Saturday, 4 February 2006

Ibu, pray for me...

It is the third day, and there’s already colour in her face. And she is sitting up, scanning her new surrounding, looking at other patients who have visitors. Her eyes light up when she found us. How young and vulnerable she looks. Six months ago, she was with her husband and son thousands of miles from where she is sitting now but a desperate call for help from a cousin brought her to a foreign land whose language she barely understands, whose culture so very alien. And now she is surrounded by mostly strangers. The only person who she could speak to in her own mother tongue is a few beds away, like her, still recovering from an operation - the operation which was only made possible because she came to offer one of her kidneys. How noble – a word I struggled to find because there’s not many selfless acts that we encounter these days.

I had met these two amazing cousins by chance. One was working as a maid but what a wonderful employer she has – one who tended to her during her illness and didn’t allow her to do any heavy work. And one who paid for her private hospital care and treatment. Again, such act of kindness restored my faith in mankind.

How awful it must be to be ill, seriously ill in a foreign land, when all you want is to be surrounded by your loved ones and be pampered. But how wonderful it is that in times like these you find kindness and compassion in strangers.

I remember a Malaysian family who wrote a letter to another Malaysian she didn’t even know – saying they were coming here for a transplant. She was giving part of her liver to her daughter to save her life. They didn’t know anyone here – but when they left, the whole Malaysian community became their friends. We not only visited them, but we cooked for them, we cried with them in their darkest hours and we rejoiced when things looked brighter.

Recently too, a family came for a holiday and suddenly found themselves spending more time in the hospital than sightseeing. The husband fell ill almost immediately on arrival. But these people are fortunate in a sense that they could even fly family and friends to visit. Not many, especially my newfound friends from our neighbouring country, could afford that. Thus, we find ourselves alternating between the two beds, wiping a tear, spooning a drink, massaging an arm and most of the time – just to talk in a language that they can understand and not make them feel totally lost, even in a very friendly environment.

I was away on the day before the transplant, but I received a call, “Ibu, doakan saya, Ibu.” Given the distance, that was all I could do but visited as soon as I could.

I remember the few hours after the transplant, I didn’t really know what to do, how to cope. They were groggy and looked so vulnerable. I could only hold their hands – and even then, one at a time as their beds were so far apart. When one of them woke up, I felt the squeeze in my hand, and saw the grimace of pain in her face. I remember the same tight squeeze of hand when the mother in the liver transplant I mentioned above came to after her operation to save her daughter’s life. The squeeze that signalled the pain as the pain killer ceased to be effective.

Yesterday, one of them was transfered to a ward below. And they worried about each other. So, you can trust Kak Teh to take pictures on her digital, changed into her superwoman outfit and then flew back upstairs to show the picture. That brought a smile to her face.

Today, I am told they can eat something and they yearn for something Malay. Am sure I can manage that! And if you are reading this, please say a prayer for them too.

UPDATE:

I am glad to report that the two ladies are doing very well - sitting up and eating. They are encouraged to walk around a bit. Makanan pun banyak..Alhamdulillah - banyak yang melawat dan bawa makanan - jadi macam pasar malam pulak! Kak Teh dah sampaikan salam dan doa semua di sini dan mereka juga mengucapkan terima kasih. Their beds are now side by side! Alhamdulillah - they are well on the way to recovery.

32 comments:

may said...

oh kak teh, a touching story. it's amazing how strangers could be your closest friends at the darkest hour. may we have more of them in this world, there are never enough kind souls these days.

atenah said...

you are a superwoman Kak Teh, of the mak cik variety :)

Ewok said...

my prayers with them.

klmuk said...

in between work, family, social activities and "eastenders", kakteh masih sempat melakukan charitable work. may Allah reward your life with his blessings !!

honey said...

K Teh, you never fail to amaze me! Love all ur stories. To echo atenah, u r one SUPERWOMAN. U r my source of inspiration during gloomy days. TQVM K TEH..

Kak Teh said...

may, let us hope so.
atenah- ya, instead of a black cape i have one made from batik kelantan!
ewok - bless you!
klmuk - not to mention American Idol and of course my alleycats session in the kitchen!thanks for the chat!
honey, i just do what i can..Insyaallah, boleh tolong apa yang boleh.

Noni said...

I happen to be a great proponent of blood donation. Many of us take for granted the lengths that a few drop of blood can go towards saving lives. It doesn't cost us anything but a little bit of our time. But of course a few snapshots on the digicam pun works wonders too... May your friends recover soon. Amin.

ailin...in aalborg said...

Oh Kak Teh, you're such a multi-tasker!
Hugs!

AuntyN said...

