Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Raya with Mak

It was 1610 London time when MH4 landed at Heathrow yesterday. While waiting for the doors to open, memories of the last two carefree weeks came flooding back. Two weeks of being spoilt and dare I say- two weeks of being a spoilt brat – and enjoying it! So now its back to the harsh realities of being a mum, a wife and as I write this, at 0430 (jet lagged!) I have just under three hours to rest before my first assignment – a breakfast meeting with a Minister! And I can bet you, I will be dozing off by 5 pm and hopefully someone will wake me up for another assignment at 1930 at Four Seasons. No rest for the wicked.

The harsher reality is the weather PLUS the realisation that my coat is still not at the cleaners.

Will I sound irresponsible if I say I had really enjoyed my two weeks away from my husband and children? Throughout the time I was doing my studies, my Mak fell, injured her head, was ill several times. But I pushed aside all negative thoughts and soldiered on with my studies. I ignored blogs with entries on Mothers. I was in denial but I silently prayed that Allah gives me this chance to be with her during Hari Raya. When I prayed alongside with her the morning of Hari Raya, I thanked God, that I was back home on that special day with Mak. Alhamdulillah, I can say that the first part of the holiday, I was with her and my siblings all the time. When Abang came back from the Middle East, Mak couldn’t stop smiling. She was chirpy and active. All her children were with her in the house that Pak built for Mak and she watched us up to our mischiefs. We were her little children, arguing, bantering and teasing each other, and at other times, we were mothering her – telling her off for walking miles in her own home that she has left for the past six months or so, brushing this and sweeping that. We humoured her and played along when she talked about staying back in the house and not wanting to move back to KL. We conspired with other relatives against her and psyched her up for the trip back...and she played along too, knowing deep down, she has no choice anymore.

In a way, it is sad. She was THE strength for not just us her children, but also for all her siblings and other relatives. The house that Pak built used to be the centre for relatives to get together. The kitchen was always full of relatives sitting around eating and eating and talking about old times. We’d move from the kitchen to the hall and back and still had plenty to talk about. And Mak would feed all of us endlessly.

Now, she has been reduced to a nomad, moving from one child’s house to another, carrying her small bag of necessities. With all the love she has around her, she is frustrated that she is now incapable of doing things for herself, that she has to depend on other people.

Everyday while we were at the family home, she woke up with this smile on her face and padded to the front room to see her new table. Ajie had bought it for Raya. And Nisa bought a table runner that pleased her enormously. She didnt want a table cloth as she wanted to see the polished wood. The table first became her excuse to stay back. Then, one day before the trip back to KL, she feigned illness. We played along and later we overheard her chat with the neighbour – she admitted, she no longer has any say – she goes where ever we take her.

In the middle of the nights when we were there, she did her rounds in that big lounge that has become our communal bedroom. I was reduced to tears when she came over and covered me with the thin blanket that had slipped away. Once, I woke up to see her stroking Ajie’s hair forgetting that Ajie is already a father of five! Earlier, against all protestations, she slowly pulled a mattress and some blankets to one corner of the lounge. “Ni untuk Abang” she said, refering to the beddings. Yes, Abang has no one to care for him now that Kak Piah is gone and Mak knew that she needs to mother him again. In a way since Kak Piah’s passing, she has found it in her to be strong for Abang.

Last week we brought her back to KL and on day one, she was down. She didnt want to leave the house that Pak built for her and her orchids and her plants that she loves so much. So, we put plan 2 into action. Lilah brought over Ajie’s small children to be around her. Lilah did her chores walking past her every few minutes to show that there are people around her. I was, of course, out shopping and meeting friends. She’d ask after me, but she is also resigned to the fact that I need to be with a group of childhood friends whenever I am back. She knows that when I am with them, I would either come back at 3 am or not at all. She allows this irresponsible child in me and perhaps also realised it is too late to change me. Well, at my age I can’t be up to much mischief now, can I? Or, can I?

On the last night, I slept with her and watched her sleep. She is so small and frail but she still has so much love that has touched so many. She has given so much and expects so little in return.

So, last raya, the house that Pak built for Mak was full of fun and laughter again and that should keep Mak happy for a while. When I left yesterday, Mak at 88 was a picture of health. As she hugged and kissed me, she whispered “Jangan lupa Mak”.

The Captain’s announcement brought me back to reality and as I pushed my bag out, I called Taufiq’s mobile phone. My husband answered and said he was still at home. I was a little disappointed but we did agree to meet in Paddington instead of Heathrow. But once outside, I saw a familiar figure trying to hide behind a pillar! He was up to his old tricks again! And there was Taufiq trying to suppress his laughter seeing his father acting like a teenager!

Aaaah, we do need to let the child in us out once in a while and I certainly did during my 2 weeks home with Mak. Now, I am ready to be a Mak again. And hopefully a better one!










52 comments:

Arena said...

Asm

Kak Teh, missed your writings. I'm glad that u had a great time with ur mum. Cherish them while they are still here kan. So that we live with no regrets when they are no longer with us. Thanks for a beautifully written entry.

may said...

kak teh, u're back! I think u were on the same plane I came home in from london, only it picked u up & went back there again...

