Living overseas, expats tend to expand their “family” to include the many friends they connect with along the way. You do this out of necessity, really; but you also wind up forming lifelong friendships because of the common expat bond that you share. Nothing serves as a better example than when you need help.
I had a completely unexpected medical emergency the other evening during my daughter’s gymnastics class. I passed out, had what was apparently a mini seizure, and got sick. My daughters were scared, no surprise, and my friends completely took over.
After getting an ambulance to take me to the ER, one friend took guardianship of my girls – collected their things from home, took them to her house (to join her own SIX kids), had them showered, fed, and off to school the next morning. Another friend had her husband follow us to the hospital as she rode with me in the ambulance, staying with me in the ER for another couple of hours. A third friend relieved them by coming to the hospital for the last hour, taking me home, and staying the night with me at my house to keep watch while her own children stayed at home with their dad.
I was completely cared for, and I didn’t have to worry about a thing.
Obviously, my husband was traveling at this time. While he feels terrible that he wasn’t here to help, it is beyond comforting to him to know that I wasn’t left alone and that the girls were “mothered” well.
A completely separate blog post will have to illustrate what an experience this whole emergency procedure actually was – there has to be humor in everything, right? But for now, I simply want to focus on how grateful I am for my friends. Since I returned home, they have all been in touch with each other, often letting other friends know about what happened. I have received phone calls and text messages from all around, plus from those who did a little extra – a friend who handled an after school play date, another who actually shopped for my daughter’s school Secret Santa gift and delivered it – wrapped!, and countless others who wanted to know how they could help. I am forever thankful.
This time of year makes us all grateful for friends and family anyway, and now it has been magnified for me. So, thank you to Kari, Vicki and Katie for ALL your help that night. Thank you to Paul, Eileen, Kathryn and Susie for taking care of the little details that made a big difference. And thanks to everyone else who called and cared. I’m fine, thank goodness, and I’m touched by your heartwarming care.
Merry Christmas to you all!