When you came along in February 1979, our business was under siege due to infighting at the office and times were tougher than they had been.
On top of this I had started doing some development work, the success of this was varied, to say the least. My timing was not great; the Wagga market was headed for an abyss which would bring virtually all the major players unstuck, we were simply collateral damage.
You were the welcome diversion both Mum and I desperately needed at the time and to say your arrival was cherished is an understatement.
I was busy and stressed, I am sorry that at times, you did not get the attention you deserved.
This is not to say you were loved any less, in fact; the sight of your cherub cheeks when I would get home in the evenings was the highlight of my day.
You were the caring, independent and self -willed child we both hoped for, your tight hugs at the end of a day made the world seem a hell of a lot better.
There has never been a time in my life when I have not been impressed by your independence and your care. There were times the independence would be a source of anguish and argument but we would never have had it any other way.
In better times I would hope I could have dealt with it better, but I can’t take back the past, I can only wish that the times we would spend together in later years went some of the way to showing you the love and affection you deserved.
Loud yet shy, sensitive but determined, loving and kind but capable of willfulness you were all of these and we loved every part of you.
In keeping with our policy of ecumenism you were baptized in the Uniting Church and your day was awash with friends and family. You have often asked why the three girls were baptised in three different denominations; the simple answer is neither Mum nor I had any deep religious leanings one way or the other but we did want you to have the freedom to decide later if you wanted to be part of a church and in so doing, we covered all the bases of the faiths we were both reared in.
It is strange how this has turned out, I think all three girls have almost by osmosis, found the dominant feature of their specific religion.
Although as time would show; you would have had great difficulty in keeping to the abstention of alcohol some elements of the Uniting Church may have advocated!
You were to grow into the most delightful of children; trusting, caring and at times hilariously funny. We were to fall in love again and again every time that beaming smile came charging down the path.
I worried a little before you were born about whether I could find the extra love for another child; I need not have. We never run out of love; as much as Jassy was adored as the first child; the love we have for you simply expanded to meet the need.
Thank you Annie for being you; you were never anything but.
With so much love