I was just watching my mum during dinner last night, oh I shall miss her so when it's time for me to fly the coop down south in a year's time...

momofanissufiya said...

she whispered “Jangan lupa Mak”...alaa..saya dah nak nangis dah nie..huhu

nohachomel said...

yes kak, u r greatest mom indeed, welcome back!

MobileMom said...

Kak Teh,

Glad to know you are home safely with your family again. I'm sure you had loads of fun back home. Well, I had a good time meeting up with you!! I have been wanting to meet up with you personally and now waallaaa..!! Thank you for squeezing me in your busy schedule!! Can't believe it's a small world kan..by chance that we know the same circle of people.

Looking forward for more postings from you!!! Take care.

Anonymous said...

syioknye finally dpt jumpa kak teh! tak sangka makcik blur kita ni sungguh ayu dgn senyumannye, suara pun menggoda.. serak2 basah :) next time nak dgr kak teh nyanyi lak.

elisa

Count Byron said...

kak Teh... your setting at the House Pak buit for Mak was divine.. I love your write up on Mak. Many would feel and experience almost the same drama once mak inches into her eighties..
You reminded me of a Kak Teh in Edinburgh.. who was/is a mother to her children..and to the many Malaysians there too...
Bless you.

Count

dr in the house said...

Kak Teh, been here many times to see if you have started blogging again :))....I am sad to read about your mak...especially when she says jgn lupakan mak...reminds me when my mom murmured 'doa untuk mak sekali' when I was doing my sujud during prayers recently...sedihkan?

Joebangla said...

terjurai2 airmata keluar baca entry nih. lemah akuh!

Atok said...

welkang bek !
ssiang awang dok ssoghang....

marlinda said...

Selamat pulang KakTeh...
Seronok baca your description of your times with your Mak...
Seronoknya dapat beraya dengan Mak...

anggerik merah said...

Kak Teh welcome back..Almost broke into tears reading yr story abt yr mak. Mak will always think that we are still kid in her heart. Being a mother also we might feel the same as our children grow up. Teringat kat mak laa...

DEWA said...

Yang kak teh jinjing pulang itu, amat bermakna bagi saya. Walau berat dan susah, itu yang diharap jadi kenangan. Kerana jiwa mu luhur menghulurkan semangat pada yang telah hilang harapan.terima kasih

RojakBuah said...

Salam Kak Teh...bestkan..raya dgn Mak....sedih biler baca 'jgn lupa mak'...rase nk terbang je balik M'sia...

miniME said...

A'kum Kak Teh...miss your entries...this one makes me even more homesick...isk. Glad you had fun back home...take care!!

MA said...

Kak Teh :

My tears flowed reading how your Mak went around making sure all her babies are comfortable. A mother is still a mother no matter what age they are.

Her babies will remained babies no matter how old they are.

" Jangan lupa Mak "

The same words coming from my Bapak as he sent me to start my new life after college in big, bad KL.

And I never forget Mak eventhough she is no longer around.

Thank you Kak Teh for this meaningful piece.

*HUGS*

mommy@lif said...

dear k teh, this piece really touched me. being a mom myself, i now know why mak is always number one in everybody's list. couldn't agree more with mak andeh, i too cried, sampai tersedu sedan baca part your mak siap round tpt tido nak provide the best for her kids. semoga Allah memberikan semangat & kekuatan kepada semua mak di dunia ini... amiin

Mama Irma said...

Kak Teh, I'm so happy for you, able to be with your mum on H/Raya! I know how she feels as I am holding my breath too for my daughter's return from UK this December.It will be my H/Raya!

drbubbles said...

hehehe..dear spoiled ibu mertuaku,

must tell u that i was so honored to be your "drebar" cum "menantu" during your days in KL...heheh...

Jiwa Rasa said...

`Jangan lupa mak'
Yes, I will..

Welcome back & TQ for reminding us of our mums..

kaezrin said...

oh u're back...

x sempat jumpa akak kat sini..maybe next time...

nadya said...

kak teh,
thanks for ur time at airport. falling in love with ur mom immedietly...

meandbaby said...

Kak Teh..
Welcome back..miss your entry..this entry really touched one's heart..thank you for reminding..

bergen said...

Here's to mothers the world over.

Anonymous said...

kak teh,
*sniff* can i adopt your mak to be my mak? i badly need a grandmother...

*Nefer*sniff*titi*

thinktankgal said...

Great that you are safely back to London! Awat tak email?? he!he! My parents were in Lorong Shariff house the Raya weekend.. But do email me your mom's contacts coz my parents would like to visit her after they are back from Umrah..Insyallah I will be going to UK sometime next year and will visit you ok....Me, as usual, will tumpang rumah Atok kat Reading :P Take care KakTeh!

ubisetela said...

welcome back kakteh!
will get to see my mom & the whole family next week.. yeah!

Restless said...

