This has been a very sad year. This year I have already seen my aunty, my uncle, my grand uncle passing away. On Saturday, it was the turn of my dear mother in law. I remembered when we were busy by the bedside, my phone rang. I did not recognise the number but when I answered, it was my 9 year old son. We had left him at my sister in law's place.
He asked, 'Babah, banar nini nada lagi?' (Dad, is it true that grandmother has passed away?). It was at that point that I broke down completely. I couldn't even answer him but passed the phone to my wife who answered him tearfully. I remembered mama being a strong woman. I first met her when I first visited my then future wife's house during Hari Raya. She was about 73 then. Everytime I visited the family, I always see her taking care of my invalid father in law, feeding him and fussing over him. She was a good cook and there were a few signature dishes which I always know that it is her doing the cooking.
Over time, she weakened. She had to undergo knee operations. But she was still strong willed. Despite being on wheel chairs, she even went for Umrah. Over the years, she grew weaker but her memory remainded very sharp. There was a couple of times when she stayed over at our house. The room where she slept in is always known to us as nini's room. Our family relied on her being the information centre. Tell her somethimg and she would take the time to call all the siblings and passed that information along. Her house would be the central post office.
In the end, her passing was mercifully quick. Bonda Hajah Halimah binte Md Sulaiman passed away at the age of 91. Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat dan mengampunkan semua dosa-dosanya.
Sometime last week, my wife forwarded this email to me. I thought I will forward it because it is indeed something that will make you think and ponder. A nice story and a good reminder to us all ......................
Four years ago, an accident took my beloved wife away and very often I wonder, how does my wife, feel right now? She must be feeling extremely sad for leaving a husband who is incapable to taking care of the house and the kid 'cos that is the exact feeling that I have, as I feel that I have failed to provide for the physical and emotional needs of my child, and failed to be the dad and mum for my child.
There was one particular day, when I had an emergency at work. Hence, I had to leave home whilst my child was still sleeping. So thinking that there was still rice leftovers, I hastily cooked an egg and left after informing my sleepy child.
With the double roles, I am often exhausted at work as well as when I am home. So after a long day, I came home, totally drained of all energy. So with just a brief hug and kiss for my child, I went straight into the room, skipping dinner. However, when I jumped into my bed with intention of just having a well-deserved sleep, all i heard and felt was broken porcelain and warm liquid! I flipped open my blanket, and there lies the source of the 'problem'... a broken bowl with instant noodles and a mess on the bedsheet and blanket!
Boy, was I mad! I was so furious that I took a clothes hanger, charged straight at my child who was happily playing with his toy, and give him a good spanking! He merely cried but not asking for mercy, except a short explanation:
"Dad, I was hungry and there wasn't anymore leftover rice. But you were not back yet, hence I wanted to cook some instant noodles. But I remembered you reminding me not to touch or use the gas stove without any adults around, hence I turned on the shower and used the hot water from the bathroom to cook the noodles. One is for you and the other is for me. However, I was afraid that the noodles will turn cold, so I hid it under the blanket to keep it warm till you return. But I forgot to remind you 'cos I was playing with my toys...I am sorry Dad..."
At that moment, tears were star ti ng to run down my cheeks...but I didn't want my son to see his dad crying so I dashed into the bathroom and cried with the shower head on to mask my cries. After that episode, I went towards my son to give him a tight hug and applied medication on him, while coaxing him to sleep. Then, it was to me to clear up the mess on the bed. When everything was done and well past midnight, I passed my son's room, and saw that he was still crying, not from the pain on his little buttock, but from looking at the photograph of his beloved mummy.
A year has passed since the episode, I have tried, in this period, to focus on giving him both the love of his dad and mum, and to attend to most of his needs. And soon, he is turning seven, and will be graduating from kindergarten. Fortunately, the incident did not leave a lasting impression on his childhood memories and he is still happily growing up.
