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Maria-Syamsi

From My Heart

Month

July 2010

My Dream Home

Written on 22nd July 2010 @ 2016hrs

My dream house

Must be a bungalow on a flat land. Or maybe on the hills.

Large compound, with green fields all around.

At the end of the green fields, there’d be tall hedges surrounding the grounds, giving privacy and beauty.
And before the hedges, there are large trees lining the field.

Large trees we could sit and have a tea below them.
Large trees we could hang a wooden swing and laze around.
Large trees we could just sleep below it during hotter days, with wind blowing.

I forgot to say.
Maybe the bungalow could be the colonial style.
Or the clean, simple, white/light pink/brown like the ones estate managers live in.
That would be nice.

The house would have many windows so that wind can blow in and out.
Many windows so that the sun can shine in.
A big kitchen and a walk-in store for my kitchen stuff, like the one in Chef at Home.
The kitchen will have yellow interior, and wooden cabinets. But not the old fashioned ones.
All bedrooms facing the kiblat.
Maybe a library, and a jamming/hobby room.

A swimming pool would be nice.

But you know what….

Actually my dream home,

Is the house with kids running around, many kids
Foster or biological, doesn’t matter
And when they grow up, they’ll tease and laugh at each other
Cry on each other’s shoulders

A house where my kids will sit in the kitchen table and talk
Girl talk, guy talk or whatever

A house where we’ll have long breakfasts and long teas

A house where cousins and aunties and grandmas and grandpas will come often
Come with smiles and laughters
We’ll hold our tahlil there
Barbecues
Dinner parties
Weddings

It would be nice to have a big beautiful house.
But a great beautiful family would be better, even without the big kitchen. Or the swimming pool

A Small Smile

Written on 18th July 2010 @ 2343hrs

She sits there alone in her room. Sometimes with her maid.

She’d be tying to catch some breath. Sometimes she’s comfortable. Food half touched in the tray.

Her hair parted into two, and tied loosely.

She never smiled. Not at me. Not at him. Not at us.

He’d sit down and talk to her. She’d softly answer.

No connection. Not at the start.

Day in and day out. He’d see her everyday.

I don’t know what they talked about. I hoped he’d alleviate her worries.

Then we saw her again. All of us.

A small smile.

So he sat in front of her.

She looked at us, one by one. I smiled. A small smile.

He spoke to her. “How are you today? Are you ready to go home?”

At first she was unsure.

She seemed uncertain. Of something.

“Is there anything else you want to ask?” he asked gently.

She had something in her mind.

“It’s just….just….”

He looked at her.

“Maybe I should go home.”

‘She misses her granddaughter,’ I remember him saying.

She caught me staring at her. Staring with teary eyes.

“You have something to say?” he asked again.

“It’s just…..this thing, in my neck, it’s bothering me.”

He peered into her eyes.

“It’s there. All the time.”

Oh dear.

I want to hold your hand.
I want to sit there at his place. Tell me your worries.
Cry if you need.
I want to hold your hand.

I’ll listen.
And maybe you will smile again.

I want to hold your hand.
Because I know how scary it would be.
Alone.

* * *

Biarkan berlalu semua kepedihanmu
Lelapkan matamu biarkan mimpi membawamu
Ke mana kau mahu

Selamat malam
Tidurlah, sayangku
Siang ‘kan tiba bercahaya
Bermula baru semua untukmu

Biarkan berlabuh tirai kisah semalam
Yang indah itu ada padamu
Dengan setiap impian dan harapan

Selamat malam
Tidurlah, sayangku
Siang ‘kan tiba bercahaya
Bermula baru semua untukmu

‘kan ku menjadi arjuna dalam mimpi mimpimu
Kan kupanah tepat ke jiwamu atas nama cintaku
Pari pari kuutus bawa kau ke sini lagi
Terhapus semua air mata dengan senyuman

Selamat malam, sayang
Selamat malam, kasih
Selamat malam, sayang

The Meaning of Life

Written on 10th of July 2010 @ 0211hrs

“Maybe their role in life now is make US do something for them…”

It would be a humongous loss if one cares for patients at the end of life and never learn about life itself. It takes a lot of knowledge, wisdom and intuition when it comes to decision making in these patients, either for the medical practitioner, or for the patient and family members. A lot of deep thinking and, yes – as short a time as they have – a clear view of what the future might offer to them.

