Sometimes I like to trace the trajectory of my life, wondering if (and when, if so) I would have met all the people who are now in my life, if you took out a few key lines. There are two people I should definitely mention on this blog as it’s dedicated to my daughter. The first year I spent in Turkey was a turbulent time, full of highs and many lows. However, despite all the personal setbacks two people (pictured above) made all the difference by welcoming me into their home, both literally and metaphorically. On Friday night it was Zeynep’s birthday. I first met your mother on Zeynep’s Birthday seven years ago. We didn’t start dating until about five months later, but that night changed everything. Whether life is random or determinined is something that’s hard to decide. Whether your life is better for knowing such people, is not. I believe much — if not most — of my happiness led to the lucky encounter and subsequent friendship with Zeynep and Emre. The fact that they introduced me to your mother, also meant they introduced me to you. What greater gift could I ask for? And it was given to me by the birthday girl, herself. Thank you, Zeynep. I mean it.