Tuesday, October 21st 2010. 0019hrs.

* * *

0530hrs. Tuesday 19th October 2010.

 

Flashes of my life one month ago.

 

Mom on her prayer rug. Me on the table. With my laptop and a box of tissues. My nose was running it almost flew.

 

The grey rainy day. Muddy and slippery graveyard. Two sons lovingly put in the last earth over their father’s grave. Big umbrellas, small umbrellas, all grey, protecting the owners from the rain, but not from sadness.

 

The quiet tears flowing down my cheeks.

 

Driving back from Selayang, little sister sleeping on my side, rain gently tapping on the car. Yassin on the background, following every word.

 

The early Friday morning text message, bearing grave news.

 

Dinner during Eid visit in Wak Mohlis’. After 2 days of not seeing or talking to a single person.

 

The phone call on the steps in front of Cik Yam’s house.

 

Cik Razak’s presence.

Talking to Cik Bakhtiar, and Wak Milah.

The phone call in the front yard of Embah Man’s house.

 

Embah lying in his brother’s bed, in his brother’s home.

Embah sitting on the chair in 8D, waiting to go home. 10pm in a lonely second day of Eid.

Cik Yam sitting patiently on his side, since 12 noon.

Embah crying on the first day of Syawal.

Embah lying in hospital bed, jaundiced, and a little confused.

 

Embah Lanang smiling at me, when he knew I was going to study medicine.

Embah Wedhok’s love and concern.

 

* * *

 

Dear Allah,

Thank You for granting my wish. Thank You for answering my prayers.

Please give me strength so I won’t stray.

Please permit me to stay humble. Or become more humble.

Please help me so that I can be more patient and wise.

Please guide me to be a better person.

 

Thank you, mama, for your prayers and your love. I wouldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you, papa, for your hope and pride. You’ve kept me going.

 

Thank you, Tau, for your support and your help. Thank you for “entertaining” even my smallest and “stupidest” quirks.

Thank you, Adam, for your wishes from afar. The only person who would answer my messages at 3am, because he could.

Thank you, Nadia, for understanding that I needed to be away from you a lot. You are my little miss sunshine (who’s not so little now).

 

Thank you, my dear aunts and uncles and cousins, for your shoulders to cry on, your encouragement, your support, and your company.

 

Thank you, Dr Richard, for the guidance, the support, the 14-day leave. For covering Jaspal’s call too.

Thank you, Dr Nick, for your brotherly encouragements, and jokes to keep us alive. For covering Jaspal’s call too.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jaspal, for covering the whole 2 weeks, even when the days were very bad.

 

Thank you, Farah, for being an amazing “housie”, accompanying me at home, when my life is all about my questions.

Thank you, Rathi, for being a wonderful host, tour guide, friend.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, my dear dear friends, for the support and nice words, for your wishes and prayers.

Thank you for answering my messages when I was freaking out.

Thank you for laughing together at our P Ramlee jokes.

Thank you for your comments on my facebook page – lame as some people may think, it doesn’t matter; your words meant a lot to me.

Near or far, wherever you are. In my heart you’re always close.

 

It’s just the first part, yes.

It’s only one step.

But still it’s one step further. One step deeper.


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