Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Baby Irah

We were walking side by side towards the front door when Baby Irah said, "Tani pinjam rumah Nini Iyop". I was stunned for a second when my 3 year old cousin mentioned our late Nini Laki's name. We just came home from kedai runcit to buy groceries. Then I asked her, "Nini Iyop mana, baby?" Just testing what would her response be. And then she said, "Nini Iyop jalan syurga. Nanti Kaka pun jalan syurga, jumpa nini" I was struck at heart and said "Amin...baby" I held back my tears...and just smiled, looking at Baby Irah. Her innocent and cute face made me feel calm at heart. I really miss you Nini...


Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Zuhur that I will never forget

"Allah Akbar"; with the takbeer, we started our Zuhur jemaah. My fiancé was the Imam on that day. Three of us; my brother, my fiancé and me had our Zuhur prayers at my uncle's place. It was around 1 pm and we performed our Zuhur at the living room area. It was raining with thunder and the room was quite cold. It was during our second rakaat when I heard noises outside my uncle's house. And at that moment, I knew, my late Nini's coffin was already brought down from his house next door to the pick-up truck. I tried hard to focus on my recitation of surah Al-Fatihah while holding back my tears. I knew, that would be the last time I ever saw Nini Laki again. Once we finished our prayers, and du'a, I joined my brother who walked quickly towards the door and stood still, watching the truck started to move slowly, making its way out to the simpang. It was still drizzling, as if the day knew, my family was mourning for the loss of our beloved grandfather.  I quickly called my brother and my fiancé, to follow the truck with my car. We walked in the rain towards the simpang to get to my car. I didn't know whether I cried in the rain or it was the rain itself; but I could feel both my cheeks were wet and my eyes blurred.

It felt like forever when we followed the pick up truck to its destination. My fiancé drove my car, while me and my brother sat silently in the car. There were quite a number of cars joining our trip to the nearby cemetery. From a distance, I could see the pick up truck moving slowly in front of us, towards the Orang Dusun's cemetery in our kampung... 

***

It was only 10 months after my beloved Nini Bini passed away and my family was once again, saddened by the news of my beloved Nini Laki. He was only admitted for 11 days at the RIPAS Hospital, and he passed away after he was admitted at the SICU ward for only one night. It all started when Babah and Uncle Etus found him sitting on the bathroom's floor. 'Weak legs,' he said. He couldn't stand up so they called an ambulance to send him to the Tutong Hospital. He was then sent to the RIPAS Hospital for further check ups. I wasn't in the loop; only Babah and Uncle Yamit were there the whole time for the check ups and updates from the doctors. The only thing I knew was that Nini Laki was okay. He didn't suffer from any serious injuries or any serious internal bleeding and what not. The first night he was admitted at the RIPAS hospital, I went to visit him. I was surprised to find out he developed rashes on both his arms and he was shivering, holding on tight to Uncle Yamit's arms. I asked my uncle what happened and I was told that he developed allergies after he was prescribed antibiotics. And I expected his condition would improve, which he did. 

My fiancé and I came to visit him every day at the hospital to follow his progress. My family members took turns to visit and Nini Laki was never left alone even one second at the hospital. It was only a week in the hospital when his condition started to worsen again. Fever came and go, and everything escalated real quick that the doctors decided to place Nini Laki at the SICU ward. It was that final night when I couldn't stop crying as I watched him lying lifelessly on the hospital bed, being attached with all the cables and machines. It was really a pain to see my beloved Nini Laki being treated that way but that was the only option. Babah and his siblings got no other options only to let the doctors tried their best. I stood still, watching Nini Laki's closed eyes. He looked calm, as if he was sleeping. His chest moved up and down, very slowly. I held his cold palm. No response at all. I had this heavy feeling that I knew he would be never be recovered again but I denied myself. Only Allah knew how I felt that night. I had the same feeling I had on the night before Nini Bini passed away but I just kept it to myself. It was already past the visiting hours but I wouldn't budge from my position. I just wanted to be there with Nini Laki; hoping a miracle would happen. I longed for him to call me name again. But, it never happened. And that night, I couldn't sleep. In fact, most of my family members couldn't sleep. Everyone was anxious. It was around 3 am when the news came from my uncle. Just that one text in our WhatsApp group and we knew Nini Laki has left us... 

***

The burial ceremony for our beloved Nini Laki went smoothly. Fresh flower petals were scattered on top of his grave as a final touch. I saw Babah had tears on his face. It really broke my heart to see tears on Babah's face, though he tried his best to hide it but I could see right through him. It was at that moment I realized the weather had changed; from a rainy and thundery noon to a windy and cool afternoon. I still remember the sounds of the birds started singing as if they were trying to cheer us all up at the cemetery. At that particular moment, I knew, I won't be seeing my grandparents anymore. Rumah Nini will be empty. There will be no more weekends with Nini. There will be no more "sikin tangan Nini", "tunggu Nini siap makan baru balik", "Nini di bawah arah perahu", "Marah Nini karang" and plenty other things... And I already missed him calling me with my kampung name...

You will always be remembered and will always be in our hearts forever Nini...

Nini Laki's favorite Kijang