Super makcik Kak Teh, I am so proud I know YOU. InsyaAllah you will be rewarded, amin.

A prayer to the ladies. Send my salam to them kak teh.

nadya said...

mak teh..
mmg touching story. mendoakan utk mereka n mak teh jugak..

minah blur said...

kak teh - haven't been here for a while

prayers to the special ladies

despite what the world has become, humanity and compassion is not dead !!

Count Byron said...

Kak Teh, I love what you are doing. It really makes me want to be there to comfort those ladies. I should have become a doctor.. my teacher was right.

What you do to others, Allah will send someone to gladden your Mak, that too I am convinced. Thanks for sharing

Kak Teh said...

noni, i will cook, feed, take photos, hold hands but no, no blood donation. nanti kak teh pengsan dulu!
ailin, multi tasking? hmm entah lah...
auntyN - i have sampaikan the salam.

Kak Teh said...

nadya, thanks.
minah blur, thanks for visiting again.thank you for prayers too.
Count..I got lump in my throat when i read the part abt Mak. I certainly hope so! I certainly hope so!

Wati said...

Hi kak Teh, I received an email from AuntyN about this matter, and I come here to read your blog.

I send them my prayer as a fellow indonesian living in a foreign land, my thoughts are with them and hope they'll get better soon. You're such a kindhearted person and it's a wonderful things that you did for them.

Maybe I couldn't help much, but maybe the embassy will give them some help... at least it could be easier for them to talk to people with the same language.

Kak Teh said...

wati, thank you for your prayers. They are in good hands, Alhamdulillah. and they are recovering very well.

Jane Sunshine said...

Superwoman Kak Teh on the go again! This is just one of the countless acts of kindness that you've showered on perfect strangers. But every single time, you give them comfort in whatever capacity you can. Bless you. And a silent prayer for them.

MamiJarum said...

Our prayers are with them! Hope they recover soon and it's such a great feeling to know that someone is there to help when especially you're in a foreign land!

Anonymous said...

someone once gave me this note which read "..orang Islam di mana-mana pun adalah bersaudara.."

how true.. =)

i held on tightly to that 'magic phrase' till now. any bits n parts we can assist ANYONE (regardless of creeds/race/religions") it'd be wonderful to be a leaning shoulder, a helping hand etc.

God is only a prayer away.. insyaAllah we'll be remembering all in our prayers.. ameen.

p/s: dok jaga org sakit, u have to take good care of yrself too superlady! ;)

fatihah said...

oh sorry.. yg atas tuh saya. =P

pu1pu3 said...

A'kum KT,
Prayers to them and for you too! I know how they felt, wanting malay food and now you're doing the same deed for them. I remembered the story abt the family coming in for a holiday and falling in sick instead. They sure r lucky to have u there. All this would be given blessing to you from Allah and of course my prayers goes to your Mak. Take care KT. Mari kita sama2 doa.InsyaAllah berkat!The power of prayers!

Kak Teh said...

Jane, it is indeed a humbling experience and makes us stop whining. Thanks for the prayers/
mami - thanks.
fatihah, how true. and such wonderful words.
Putri - yes, kita doa sama2.

Ordinary Superhero said...

My doa to the two strong women and to you too, Kak Teh.

Mr Count, I echo your doa. InsyaAllah. Amin.

anedra said...

Bravo! Where you find the strength for all this I don't know. but it seems to run in the family, looking at yr bros and sisters, mom included. I hope I inherit some..but I think, I've got a lot of the other side in me! Hahah!

Am glad that they are recovering. May Allah give them health and happiness. You too! Am so proud of you! Kiss!Kiss!

Anonymous said...

Salam KT,
Do'a ME untuk the ladies dan juga KT sekeluarga. Semoga ALLAH S.W.T memberkati KT sekeluarga, Amin...
Mak Ety

annckay said...

my prayers for them...

Kak Teh said...

OSH thank you and the same from me to you and family.
anedra..I think I got my training looking after u!
Mak Ety and Annckay - May Allah bless you too.

LifeBloom said...

KT : Happy to read that the ladies are recovering well. Alhamdullilah - ada orang macam K Teh yang pentingkan kebajikan and will do setakat mana yang termampu. Its so easy talk about charity - performing and living it - you are a sterling example of it!

Lydia Teh said...

Sometimes it is in times of sickness that the goodness in people can be manifested.

Kak Teh said...

Lifebloom - Alhamdulillah, they have both left the hospital
Lydia - indeed - how true.

anasalwa said...

kakteh,
how are they doing now. hope they're doing well.

Kak Teh said...

Anasalwa, thanks for asking. Theya re now back home and recovering well. I have not been able to visit them as I have such terrible flue and wouldnt want to risk infecting them.