I ni memang la.. a natural cry baby, kak teh. Reading your entry about your mom, reminds me about mine a lot. meleleh air mata dok terkenang about her. (Have you read my entry on Ibik?)The fact that she inherits only one child even scares me more. Takut tak terjaga my mom later, takut terlepas cakap, takut terlepas rasa marah kat mak; semuanya la. Sedih sangat baca your entry coz I felt so near to the your subject of writing.

Restless said...

Oh no! Not another relative of yours, kak teh? Is thinktankgal a relative too? How many are you guys in here? I know that Maknenek and Anedra are your anak menakan or something. Alahai....ghamai nya!

Jane Sunshine said...

KT, You ARE BACK!!!!! Am so happy. This is such a touching entry. You've laced a poignant story with doses of humour. Ah, I've missed you!

Uja said...

kak teh! finally the entry about your dear mum that I have been waiting for.

Thank you for sharing this - and good to know that your Raya with Mak was a joyous one!

Nadia said...

kak teh....you're back....miss you! as always touching piece of writing. I especially like the part where she covers you back with the blanket and strokes ajie's head. makes me think...susah ye jadi tua ni...a feeling of helplessness.

kak teh, knp everytime masuk blog kak teh ni dpt red nova punye pop up dgn tah kebende lagi tah?

anyway..glad you got your vacation and i also like the glimpse of your 'teenager' at the airport.meriah betul family kak teh ni hehehehehehe

Ely said...

welcome back! ur entry has moved me. like i always tell u, i will take this as an inspiration in yrs to come for me.

Lady K said...

sayunya........teringat kat mummy saya...........just wish i could kiss and hug her again..........hanya doa yg dapat dikirim......

Happy that u had a great time with you mummy & family

EM&EM said...

Kak Teh,

Am touched by this entry.

Lollies said...

at times like this, I feel like crying

AuntieYan. said...

Kak Teh...sad that I "ter missed" you....hope to meet you someday.

MakNenek said...

salam kak teh,
im so glad to hear that u had a terrific time in malaysia and spent a lot of time with ur mom and family too. macam teenager without curfew plak eh dok sana takde hubby and kids! i pun baru terlepas cakap to habibi that i will only start enjoying sg after he leaves! muahahah

Syidar said...

Sedihlah...bila ja baca Kak Teh tulis pasal mak, mesti org sedih. mamat kat cube sebelah hairan tgk napa tetiba org nangis...:(

Anonymous said...

KT - glad to hear you had a wonderful raya with mak & family... but i guess its bittersweet too coz takde the hubby & kids eh.

missed u :)

- RedKebaya.

atn said...

aiseh 1st posting tak keluarq la

what i said was:

am glad that you are *back*, have been waiting

NorEEz said...

Kak Teh,Glad that you're back home save.

A touching entry. Nothing compared to Raya with your family especially your parents kan??

Lydia Teh said...

KT, Welcome back to the blog. It's good to read about you bonding with your family, especially with dear old mom.

Anita said...

welcome back Aunty Teh.
Glad you had fun during the raya and im sure your husband and children are happy to have you back home.
What your mum pesan, "jgn lupa mak"...it make my tears roll down my eyes. Coz that was what my mum would say to me when im going back to germany.

Bustaman said...

And here I am, waiting for the phone call!
Alhamdullillah you are back safe.

rawna said...

salam raya aunt & family! a lovely lovely entry. unfortunate not having the chance to meet u over raya, we were all back in tRengganu....

Lina said...

i have a teary eyes reading this post..
came straight from blogmalaysia after screening thru the list of blogs and somehow ur entry caught my attention..

love your honesty and i need to remind myself to call Mak and let her know i love her everyday from now on...

Thanks

MamiJarum said...

Don't know when I'll be able to be back home again but hopefully it will be soon! Glad to hear that you had a wonderful time!

Anonymous said...

KT, saya tangguh baca blog KT 'cos saya agak dah sure saya sedih punya...tapi baca gak, meleleh ayak mata....teringat kat mak...ME dah tak da mak...ME lah ganti mak untuk adik2 and even abang2...cousins, nieces and nephews, terutama hari raya, berat tanggungjawabnye...bila penat layan depa,teringat kat mak....
lain kali kita jumpa ....
Mak Ety

Anonymous said...

I break into tears upon reading this entry..dah lebih setahun tak jumpa mak....

NONI said...

Salam...
I was introduced to ur blog by my sister who's probably here somewhere leaving a comment. Like most of the others I too nangis berbaldi-baldi as I read ur entry. I have a Mak too and I there are many things similar yet different between our Maks... similar in their love, affection, strength and sacrifices yet my Mak has got a deep vengeance of what she thinks life 'owes' to her. Even though I want to think of my mother in the same romantic terms as u do urs, I cannot lie to myself and see my mother and her negative sides. For that I am sad. But I wish u well Kak Teh and also to ur Mak, may she be in the protection of Allah always.

Kak Teh said...

to everyone here - thank you for your kind words - i myself have not been able to come back and read what I wrote abt Mak - for reasons - I will feel sad. But i received Noni's comments yesterday - my heart goes out to you too. be strong - she has her reasons -all bottled up..may be she can't express it. But whatever a nd however threy are - mak kita jugak, kan? take care.