Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things

If I start now, maybe by Christmas I’ll be caught up on all the thank-yous we owe for the past week. To say that we are humbled by how our friends have supported us through all the craziness is an understatement.

Re-entry to the U.S. after time abroad has historically been hard on us… job layoffs, yellow-jacket attacks, coughing fits that lead to popped-out ribs, identity theft, car failure, malaria-like illness with hospitalization… those are the sorts of things that welcome us back to the States. We figure it’s karma at work. That we have been so lucky in work and travel abroad that things have to go wonky at home in order to even out the karmic balance.

This time back found both of us with mild-but-annoying respiratory crud and Kate not quite over a sinus infection. Kate and I worsened, we saw a medical provider and were treated. Then we were exposed to the flu and took steps to ensure no one would unintentionally bring illness into the kids’ school. Then Will broke his arm. Then he broke out in hives so suddenly and completely, with swelling to his face and lips, that his pediatrician encouraged a fast trip the ER (after 4 hours of waiting without treatment, Will’s face swelling subsided and they left without being seen). Somewhere in all of this, it became clear that my lingering crud was not only failing to improve, but getting worse. So yesterday I saw our new primary care physician for a magical breathing treatment that made Every Difference. Other key moments within all the above were our work hours, finding strange black dust on Kate’s bed from the wall (we don’t thing termites, but what…?), my leaving my wallet in the parking lot of the local grocery store, and the truck clutch giving out mid-intersection (close call).

But the real story is how many people have rallied around us.  So many people have sent well-wishes via phone and email.  Paul’s Mom was here to help with Kate while Paul and I cared for Will and his injury.  Emmy and family brought Will a beautiful made-by-kid-hand card, a huge sack of candy and the biggest darn lollipop I’ve ever seen.  Gwen sent Clare’s dry-arm pouch.  Ann Marie brought red beans and rice with sausage and brownies.  Kathryn brought artisan pizzas, quiche and eclairs.  Ecoee and Melody brought a bag of games and made fabulous make-your-own burrito dinner… with cupcakes. 

No really, check this out:

I know.  I KNOW!

Paul and I are so incredibly thankful and feel so completely and totally speechless.  We look forward to returning each favor.  (We’ll step up our culinary skills for it, promise.)

Also?  We are surrounded by the most wonderful, giving, thoughtful people.  Thank you.