However, not so long ago, I hit my boy again, with much regret. This time, his kindergarten teacher called, informing me of my son's absence from school. I took off early from work and went home, expecting him to explain. But he wasn't to be found, so I went around our house, calling out his name and eventually found him outside a stationery shop, happily playing computer games. I was fuming, brought him home and whack the hell out of him. He did not retaliate, except to say, 'I am sorry, Dad'. But after much probing, I realized that it was a 'Talent Show' organized by his school and the invite is for every student's mummy. And that was the reason for his absence as he has no mummy.....
Few days after the caning, my son came home to tell me, the kindergarten has recently taught him how to read and write. Since then, he has kept to himself and stayed in his room to practise his writing, which I am sure, would make my wife proud, if she was still around 'cos he makes me proud too!
Time passes by very quickly, and soon another year has passed. It's winter, and its Christmas time. Everywhere the christmas spirit is in every passer-by...Christmas carols and frantic shoppers....but alas, my son got into another trouble. When I was about to knock off from the day's work, the post office called. Due to the peak season, the postmaster was also on an edgy mood. He called to tell me that my son has attempted to post several letters with no addressee. Although I did make a promise never to hit my son again, I couldn't help but to hit him as I feel that this child of mine is really beyond control. Once again, as before, he apologized, 'I'm sorry, Dad' and no additional reason to explain. I pushed him towards a corner, went to the post office to collect the letters with no addressee and came home, and angrily questioned my son on his prank, during this time
of the year.
His answer, amidst his sobbing, was : The letters were for Mummy. My eyes grew teary, but I tried to control my emotions and continued to ask him: " But why did u post so many letters, at one time?"
My son's reply was: " I have been writing to mummy for a long time, but each time I reach out for the post box, it was too high for me, hence I was not able to post the letters. But recently, when I went back to the postbox, I could reach it and so I sent it all at once..."
After hearing this, I was lost. Lost at not knowing what to do, what to say....
I told my son, " Son, mummy is in heaven, so in future, if you have anything to tell her, just read the letter and it will reach mummy. My son, on hearing this, was much pacified and calm, and soon after, he was sleeping soundly. On promising that I will read the letters on his behalf, I brought the letters outside and started reading. And one of the letters broke my heart....
I miss you so much! To day, there was a 'Talent Show' in school, and the school invited all mothers for the show. But you are not around, so I did not want to participate as well. I did not tell Dad about it as I was afraid that Dad would start to cry and miss you all over again. Dad went around looking for me, but in order to hide my sadness, I sat in front of the computer and started playing games at one of the shops. Dad was furious, and he couldnt help it but scolded and hit me, but I did not tell him the real reason. Mummy, every day I see Dad missing you and whenever he think of you, he is so sad and often hide and cry in his room. I think we both miss you very very much. Too much for our own good I think. But Mummy, I am starting to forget your face. Can you please appear in my dreams so that I can see your face and remember you? I heard that if you fall asleep with the photograph of the person whom you miss, you will see the person in your dreams. But mummy, why havent you appear?
After reading the letter, I can't stop sobbing. 'cos I can never replace the irreplaceable gap left behind by my wife....
For the females with children:
Don't spend so much time at work. If you cannot finish the work, it must be some kind of problems within the company, and it is not your sole problem. Feedback to your boss. Endless over time may not necessary be the answer to the problem. Take care of your health so that you can treasure and take care of your little precious.
For the married men:
Drink less, smoke less, cos nothing can replace your good health, not even business nor clients.
Try thinking this way, are you able to work till your clients are totally dependent on you? or your boss is totally dependent on you? In this society, no one is indispensable.
Take care of your health, so that you can take care of your little precious and your loved ones.
For those singles out there:
Beauty lies in loving yourself first. With confidence and loving yourself, you will see the beauty in other things around you. You will be able to work better and happier. Don't let your health be affected by your work or your boss, so nothing matters more than your well being.