact that he “still owes you so many lunches.” He also think you’re “not up to date on hip sayings.” (True friends are supposed to be honest so maybe you should think about this one.)
Phong Nguyen wants to say that you’re incredibly “caring and sweet and cute and funny and extra and elegant and a great dancer and awesome person and the life of the party and generous and kind.” Try saying that three times fast. “She made it a point to come talk to me and introduce herself when I was a shy little freshman joining AADT for the first time, and she would always wave to me whenever she saw me on campus even if we were super far away from each other. Elaine is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and definitely one of the people from Harvard I’ll never forget.”
Anna Liu would probably agree with Phong’s last statement. She says: “Elaine makes me want to be a better person. The way she loves her friends, invests in her passions, and makes time for everyone she meets… I feel lucky whenever I meet someone with just one of those qualities.” “She has all three.”
Brekka Larrew says you’re “powerfully creative and independent, quietly brilliant, and beautiful, inside and out. 😊”
Natasha Gonzalez says that the “first thing that pops into her head” when she thinks of you is that you are: “super caring super nice funny tell funny stories graceful super responsible.” That’s a lot of first things.
Gabriel Malek joins the rest of my friends to wish you a “Happy Birthday, Elaine!!!” “Thank you for always being so kind and welcoming every time we’ve had the opportunity to talk. I’m glad we have gotten to know each other better over the past few years and of course I am thankful that you are such a thoughtful anchor for Amy.” –truuuuueeee– “For everything I’ve been told, you’re (unsurprisingly) doing superbly at med school, and I’m excited to hear more about all that you accomplish. Have a fantastic day!”
Jessica Sheu says, “Happy Happy Birthday to the most charismatic girl I know. Whenever I’m feeling stressed or having a bad day, you always manage to make me smile! Your smile/kindness is so infectious, and I hope you know how much you are really loved and appreciated! So happy/blessed/grateful/honored to have met you, to be your classmate, and, most importantly, to be your friend.” Love you!!!”
Jeremiah Lee wants you to know that you are “inspiring.” “Not many people are so lucky to have known you for so long and seen you grow from a soft-spoken classmate in middle school to who you are today–a joyful inspiration who always brings smiles to people’s faces.” “Happy Birthday!! ❤”
Isabel Wallace-Green says that one of the first things that comes to mind when she thinks of you is how sweet you are and how much joy you give to those around you. When she saw briefly saw you this past winter break on an unintentional visit to SJS, it truly made her day because you are such a ray of sunshine. “Lately going back to that school gives me anxiety but it was such a relief to relax in her lovely energy– her laugh and smile made me instantaneously forget about all the stress of returning back to a high achieving place that scoffs at careers in the arts aka me lol truly a moment that i will remember forever.” “Thanks, Elaine.”
Ben Belfort says, “Happy Birthday, Elaine!” “I hope you have a spectacular day and that 23 winds up being a spectacular year for you. I’m really glad I’ve had the opportunity to get to know you! Talking to you always brightens my day, and I think everyone who knows you would echo that sentiment
Amy Kang wants to expose me by letting you know that “Amy Dong said “LOL PLEASE MAKE HER GAG HEHEHEHE.” “So here goes: Harvard isn’t the same without you. I miss you tons, but I’m happy knowing that you’re kicking ass at med school and spending time with your family. 🙂 Thank you for being an incredible role model and friend! Not only have you been there for me when I needed someone the most, but you’ve also taught me so much about what it means to be generous with my time, how to prioritize what’s really important, and how to have fun and smile even when times are rough. You do so much for the people around you, but I hope you take some time today to spoil yourself. 😛 I am so so lucky and proud to have such a beautiful and talented friend!!!! Some of my favorite memories in college have been making too much noise in Eliot dining hall, eating late night Felipe’s, and playing raunchy conversation games with you –um excuse me Elaine please explain this afterwards– but I know that’s not the end! I’m excited to make many more memories with you in the future. 😊 I love you so much! And I can’t wait to hang out again!!”
