I find myself reminiscing some of these memories that left me quite an impact. As if it happened yesterday, I still remember every single detail of that moment when it happened. The weather, the clothes I wore, the places, the smell of my surrounding and even the facial expressions of the people.
I remembered crying while having muffins that I bought in Miri Airport back in 2010. That was the first time that I missed first day of Raya back home with my grandparents. I had to finish up my final year project’s fieldwork and it was close to the submission so I had to sacrifice whatever time I have left. Such a weird feeling to not be able to sit with the whole family, having our last buka puasa together. I hate crying when I’m eating. Felt like there was a lump in my throat. I quickly shoved the muffin in the brown bag and cried.
That’s when I know, Hari Raya is something that is very close to my heart. First meal of Hari Raya is something that is very sensitive to me. I can’t imagine having to eat something else rather than my maktok’s rendang and ketupat.
I remember sitting in the car while beau’s driving and we saw an old man collecting cardboard, bottles under a shed. To our surprise he is actually living there, under the shed, barely able to withstand strong wind or rain. I remember shedding tears and I felt an ache in my heart. Beau drove off and told me not to cry. I can’t stand seeing old man having to go through such hardship. I imagined my Tok Wan immediately.
That’s when I know, deep inside, I am very close to my Tok Wan. He might brought me up in a strict manner with his military style, but Tok Wan’s presence is very important to me. I want to be with a man like Tok Wan; strict but very responsible towards the family. He has his own ways of showing us how much he loves us.
I remember queuing up to get my nasi kandar at Pelita in Bangsar when I was sighing, why on earth is the line so slow and seem to not be moving at all? I came to know that there was this very very old lady asking the staffs to plate her some food. She don’t know what to eat but she just need to eat. She seemed very decent, clean but very weak. She was holding an umbrella and a bunch of keys in her hand. And she showed them a RM10 note. She was just hungry. I guess she’s living alone and just walking around to find some food. Again, crystal eyes and without noticing it, I shed tears and quickly wiped it off with my sleeve. The staffs were so nice. They made her a plate of rice, chicken and some vegetables, showed her a table and gave her drinks. I was so sad to see the incident. But I was so grateful that the staffs didn’t pushed her away.
That’s when I know, I wouldn’t want to let my Maktok be left alone. Even from afar, I make sure that my uncle and aunty next door stay close to Maktok and Tokwan especially at night.
I remember the day I sent my elder sister at the airport when she was leaving for UK for 3 years. It was a dull, gloomy day. I was cheerful in the beginning but few hours towards her flight, I can’t even stand up and smile. I wrote her a letter. I told Kakak to read it in the plane. I held her hands all the time and followed her everywhere before her flight. Check-ins, group briefing, toilet, ahh..what else. I felt like I am about to lose my soulmate. We fought every day without fail and I told her during the fights how happy I am if she’s far away from me. I regretted saying every single words because all I want at that moment is for my sister to be around me all the time, to comfort me when I have problems and when the world is being evil. I cried and hugged her so hard and I whispered to her, “Don’t forget to read the letter. I love you.”. I wrote all the things that I don’t have the courage and strength to utter in front of her. And as she went down the escalator passed the international departure gate, that was the last time I ever get to see her face.
That’s when I know that I just ate my words. I realized the pain of losing a sister over the years. I had no one to turn to when there were problems going around the family, my studies, my life. I ate my words. I now cherished her presence more than anything else in this world.
I remember the day I fell right after the finish line of my 100m sprint. It was some time when I was in Form 3-5 running for the school and my legs were bent. That was the day I injured my knee. The pain I felt is still clear in my head. But I remember asking my coach, “Did I passed the finish line? Did I got disqualified?” while pressing on my knees bearing the pain.
That’s when I know that to me results come first, and pain later. I am very hard on myself. Back in those days, sports and athletics were the only things that kept me occupied besides studies. My parents were busy. So, I challenged myself and I wanted to achieve something for myself, not for anybody else. I want to satisfy and make myself happy.
I remember rushing Tok Wan to the hospital. He collapsed and subhanAllah, all 3 of us were around. I have never seen anyone so chaotic and clueless at the same time but we were, on that day. We panicked. Asyran grabbed Tok Wan by his waist and the next thing we know, we are already speeding to the hospital, 25km away. I was at the back seat, Tok Wan in my arms and I constantly rubbed his back and whisper istighfar to him. Asyran and Kakak turned to the back every once in a while and I asked them to hurry up. We spent the night in the hospital accompanying Tok Wan. That was one of the most frightening moment in our lives. Couldn’t bear the thought of Tok Wan going through such pain.
That’s when I know I can count on my siblings any time, any day. It’s amazing how we fought day and night, argued like cats and dogs and yet again, we have the same priority – our grandparents. Looking back at how we responded to Tokwan’s sickness, we were amazed by how calm and cooperative we were in handling it. Alhamdulillah.
I have so many other memories that are still pretty clear in my mind. Some even brought me to tears only thinking about them. Truth is, at that very moment when it happened, I can never see the reason behind it. I questioned myself, I questioned the people around me, I questioned Him. But it’s amazing how I managed to handle myself and keep moving. He showed me the way and when I paid a little more attention to it, I saw all the reasons behind it.
I still cry every time I thought of these memories. Alhamdulillah for the lessons learned. Alhamdulillah.