RAINY DAY

It’s raining right now. It’s the rainy season in Penang. Days become cold and gloomy. The sky a constant grey. This brings back my memory from when I was 9.

It was a rainy evening. My little sister who was 8 and I had school till late evening. I remember feeling so worried in class. When it rains, how could my sister and I walk to our school bus later? It was a heavy one, and we would be soaked. The bell rang, it was time to go home. My class was on the third floor and my sister on the second’s. I waited for her at the staircase and we went down together with hundreds of our peers. I was still worried.

And then I saw her, amongst the crowd of committed parents waiting for their kids with umbrella right in front of the staircase at the ground level, stood my beautiful, amazing mother. I was so relieved.

My mom, did not want us to get wet, carried us one by one in her arms. The rain was so heavy, it was ankle deep for her. Her shoes and clothes were soaked, but it didn’t matter, as long as we stay dry. I remember feeling so happy. My mom, carried me and put me down at the canteen. All three of us then walked to the other side, and if I’m not mistaken, she brought us one by one under her umbrella to our car, where my dad was waiting.

It was very rare, to have our abah pick us up from school. Abah was always busy, working his bones off to feed our big family. But that evening, both my parents were there.

This is one of the many fond memories I have growing up. I didn’t want to relive my childhood, it wasn’t amazing at all. But some fragments involving my parents, I keep very close to my heart.

I finished watching Reply 1988; a series with family, friendship, love and life values all together instilled in its 20 long episodes. I can’t help but cry so much today, feeling a very close connection to the story. And I can’t help but to cry for my parents.

Parents.. the moment their first child is born; their energy, their money, their time, their sacrifices–all devoted to their kids. They become selfless. They want us to be happy and healthy and if they could, they would trade places each time the kid gets sick. Parents are our ultimate blessings in this life. Their wrinkles tell stories of their hard work. Their deep, swollen eyes tell memories on their struggles. Their children’s well-beings become their priorities. They forget about their dreams as long as their children can live well. They might not have much but they wouldn’t hesitate a bit to give whatever they have. It must have been very painful, but for a parent, for the sake of their child, they can even move mountains.

My heart breaks a million pieces thinking about this. Oh how I miss my parents right now. How I miss my late abah. I tell my parents all the time I love them, I desperately hope they feel it in their hearts.. that they’re truly loved by me, and they are such rare gems, and there’s nothing more that I want in this life than for my parents, wherever they might be at this very moment, to be happy. 

I regret growing up with so much hatred inside me. I regret growing up talking back. I regret those times I wasted being an ungrateful child. I regret the moments I hurt my parents with my words and actions. I regret them all.

But I don’t want to live like that anymore. My goals for 2018 are to work hard, pay my loans and spoil my parents. I would like to keep it as that, and I would try my best to reach them all, InsyaAllah.

One rainy evening seventeen years ago, I realised there was nothing that could beat our parents’ unconditional love for us. It was a very simple thing, but for a 9 year old me, that was truly wonderful. My parents picked me up from school. My mom carried me  and my sister with our heavy school bag. My mom was (and still is) amazing.

Signing off, on a rainy evening seventeen years later, a lonely soul missing my parents, with swollen eyes from crying too much. Boh, I hope you’re doing great over there. Someday we will meet again. Ma, you are, and always will be, the one I love and want to cherish forever. You are so, so strong Mama. I couldn’t even be 10% of what you are. Thank you, I love you and I’m sorry.

‘When are you going back to school, Kiah?’ my dad asked.

School? I’m in a university now, Boh. Not in school anymore.’

‘Oh yes. I forget. You have grown up now, Kiah. How time flies. I always feel like you are still a little kid.‘ He said with a smile on his face, but a sad tone in his voice.

And before I even finished my master, he passed away. Someday, Boh. Someday we will all meet again, in a better place InsyaAllah.

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TWENTY SEVENTEEN

You were such a tough, horrid year. You weren’t very kind right from the very beginning. Let’s recap a bit. I started 2017 with an infection which was extremely terrible. My morale was so down. I was also freaking out for thesis submission. I didn’t have enough money and I kept burdening my parents and Oniechan. My dad was in the hospital for heart issues. Life wasn’t exactly bad but it wasn’t fine either.

I submitted my thesis in april knowing viva would suck because no last minute, rushed work can fully survive on such a grand scale. In May, I went to shell’s fuel launch held in a prestigious hotel which I don’t think I would ever step in and I was so happy. Also in may, I lost my darling aboh. He collapsed right infront of me–before I could even say ‘I’m here, boh’. It was the most surreal thing, witnessing the passing of your beloved; the darkest day. It wasn’t so painful the night it happened, but right after you were buried boh, I’ve lost count on the nights (and afternoons) I cry myself to sleep (still do).