Angela Kim says, “Dear Elaine, Happy Birthday!” I still remember your wanting your birthday to be low-key and having a family-like dinner at the dump haus. hehe I can’t really think of one word or moment to describe my memories with you since there were so many! Thank you for sticking with me through the roller coaster ride (heh) of college. Through you, I learned that scary movies/games can be (somewhat) enjoyable, Kai has an amazing body, pole dancing is hard (and gives you abs)…that things don’t have to be taken seriously all the time, that there is delight in the “silliest” of things. It’s been an honor and joy to see you grow through college and now at med school (Dr. Dong lolol but seriously you’ll be such a kickass boss doctor wow). Words cannot describe how much you mean to me and I wish you the best birthday filled with Mama & Papa Dong, Amy, watermelon/grapefruit juice, dumps, pole dancing, and Kai abs!”
Shannon Zhu add on to the sappiness (hopefully) with her own message: “Dear Elaine, Happy Birthday!! I love and miss you so much, and wish I were around to see you and celebrate. 😊❤ Amy asked me about “what comes to mind” when I think of you, and what words I’d use to describe you, and I responded in a terrible stream-of-consciousness format so I’m sitting down to write it into a letter instead. Now I see there really is no way to make a second-person note out of this without imagining you fake-puking at every line –I told Shannon that this was the goal– so I’ll just add periods and make the sentences a little more complete and give you my thoughts mostly unedited!! I hope you don’t puke and that it sounds a bit more genuine this way because I really, really mean all of it. ❤ Well thinking about it, I realized that the first image that comes to mind when I think of Elaine is her full-on grinning and laughing, and being infectiously excited about something– to see someone, or to do something, or just for no reason at all. And that’s actually pretty different from the picture that naturally pops into my head for other people, because they only have neutral or mildly smiling expressions in my first-reaction mental impressions. Of course after the first second, a lot of other nice memories come to mind of things we’ve done together, but the “first thing” is unique because it makes immediately gives me a flash of feeling upbeat and happy. And I really can’t think of another person who has the same effect on me, just from the split-second image of them I see in my head. So similarly, I’d say the first adjective that comes to mind that describes Elaine is loving in the happy & energetic way, since I suppose there are a lot of different ways people could express that trait. And besides that, resilient and down-to-earth. The first because she’s always so positive and upbeat and interested in other people even if she’s going through a really, really hard time herself. And the second because she gets a lot of adoration from a lot of people (ofc) but still actively reaches out to befriend all kinds of people who are different from her or not in her circle, and really learns and cares about them. I’ve never seen her act like someone is not completely worth her time, and you don’t even have to be super popular & hot 😉😉 to behave that way at least sometimes! Anyway, I love you so much and these are only a few of the reasons why. 😊 I am a lucker dog to be your friend, and can’t wait to see you again!! PS. Send me more videos of huang mi”
Siena Canales had a few words to say, too. “Dear Elaine, It’s your BIRTHDAY. Amy organized this whole thing. It’s a beautiful thing to see how MUCH she loves you and how many freaking people in this world love you. Everyone in AADT, our roommates, random people I know who had a class with you. People love you. They love you and they look up to you. Because you are both a role model and a leader. You’ve always been a leader. You may not have always known that growing up, but it’s something so true to your core. You have an unbelievable way of listening selflessly and lending your heart and soul to everything that you do. And even though you are literally the best at everything (school, dance, art, being a good person)…you still recognize the talents and good qualities in everyone around you. That is true humility. And that’s what sets you apart from other leaders. You are not guided by ego. You are guided by your heart and the best interest of everyone you care for. It came as no surprise that you were voted Vice President of your medical school class. I’m so proud of you for that. Even though we have both graduated college and our lives are headed in different directions, my heart will always stay with you. I love you and that will never change. There are few things I’m certain about in life, but one thing I am sure of: distance will never pull us apart. It’s crazy to think that almost 5 years ago, we met in that Hollis dorm room and you somehow knew everything about me and my parents (LOL). And then we went to ABP and sat down and had breakfast together. You know, Harvard messes up a lot of things– they don’t have the greatest leadership, their food is pretty flavorless– but one thing they knocked out of the fucking park: pairing us together as roommates. Your friendship is one of my greatest treasures in life. Anyway, I love you so so so much. And Happy Birthday. 😊 Love, Siena”
So from all of us–your friends, your teachers, your classmates, and me–to you,
Happy Birthday, Elaine.
