October 23, 2011

Family Matters – Dealing with Kinfolk Issues While Overseas

Brother, me, Sharmon, and Dad having dinner
It is the sad and ugly truth that uncontrollable things can and do happen to our friends and family while we are overseas.  I don’t want to sound morbid by any means but I have to be realistic when it comes to this situation.  My grandparents are in their 90’s and although they are still kicking it, living on their own, cooking, cleaning, watching Jeopardy and all that good stuff, the fact is that they are still 90+ years old.
I was so worried about what would happen to my grandparents while I was overseas that it never crossed my mind that something could happen to another family member.
I was shaken and freaked out after I got a phone call from my dad on a Thursday afternoon telling me he had a heart attack the previous weekend.  Didn’t see that one coming!  The bomb was dropped on me about 10 minutes before I had to report back to class from my lunch break.  Once I told two of my friends what just happened I guess it all caught up to me and I left class for the next few hours very upset.  Dad is a fairly big health nut these days; working out everyday and eating well so I was blindsided by what I heard on the other end of the phone. It scared me to think 5 days passed and I had no knowledge of my dad’s condition.  After the initial shock of his heart attack, I was hurt no one told me anything.
My cousin Clint and my Uncle Coleman
About one week later, I was wasting time on Facebook, waiting for some papers to print and I read my cousin’s status about my uncle.  I immediately called my mom and found out that my uncle (who is like my other dad) had a stroke and was still in the CCU.  Wow, not again!  After I spoke with my mom, I understand that he is doing fine and no one wanted to tell me details until they knew he was going to be ok.  Unfortunately, Facebook had to let me know first before my family informed me.  He is back at home now and started therapy this week.
Mrs. Gerry and Mom, Geaux Tigers!
I’m one of those people that believe things come in threes.  Call me superstitious but it happens like clockwork.  A few days after hearing about my uncle, my mom called me to update me that disaster number three transpired.  She tripped over my dog while coming in the house with groceries and broke her wrist.  Thankfully, she is fine in her LSU cast, but she does live at home by herself and I worry if something else were to happen while at home alone.  At least this time, I was in the loop.
It is important to discuss how you would want your family to handle emergency situations BEFORE you go abroad.  Open communication and a plan of attack are vital to discuss with your family just in case a difficult condition arises while you are away from home.  Personally, I would much rather have a heads-up that someone is sick or hurt before I get the big bomb dropped on me out of the blue.  

My G-Maw celebrating her 92nd Bday!  Jo-Jo doesn't look a day over 80!

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