MrsT and I met under very unique circumstances in Yokohama.
She had just arrived, with her husband and 3 children for one year.
Just before leaving for a quick trip to Sydney, MrsT and I met briefly at a PTA meeting and she very kindly offered to help with the event as a means of getting involved quickly and making a few friends. She knew being in Yokohama for one year meant things were going to move very quickly.
Our quick trip to Sydney became an unplanned 3 month stay as G was unwell and grounded for medical reasons.
You can imagine the roller coaster of emotions! G was so unwell we couldn't fly home to Yokohama, but he was alive. MissM was due back to start school in September, and instead was enrolled in the local school; I was supposed to be back in Yokohama organising the annual Welcome Back event held each September for returning and new parents to school.
What would happen to the event??????????
MrsT happened that's what.
Without a drama or fuss, MrsT emailed to say she was sorry to hear G was unwell and sad to think we'd be missing the beginning of the school year and how could she help?
She absolutely saved the day!
Without any knowledge of Yokohama, or school for that matter, she swung into action, securing the help of people who usually sat back and watched the work being done and partied long and hard at the events. She ran with the theme, secured the venue, co ordinated the grog and food, delegated the design of posters promoting the event, got a team of ticket sellers happening, enlisted the help of mentors to new families to ensure the newbies came along too.
Meanwhile I was in Sydney.
The emails flew back'n'forth, ideas were thrown around, suggestions made and all the time I thought was an incredible woman she was for doing this. I sensed that had we shared the organisation of the event, we'd have been a formidable team and great friends.
She kindly kept two tickets aside for G and I just in case we made it back in time - which we didn't but the pics from the night were awesome.
As good as their word, after twelve months it was time to bid them Sayonara and back to the UK they went.
We're friends on Facebook so kept in touch every so often. I guess our friendship has developed there.
Then we moved ot the UK, a couple of hours from where they lived.
We enjoyed a lovely pre-Christmas luncheon with them and their extended family the first year we arrived; they came to us for a weekend and spent the Sunday exploring Winchester, we shared Chinese New Year and nearly started a forest fire letting Chinese lanterns go with the kids. MissM and I have a very fun (pre) Halloween making Jack-O-Lanterns (our first time) and MrsT made the trek to Winchester to help me celebrate my 50th.
She emailed me last week to apologise for th short notice but she was visiting her mum in Northern Ireland and wondered if i was free to catch up if she came to Dublin - OF COURSE.
From the minute she sat in the front passenger seat of the car at 10.07am til we dropped her back to the train station at 6.45pm we didn't stop talking!
We found comfort and support of our individual, yet shared guilt over Mothers; Hi-5'd over the frustration of homework; celebrated out husbands achievements with work, and swapped stories about the kids. We talked about photo albums, and what we'll do with the kids over the long summer holidays (there's are not as long as ours, but long enough); we updated each other on family, and discussed the pro's and con's of not working (as in outside the home in paid employment).
So even tho we've probably spent less than 6 months together in real time, we've been friends for nearly 4 years.
That's what expat life does - it throws people together quickly. The friendship works or it doesn't. Distance between you doesn't get in the way; we relish the few hours we have together and never say goodbye when it's time to leave.
MrsT's not the only friend who I could talk about like this, but as I've just put her on the train, she's the inspiration for my THANK YOU to all my expat friends who pop into my life every so often for all sorts of reasons.
Do you have a friend you seldom see but when you do it's magic?
Has someone saved you in a sticky situation?
Do you say goodbye or see-ya?
MrsT, if you are reading this, thank you for being my friend. For the laughs we shared today.
Til next we meet,