Saturday, 2 August 2008

In Loving Memory of Atuk Mak

This was written a couple of years ago when my grandmother passed away.

This morning at approximately 6.30 am UK time (1:23:19 pm Malaysian time), I was awoken by the sound of my phone indicating that I’ve got a text message. I knew from that second, its atuk mak.

I’ve been ‘singing the winter blues’ lately. Perhaps it’s the cold weather, overwhelmed with college work and every other thing that has been bothering my mind. That night I was feeling low, dull and uninspired which is only natural, I guess. I exchanged text messages with Mama and Kakak and knew that atuk was on her death bed.

It wasn’t like I was very close to her compared to her other grand children but I knew one thing is, both of us are emotionally attached. She is after all my grandma.

I did not wake up crying my eyes out or anything like that but the news did add to my bitterness. This is the first death of a close family member. It has been a quiet Saturday for me, had the whole house to myself, and gazed around just by myself. Here I recalled significant memories I have of her.

After Asar prayer, I read surah Yasin for her as it is the least I can do. The thought of calling Abah occurred to me many times but I figured he would need time of his own and probably busy running around handling the funeral. Being a tough person that he is I’m sure he is doing fine. He has done his best as a son, appreciating his mother’s sacrifice. Hopefully he doesn’t have any regrets of “wish I had…” in his mind.

Me and Atuk Mak, we do some how have some similar qualities. I have inherited some genes of hers. Becok, kecoh, gossip, bijak, and emotional. We also shared the same features. I’m just glad I made effort to visit her every holiday especially towards the few last ones although I could have done more. Looking at her I can imagine myself in many years to come. It’s hard when you are caught in your own little selfish world and everything else seems to matter more and every other people are way more important than your grandma.

I knew this was coming anytime soon seeing her state of health the last time I saw her. Right now I just feel like I would want to be there when she held her last breath. You know just to contribute a small wee and complete my responsibility as her grand daughter who’s not always there for her.

Reminiscing: I remember when I was a young brat and I lost my small piece of toy and made a huge case of it. When we got home she searched and searched till she found it and kept it for the next time Abah came to see her. I remember going to surau for sembahyang raya ages ago before some tragedy happened which changed our yearly Raya routine. Every time we leave to go back to KL, she would have tears in her eyes-Emotional. Her cooking which she stop doing long time ago since the new Aunt moved in; lontong, kuah kacang and best of all ikan masak asam pedas. Atuk Mak also did mengandam job for weddings. The bedtime stories about Abah’s childhood, which I vaguely remember, how she used to get on her bicycle selling kuih (cakes) for his pocket money. A day when she and Abah were crossing the road, they found RM5 note on the road which they later bought a bird. A parrot if I’m not mistaken.

She noticed my love for dancing. She noticed I would jump around the living room practising my ballet steps. That touched me. Honestly my other grandma was never pleased with what I do. (That doesn’t make me not like her any less; I must admit some of my values do come from that side of the family). But she did. No reason to hide or cover stories. From my eye she was religious, traditional yet flexible and open minded. Hence being quite liberal gives the opportunity which allows you freedom, creativity and independence. However the consequences of being flexible and open minded produced some Lanuns (pirates) in the family. No doubt about that! It’s only natural, I guess.

I thank my parents for not allowing me to do everything at the same time not stopping me from doing many things. They made me, Me, who I am now and the bigger person I hope to be. I don’t only learn from their good examples but also from their mistakes. I would want be there for you, Abah and Mama like how you’ve been there for us, forever. This I can assure you. Although, second thoughts when it comes to politics. It doesn’t tickle my fancy!

The best words Atuk Mak told my dad which was passed down to me is one of the best life lessons in the world,

“Biar genting, jangan putus!”

May Allah SWT create a clear pathway for her to heaven and let her rest in peace. AL – FATIHAH. Her presence and memories will never leave our sight.

Lost Pearl

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