This weekend I was at the mall shopping for a prom dress.
Not for me. I am fifty one years old. Been a long time since I had a need for shopping OR a prom dress. The last prom I attended was in a dress borrowed from my friend Linda McCoart. 1980s.
Received a call from a friend. Asking if I had heard of a couple-parents from our school-having an accident in a popular tourist area outside of Kuala Lumpur.
My heart dropped but I said that I hadn’t heard a thing.
She said, “It was a couple from Pakistan and I saw you (and your husband) talking to them at the International Fest at school.”
Everyone knows my memory stinks. And everyone knows I talk to everybody.
I said, “I don’t remember.”
She said, “They both work at your husband’s company.”
She told me the name of the woman. It didn’t ring any bells. I asked if she knew the name of the husband. She didn’t.
Because she really didn’t know this couple. But she is also Pakistani.
I went home and checked the directory at the school by putting in the woman’s first name. Then when I found her surname I typed that in and got all people with that last name.
And it was someone I knew. The guy had taken over my husband’s team when my husband left for a new position in India.
I remembered the last time I was with him-partying at a rooftop bar overlooking the city.
I texted a friend who works at my husband’s company asking if anyone in the office had an accident.
He confirmed what/who I thought. It’s a small community.
I told him how I came upon the information.
He said that the Pakistani network is very strong. When he went to help the wife Friday night the global Pakistani network was in full force on her phone.
He also said,”I guess like many of the national groups.”
I called my friend. She didn’t answer.
She called back in a bit. Said she was on the phone with the wife. And was going to the hospital that evening to be with her.
This is what happened.
Family goes away for the weekend. Dad, Mom and two little ones. They stop at a waterfall on the way to the tea plantations. Dad slips and falls, quite a drop, and takes blow to the head. Thought he was dead. Locals rescue him from drowning. Although the fall into the water probably saved him from death. Wife takes husband to hospital a half hour away.
He has a head injury, broken ribs and arm. From what I am told he should be okay and is now recovering in a hospital here in Kuala Lumpur.
Thank God he will recover.
I was amazed (not really) at the response of a community looking out for their own.
Honestly. It is really hard when these things occur.
When you are in your hometown family and friends will flock to your (or your family’s) side.
When you are hundreds of miles away who do you have?
You have your community.
I know if something happened to me I would have the support of my friends who hail from Canada, Scotland, England, Ireland, Denmark, Trinidad, Lebanon, New Zealand, Australia etc.
But I also know that my American friends would be pushing, rallying and rapping at the door. And Americans who I might not even know.
That is what makes living away from home just a little bit easier.