Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Our Unfolding Lives

The week since last Wednesday that I took leave to become Farhi’s driver delivering his kukis has been, well, emotionally disconcerting for me.

Perhaps, it’s almost that time of the month... and ‘tis the most perfect time for all sorts of emotions to be amplified, yes?

First, Umi had been having really bad lower back pain this time (and now you know where I got it from, aye?). She’s been having it since last week’s Tuesday, and yet in her pain she had been going around accompanying Ayah for his business appointments and even as petty as getting energy-saving white bulbs in Tesc00 for my bro in Bath.

I... I just don’t understand why Ayah could not let Umi rest instead and not requesting her to accompany him that much when she’s clearly in pain. Oh of course I know why Umi obliged, just that, again, I’m still not ready to divulge the reason in public. And yet after the outings, instead of giving herself a break she would still cook and prepare the dishes for iftar amid the torturing pain.

Of course I’m thankful that Farhi had been a great help to Umi over the weekdays even though he himself has been busy baking the cookies all by himself (and there’s Kak Celi to help Umi over the weekends, too). Sometimes even Said chipped in and offered to buy lauk to ease Umi’s burden. But Ayah being the inflexible as he has been all my life knowing him, would not prefer outside food and would eventually use that as an excuse to... well, do silly silly things.

So, that Wednesday, after making rounds of deliveries, I stayed back for a while to help Umi as much as I could for the day’s iftar. Of course I had to go back to Cheras to get food for Abang before the office-folks started streaming out early in this month of Ramadhan. Sigh. My heart aches having to leave Umi.

Even in pain she made kari kepala ikan and kuih sagu for Abang… both of which are Abang’s favourites.

As usual, I’d salam and peluk cium Umi before I leave, and I realized how frail and fragile she felt in my arms this time round. My heart sank so much that evening ~ to me, Umi has always been the physically and emotionally strong one. Perhaps, Umi ‘getting old’ never really registered up in my head… until that moment.

I cried in the car. I felt so…. trapped. I wanted to take her away from the life she’s been living, the pain and hurt she’s been carrying the last 3 decades, that fake smile she’s been putting up in front of everyone, defending her life with her own life.

Oh how I wished I could do something about the situation. Like, taking Umi away from all the hullabaloos, tuck her in safely at my house instead and let her do all the sewing and watching TV or DVDs that she wants and truly deserves without having to think of other people apart from herself...

Aighhh, rasa macam nak nangis, lah.... rasa helpless gila. Rasa macam a worthless daughter I felt.

On Thursday, Umi demam. She had to break fast to get injection and makan ubat. Maybe that was the cause of the back pain ~ petanda nak demam. Still, she was up and about ntah ke mana-mana meneman Ayah. Aiyoh, please lah.

Come Friday, Umi told me she’s getting better. But on Sunday when Abang & I were supposed to berbuka di Bangi, she complained of yet another bad back-pain and requested help from me in the kitchen, just an hour’s away from iftar. An hour’s away from iftar. By the time kami sampai Bangi, dah nak berbuka dah!

If she could’ve told us way earlier, both of us wouldn’t be running errands sampai ke Batang Berjuntai that day, having clocking mileage almost 200km just on Sunday itself. We could’ve re-arranged whatever it needed to be re-arranged (though at that particular time, we just had to do the errands ‘coz there’s no other way about it). Abang even asked Umi not to cook extensively like she always would for her only menantu and Abang even offered to take everyone out for an iftar treat, but of course the offer was declined ‘coz tak sure Ayah would like the idea or not.

Aighhh. Why la benda yang boleh di-simplify simply tak boleh (or rather, tak mahu) di-simplified???

That Sunday night after kemas-kemas everything in Umi’s kitchen, I went upstairs to see Umi who had dozed off right after performing her Maghrib prayers. I woke her up gently, salam peluk and said thank you thank you thank you and my heart sank again just to feel her such frail and bony hands in mine. She’s grown so old, right before my eyes, and…. ah, susahnya aku nak menerima hakikat ni…

I remembered asking Umi this before. Is it just worth it, living in pain like that rather than being alone???

And she said, to my dismay, yes.

Perhaps, I still have so much to learn in life.

*wipes tears in eyes*

That’s only one drop in the ocean. One initial small ripple that occasionally rise and surge to become huge overwhelming waves...

And of course, there’s the Nurin tragedy, and then I found out about the loss of loved ones for blogger Madam Ood and renowned wedding photographer Saiful Nang, each lost their mothers a few days before Ramadhan, and their pieces and grievances so beautifully written that I cried. I cried, mostly for fear of having my own ‘regrets’, I suppose...