In june, we celebrated our first raya without you. It was simpler fasting this year because you were the fussy one, but it wasn’t nice boh. House was crowded but my heart was empty. In july I had my viva. It was horrid and I didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Nothing significant happens since. Life was monotonous. (Except for the reunion I had with my best friends, that felt amazing too. And oh, the epic field trip. It was legit fun as well.)

Before this, I experience occasional sadness. A feeling rarely visiting because in general, I’m an okay person. I don’t always feel extremely happy nor sad, I was normal. But these days.. these days I laugh louder than usual when I get the chance. I talk more when I feel like it. I eat plenty when the appetite is there. Because now, these are the rares. Happiness becomes occasional. Gloomy weather makes me gloomier. Even when the skies are clear and blue, I can be sad. Even when I’m in a crowd, actively participating, my thoughts go out to the days when I still had my father.

I do not know when this phase will pass. Hopefully soon. But for as long as it’s here, I will learn to live with the scar. I don’t know how to mend myself, and I don’t think anyone can mend me either. I shuh people away for forcing. Time heals I’m sure, but times needs time, and I’ll be okay.

Only a parent knows how it feels like to bring a child into this world. Only a mother can fully understand the birth pain. But even then, our pain is specific. The depth varies.  And only those who have lost their loved ones know how it feels. It’s like a dream, one you wish to get out from. One you thought to yourself would be over once you open your eyes.

But it didn’t happen that way, it won’t.

I know it too well that life is temporary and it is only this meaningful because it has an end, and everyone will eventually leave one day. I know that no matter how much we love something or someone, nothing stays forever. One day, I will go too. But sadly, despite knowing and reading the Quran on how dunya is only like a blink of an eye, and how the hereafter is where we’re all heading to, I would also like to say that it would still be painful. Even our beloved Prophet SAW was in despair on the passing of his beloved Khadija r.a. It is indeed okay to feel sad, and insyaAllah, with prayers and hope, the rain will feel like the rain you missed, not something that makes you gloomy.

Ya Rabb, showers upon my father your blessings, forgiveness, rahmah and protections. Increase his rank, ya Rabb. Place him amongst those You love. Showers upon my mother the same too. And with your guidance ya Rabb, with your mercy, I pray I will be reunited with my parents (and moksu, too!) in a better place someday. Protect my loved ones, protect me. Ameen.

ps: And boh, your son in law graduated his Phd!

#3

Alangkah bagus jika kau boleh ambil hati aku,

pegang, sapu, dan pulangkan kembali.

Ada rindu yang takkan mati, membakar terus.

Akhirnya,

aku terbakar sama, atau menjadi abu,

yang akhirnya senyap malap.

Ada kasih yang tak terbagi,

sunyi.

Aku tidak lagi dapat bicara dengan orang paling aku kasih.

Cerita2 aku tertapis dilapisan tanah2 sedalam tujuh kaki nun didalam bumi.

Aku merindui semuanya,

dan sungguh,

sunyi rupanya tidak bergaduh kita..

Aku mahu kau ambil hati aku,

dan sapu.

Setiap debu2 yang menebal,

yang menghalang aku untuk merindu tanpa perlu melingkup jatuh dan sembunyi.

Tapi,

apa benar akan kau sudi?

Seingat aku dari balam memori semalam.

kau juga telah pergi.

 

#1

I was somehow mad because I thought people did not get it. Forcing me to stop being sad, to not think about it too much, to get it over with and move on. It was not their fault that they did not understand, the one who died that night was my father not theirs. I cannot blame them for only knowing the rhythm of my laugh but not my tears. They do not know how to deal with sadness, but they are trying. And I think I like it that way. At the sound of abah, as how I used to address my father, I would teared up. My dad was my world and he was a brilliant listener. I am allowed to feel the way I feel because my dad was indeed someone who knew me very well. Some people came into your life and they took away pieces of you they never meant to return. You are also bound to remember all the little things and ache sometimes, but know that everything will pass. Like how happiness come and go, sadness will behave similarly as well. Nothing would ever prepare you for this. Losing your loved one is by far the most excruciating pain you could ever taste. Cry when you want, it is okay to feel sad. Remember them, they were a part of your life and you are not made to forget important people just like that. A lot of things will remind you of them, from the smell of the rain to the sight of their favourite dessert I know, but darling, life goes on.

Do not feel pressured to let go. Take the memories with you. When you feel sad, talk about it. If no one wants to listen or no one knows what to say, write them down. Write them down like me. Blank pages are sad people’s best friend. And eventually, I hope, things will–albeit slowly, get better.

After all, life means so much more because you know it is going to end someday. One day, it will be my time to go. And when it comes, I want to be remembered, if I get that at all, in decently fun ways.

Better days are coming, love. Take care.