We love you. I love you! For so many reasons and for no reason at all. 😊 You’ve always been the one to catch me before I do something seriously stupid; you catch me even when I think there’s nothing to catch. But for some weird sibling voodoo reason, you just know. And I know that’s why I’m here now, at home, by your side as I take a semester off for my health. Most people don’t know what that’s about, but you knew even before I did. That’s pretty crazy. I also know that, even though I have some sad days, some mad days, and some downright shit days, I know I’ll look back in the end and remember mostly the glad days. Because I’ll look back and know you saved my life. Nothing special, though. You’ve been saving my butt ever since the bully-punching days at Top Child (even though I totally provoked them). You my true day one homie. And I hope that if you’re ever feeling sad, or mad, or downright shit some days, you can count on me, your day 1292 homie (aka day I was born – day you were born), to cheer you up. Actually, that you can count on all of us to cheer you up–to make you feel like the genius med school student, interesting (in a good way) artist, fabulous (pole) dancer, compassionate friend, selfless leader, and #1 sister that you are. Ever since you made last year’s birthday video for me, I knew I wanted to surprise you with something special for your birthday, too. And–as far as sibling rivalry goes–of course I wanted to top what you did for me. Because I’m the better sister, naturally. But then I realized it would take 10 lifetimes for me to actually become the Van Gogh to your Theo in terms of visual artistry, so making a bombass video for you was out of the question. Then I thought, the only thing that I can sort of do–and like doing–that might just get your little sister “compared to someone like Beethoven . . . one day,” is write. So I wrote– to friends and mentors and classmates of yours from every stage of your life– to help me write this for you. It must be weird reading these “letters” in the form of one cumulative WordPress post, but I tried to make them flow in a way that reading them would feel shu fu. I hope you can feel them radiating with the same joy it took to write them. You know, it might have been a fluke if only one or two people called you beautiful, or thoughtful, or powerful, or charismatic, or quirky in the best way possible, but so many people did. So after reading this post, I hope you’re a little more confident in the fact that all of us think you really are all of these things–and so much more. (No more imposter syndrome allowed.) And although the act of writing things down sometimes diminishes their original essence, I hope these words brought to life some of your most cherished memories. Because, as Grant pointed out at the very beginning, you are a very cherished person. And finally, yes–I did want to make you cry with this post.
I totally admit I’m a special kind of special when it comes to being sappy. I’m GROSS and I’m proud of it! AND IT LOOKS LIKE I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE HAHAHA.
I actually cried when I was reading your friends’ letters and the whole time I was like “wtf Amy these aren’t even for you why are there tears coming out of your eyeballs.” I was also smiling the whole time. I think I was just so happy and so proud to know that other people see what I, mama, and baba have always seen in you. Oh, and speaking of whom… There are two more people who wanted to wish you Happy Birthday, too.
From Mom and Dad: “Happy Birthday, Elaine! Hope happiness will follow you every where and every single day. Cannot believe 23 years passed by, yet cannot wait to hear you will be called ” Dr. Dong” so you can take better care of yourself and all of us!” “什么？猪儿23岁啦！怎么还是那么爱耍赖呢？怎么还是那么爱玩呢？希望你一生都这么快乐，心里永远年轻。 “爸爸，妈妈爱你” P.S. please finish med school asap so we can all call you Dr. Dong forever. ❤
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