We were talking about suicide, euthanasia and the meaning of life this afternoon during lunch time.

One would wonder what does it take for a person to carry on living and fighting. What does it take for a person to get up and do what he needs to do, when his energy doesn’t really permit him to do all that. Why some people keep on fighting and carrying on, some just fade away, and some even decided to end their lives by committing suicide.

We came to the same thought – what one means to the people around him.

Like a man with a Duke’s C colon cancer – which may still be treatable with chemotherapy and surgery.

1. If he’s an old man, with a lot of other problems (diabetes, hypertension, heart problems), children all grown up and wife is well enough to look after him, has tens of grandchildren, he might decide to do nothing about the cancer, and deal with whatever problems that will come, one day at a time. He might feel that he has done his part in the world, and would feel like it’s easy for him to let go of his life, albeit slowly. His life has been filled with a lot of love and all in all it’s a meaningful life.

2. If he’s a young man in his 30s, young family, children are still in primary school, and he’s otherwise well, he’d want to go all out to survive this cancer (which he might actually do). He’d be someone who’d fight until the end, even when, at one point, he knows that he’s going to lose the battle.
Because he has a meaningful life, something to fight for, something worth living for.

3. If he’s middle aged and single, both parents passed away, living alone – would he surprise anyone if he doesn’t want any treatment, although he’s very fit for it? Coax him, talk to him – he might just say no. Someone said to us, “What do I have to live for?” Which is true enough – he doesn’t have anyone to come home to, no one to care for, and no one to care for him. Well, we will always talk him into the treatment, but if he decided to not do anything about the cancer, he has his own good reasons. And we need to respect that.

That’s why when a person who is so ill, he’d feel “function-less”, he’d feel like there is no point of living because he can’t offer anyone around him anything at all. “Might as well just die.” Apparently Hitler used to have this “Death Clinic” in which the doctors see old people who may not contribute to the country, and decide whether or not they should perform “euthanasia” for these old folks. *

Because human beings, deep inside, need to give. As shallow as a person might be, as selfish as a person could be – he needs to give. And share. The more one gives, the more meaningful his life will be.

Which came to the question my boss prompted, “Every human beings have the right to live, no matter how they might think that they have nothing to live for, nothing to give to others. But what is a role of an ill person? Why are they here?”

One wonders. Very spiritual. Very deep. He answered his own question.

“Maybe their role in life at this point, is so that WE could do something for them. Their role in life as a sick person is for us to contribute to their lives. Maybe they are here to enable us to help them.”

Have you ever felt spiritually fulfilled that you have, selflessly, helped another person?

You know, these ill patients may well have helped us fill our empty hearts. Touched the bottom of our hearts.

In simple words, helping and sharing is good for our soul.

__________________________________________________________

*This is what my boss has talked about before, I haven’t gotten myself to read for further details – it’s too gory and morbid that I have decided that my heart is just not prepared for such information.

Football Means Family

Written on 12th July 2010 @ 2237hrs

It’s over, and I’m starting to miss it. The celebrations. The cheer. The chats. Late nights. And disappointments too.

They asked why would a girl be interested in watching football, or “twenty-two men chasing after a ball”, followed by a cynical laugh.

You’d wonder why….

When what she remembers was the time when she was young, her uncles and aunts came to her house in Johor. Then her young uncles brought her younger brother to a football match between Johor and Kelantan in the stadium in Johor Bahru. He came back happy. He said that the policemen were careful to say that they shouldn’t get into the Kelantan fan’s side of the stadium if they don’t support Kelantan – bad things can happen. So they sat on the Johor side. She herself was excited to hear his stories.