Yet the biggest distressing news for my friends and I was when we found out that an old friend of ours, D, who is now a mother of four and living in England following her husband having to work there, is going through one of the biggest trials in her life when they found out that the husband has the C, just last Tuesday.

Just when I was so eager having discovered her on FaceBook last Saturday night and was about to add her as a friend, at the same time I received a disturbing e-mail from Fairuz in Manchester regarding D’s predicament and quickly googled for D’s blog... "pause to reflect".

Oh, D. How we wished you’re all here in M’sia. Ni boleh kirim du’a dan peluk cium dari jauh je…

Ya Allah, singkatnya kebahagiaan dan kesempurnaan hidup yang Kau kurniakan kepada kami, Ya Allah! Kau kurniakanlah kepada kami semua, terutama sekali kepada Ibuku serta Ibu suamiku, rakan-rakanku serta mereka-mereka yang lain yang ditimpa ujian, akan kekuatan yang lebih! Kalau aku mampu, akan ku kongsi mana-mana kekuatanku yang ada, tapi betapa aku sedar aku sendiri tak mampu selain dari hanya berdu’a kepadaMu! Aaaaamin.

Oh, I need to cry for a bit now...

Perhaps, it’s almost that time of the month... and all sorts of emotions are just being amplified.


ps: and oh... the killings in Myanmar of thousands of Buddhist monks yang terkenal dengan falsafah keamanan... how could we become so cold? :'-(

It's ironic that things have become more expensive these days, but life itself has become cheaper by the seconds...


Yonne said...

I must sound like a broken record, but seriously try la makan hurix tu... I've taken it and its been months/yrs my back dah tak sakit2... Aiyo...

Roti Kacang Merah said...

I know you meant well, but i too must sound like a broken record ~ i did mention to ya that i don't think it's safe for women who's planning to get pregnant to take that in. it says so on the back.

kalau nak beli for my mom, can kot. though she's taking high-blood medication. so, tak sure sesuai ke tak. Nanti kena check dengan the sinseh.

shabar said...

hi faszt! sorry you missed the buka puasa at my place. we had a great time chatting away and catching up sampai tak sedar dah pukul 11.30pm!

anyway, i understood the shock when we realized our mothers are old. it didn't strike us until something happened. just to share with you, my mum was paralyzed practically from neck down on the first day of ramadhan 4 years ago.

it wasn't stroke but Guerlain-Barre Syndrome (you can google it to know more). she can't even move her head - only eyelids and mouth.

ironically, i was supposed to collect data for my final year thesis at that time. no data means i have to extend another full year or byebye degree! so it's like choosing between my future and my mum. kau tau la...aku ni dah banyak tahun delayed in studies. in the end, i chose my mum.

for 3 weeks i was in hospital - feed, bathe, dress, clean her, read, talk, laugh, cry...everything - with her. aku tak keluarpun dari hospital during that period. it was hard work but worth's a small sacrifice compared to the years my mum gave me.

in a way, i am grateful. kalau dia tak sakit macam tu, bila lagi aku nak bela dia. plus, it made us closer.

and guess what? with the help of 6 people ( i'd like to name them - my advisor cik rosnan, my tutor cik rafee, my HOD dr. yunus, my pro dean dr. zarida, my best friend dr. sarie and my now-hubby), i manage to get my degree on everybody's surprise! above all, i guess, i succeed becoz Tuhan kabulkan doa mak aku.

moral that i get: 1. seize the chance to take care of our mums and dads when they're still around. 2. miracles do happen especially when it involves mum's do'a.

Roti Kacang Merah said...

sorry la, aritu tak dapat datang. Bulan-bulan puasa waktu malam la ni cepat ngantuk lah sebab kena bangun dua kali for sahur ~ my husband's at 1am, and then mine at 5am. Also malam tu my husband needed my assistance on the Adobe Photoshop for his cartoons rendering... terus lupa nak bitau tak leh join you guys. Great to know you guys had fun, though!

I'm sorry about your mom. Aiyoh back then in Ramadhan 2003 while I had just lost my then boyfriend to a post-op complication, your mother pula down with the Guillain-Barré Syndrome (apa daa lu salah eja, buat gua susah nak google je, heh heh). But memang yours is a true victorious story, lah. Very inspiring!

Oh how I've learnt so much about Mom's du'a. Could actually write a book on that and how it affected my life.

Thanks for sharing anyway. Back then you should write a blog on that and share it with the world, you know.


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