Posts Tagged ‘support’

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.”

Oh gosh.

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.

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Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. – Vietnamese Proverb

If you know me then you know how I feel about my family. No illusions. Not a one of them perfect. But there is no other family I would rather have. I think they are the best thing since sliced bread.

Of course, that goes without saying for the hubby and kids.

But in this context I am referring to my parents and my brothers. My folks must have done something right. My brothers and I have never had a heated exchange, nasty words, or even an argument. Well, except for when we were younger and fighting about who got the best seat in the car.

I always hear of siblings fighting over this and that. Or being estranged from each other or from their parents. Makes my heart heavy for others and mine positively light that I haven’t had to experience such a thing. Greed, jealousy, competition and dislike has not entered into the family equation.

Now, that does not mean that we are hanging all over each other and showering each other with constant praise. We are, after all, Irish Americans.

But when my brothers and I get together there is no place I would rather be. Because we laugh. And laugh. Raucously. Although the three of us might be a tad funny on our own it is when we are together that we absolutely shine. The only time my stomach hurts from laughing is when I am with them. Seriously.

I remember my sister-in-law (future at the time) laughingly saying to my brother’s new girlfriend (while we were-funnily enough-at a comedy show), “Oh, so this is the first time you are with the “Brennan” siblings in one room? You don’t know what you are in for!”

Not sure what it is. We feed off each other and we just can’t stop laughing. Loudly. The worst was when I was eight months pregnant and I don’t have to tell you why.

My mother always says it makes her feel so good that her kids get along so well with each other.  My kids just leave the room because they can’t hear themselves think.

Those are the light hearted times. And life is not always light hearted but we do try to put a positive spin on most everything.

When my older brother was not feeling well this past summer all of us were concerned. And, of course, offering our opinions on what to do and who to see. Remaining absolutely positive while doing so.

And when the younger one lost his job- like so many others in the country- we all worried. And continue to worry. Remaining absolutely positive while doing so.

Because we don’t know any other way but to support each other and prop each other up.

My messages have been of the “rah, rah” variety. All of the interviews have gone well but they all resulted in rejections. Too many folks vying for too few jobs.

So, I sent him an email yesterday about an upcoming interview, decided to change tack and said this, “I hope it goes rotten!”

He quickly replied:

“Just finished the interview. It went terrible and I knew they hated me instantly. I hated them too and I hope they never call me back for 2nd interview. I’ll tell you when they send me the anticipated rejection notice. They’ll also probably call the cops on me.”

Of course, I immediately sent this email flying back to him, “I hope they throw the book at you and lock you up for life!”

It was a great way to start the day. Laughing out loud with family. The ones who really get you. No matter how much time has passed or how many miles between you.
I think I’m funny because my family, my siblings were funny. – Martin Short

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