Or when she went to all the Selangor matches, most of the time winning, following them to Malaysia Cup finals for three years in a row.

She would be excited for days and days before that. How fun it would be to go in a group to the stadium. With Wak Des, Kak Dida, Cik Mi, Cik Agus, her brothers Tau and Adam. To sit on the upper rows and scream and clap and jump for their beloved team. To wave their Selangor flag. And of course, wearing red and yellow.

Along the way to the stadium, there would be stalls and stalls of people selling Selangor merchandise – all red and yellow. Bright colours, they are. T-shirts, caps, flags, mufflers, banners. Some houses are even painted with red and yellow!

Buses and buses pass through the roads, all on their way to the stadium. Kapar, Meru, Batu Belah, Klang, Shah Alam….then the stadium. All honking to each other at the toll plaza, showing support and cheer. Flags hung outside the windows of the vehicles. It was such joyous occassion. Really.

One time mom actually made a huge 8×24 feet Selangor flag for us to take to the stadium. We hoped that ours was the biggest, but of course, there were bigger ones.

Selangor FC would sit on one side of the stadium. It’s so nice to see a sea of reds and yellows standing and cheering. They’d bring banners. They’d somehow get the permission to bring in kompang and rebana to add on the noise and joy.

And then the Mexican wave.

Always the amazing Mexican wave. The whole 80,000-people-filled stadium.

The Sultan of Selangor would come in his huge car. We’d all cheer again.

The suspense of attacks. And extra time. And penalties.

Then Selangor would win.

Screamed and cheered and jumped we did.

The fireworks after that.

At other times during the league we’d stay at home and watch. We cheered too. Until the arrival of (then) little Nadia, when we couldn’t really shout anymore. Heheh.

World Cup seasons.

1998 with the whole family. Mom and dad included. When Italy was fighting against France and none of us managed to stay up because of the extra long match.

2002 Japan/South Korea. Summer holidays. When Ireland qualified for World Cup but didn’t go through too many games. That was the time World Cup was shown on DAYtime, in the advent of huge screens in mamak stalls. I was in Suria KLCC during the Brazil vs England match that Friday afternoon. One of the teams scored a goal and the whole complex erupted!!! It was so lively. It is one moment that I will never forget. Brazil won that day.

2006. Final year. We were studying for our final exams. Watched the matches after study group. The only time I watch the matches with friends. We went for our exams, and we passed. We watched on the eve of graduation day. Another long game, I decided to get my beauty sleep.

And 2010. New life, new house, not-so-new friend. new TV, new astro. At times it’s me and Farah. At times it’s me and the Blackberry. And my family, all over – Selayang, Hartamas, Langkawi, Sg Petani, Bukit Kapar, Penang, Bristol, Shah Alam. We watched together, chatted with each other. Thanks to Blackberry technology. Most of us supported Germany. Somehow. We didn’t even decide that together.

It was sweet.

When Ozil passes to Mueller and it’s a goal.
When Klose gets the ball and it’s a goal.
When Neuer gets the ball and it’s NOT a goal.
When a dark-skinned man with long hair and a hair band wore the wrong jersey. Ooops, wait. It’s Khadeira. He DOES play for Germany. Hahaha.
And Tau loves to say “MeeerteSACKeeerrr!!” Funny!

It was a celebration of unity.
It was a celebration of joy.
When colour, religion and language do not matter.

It is obvious, isn’t it, why does football mean a lot to me?
Why do I get offended when one laughs and say “what do you see in those men, anyway?”

It’s not the 22 men chasing over one ball.

It’s about family.
Because football means family to me.
And nobody could take that away from me.

I love you. :’)
_________________________________________________________

Merah kuning lambang kejayaan
Selangor melambang kebanggaan
Gemuruh sorakan menggegarkan
Cabaran disambut dengan kesungguhan

Kecemerlangan
Kecemerlangan
Kecemerlangan jadi kenyataan

Merah kuning keberanian
Merempuh segala halangan
Sekali melangkah buktikan kemampuan

Merah kuning keberanian
Merempuh segala halangan
Sekali melangkah buktikan kemampuan
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Selangor Darul Ehsan……..

I Do Hope You Would Understand

It’s disheartening, really, to see how many people actually don’t have anyone to care for the when they’re sick. Even when they have raised ten children. At the same time it is nice to see young women and men around my age who stick around, quit their jobs or college, to care for their ill parent(s).

I guess for some it is quite difficult. Especially those with more daughters than sons.

You see, it is a general idea that women give better nursing care then men. Daughters care for their parents’ needs more than sons. It is not necessarily so, but it is a general idea. Women tend to be more anxious (and guilty) about caring for their parents too.

But then again, it is also Asian tradition that once a girl is married, she is bound to the husband.

So that’s where our society went wrong.

Say, if a man has 3 daughters and 2 sons. The three daughters are married and the two sons aren’t. So the daughters aren’t expected, at all, to care for the sick father. While the sons might not be good in nursing the ill. He’s not married, so he has no wife to offer to care for his dad.

Furthermore, I notice that a lot of old Chinese man will only count the number of sons he has when I ask them on how many children they have. Like the above case, he’d say he has “2 children” rather than 5. So I would now ask them “Two as in two sons or two children including daughters?”

Back to the topic.

Even for a Muslim, I was told that the husband is the most powerful person in a woman’s life.
Well, what if her parent is sick and her other siblings are too young to care for the parent?
If the husband doesn’t allow her to be on her parent’s side, then she couldn’t, you see.

You’d ask yourself, what kind of a rule is that?
For me, the man should be wise. If he loves his wife he should make his wife happy by letting her be with her mom or dad when they need her the most. No matter how much “power” he thinks he has but does he really want to keep on trying to resolve his wife’s guilt and sorrow for not being with the parent? It is easier to let her do what she needs to do, isn’t it?

Well, there ARE a lot of stupid men out there, really.

Anyway…

I think if Asian men would actually let go off their ego and let their wives help out with her family, the world would be a better place for these ill old (and not-so-old) people. And these men’s mothers too…shouldn’t be too possessive of their daughter-in-laws, really. They would want their own daughters to come back and care for them when they’re sick, right?

I have great respect for those husbands who support their wives through tough times by caring for the wife’s parents when they’re ill. Or by caring for the children while the wives care for the parents.

And I have great respect for young people who, with full devotion, sacrifice their life, to care for their ill parents till the end of their lives. Recently I was even more amazed with a family when both parents were quite gravely ill, and the young children stick together through this difficult time…

I do hope I could find someone who’d understand how much I need to help my parents, the same way I would do for his own parents. I’m sure he’d want his daughters to come back to help him when he’s sick too.

* * *

Jangan dititiskan air matamu
Tak usah keliru tiada menentu
Ada suria di wajahmu
Ada syurga di hujung jarimu
Damai sungguh hati, kau penawar di kala sunyi
Ratu hati
Ibu

Hentikan renungan, jauhi sayu
Hilang tanpamu, bukan kau tak tahu
Nak ku cium dan ku peluk, lari kepadamu
Sayang sungguh ibu

Tak mungkin jemu, tak bisa luntur
Semenjak lahir lagi
Jika tak pernah ku nyatakan, ibu, dengar ini lagu

Lupakan segala sengketa lalu
Maafkan diriku, memang ku tak tahu
Ibu, mommy, mama, umi
Hingga akhir nanti
Pintaku jangan kau sedih
Usah gusar lagi
Kasihmu abadi, utuh di dalam hati
Doaku jangan kau pergi dulu

“Ratu Hati” by Innuendo.

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