Today is Hari Raya (Eid Ramadan), the culmination of the ritual of fasting for a month in Ramadan for the Muslims. Salam Aidilfitri to one and all.
But this is one year I'm not really rejoicing. Just 2 days earlier, I lost Mak (my mum-in-law) who succumbed to urine infection which culminated in her death.
This picture was taken in 1984, both Mak and Ayah had acquiesced to the kids' request to 'bersanding semula' on the pelamin. 1984 was the year Fusil and Jude were married.
The house in Tanah Liat has lost its glitter and fun. It feels very empty without the twin towers of strength, the pillars of our family.
It's no longer the same without Mak and Ayah. I actually missed the smell of cigar from Ayah's bed. Practically everywhere in the house would be pervaded with the smell of his expensive cigars when he was alive.Before Ayah left us and after Mak had passed away, and more specifically, after January 2001, the house used to be rather untidy and quite messy, but today it is spotlessly clean.
I missed chatting with him over ground nuts, cheezles, keropok, muruku, chocolates, and cookies. He used to keep all the Hari Raya goodies that his kids had brought for him under his bed so that he could easily reach for them whenever his heart desired.
And I missed him waking us up for Sahur, right up to 2008, whenever we were at Bukit Mertajam. I also missed going to the market in Kepala Batas with Ayah to buy foodstuff in preparation for Hari Raya delicacies.
Even though my family and I would have arrived in the wee hours of the morning from KL the night before, he would still wake my husband and I up at 6:00 a.m for Subuh prayers and right after that, he would want us to accompany him to the market. Oh, Ayah, I just missed your presence in the house at Tanah Liat.
And the only thing that motivated me to go to Bukit Mertajam was to pay both Mak and Ayah a visit at their new home, at that little plot at the corner of the road, about 150 metres from our house, where my great great great great grand parents, great great great grandparents, great great grandparents, great grandparents, grandparents, my brother,s Wan Yusoff and Wan Fisol now share home with both May and Ayah, together with the other Al-Patani clans.
After the Raya prayers, we had feasted on the food. And right after the feast, and as per the usual ritual year in and year out, it was time to salam everyone, but hey, this time it's very different. The very persons whom I wanted to salam so much are missing. The two persons I love most and would dearly love to salam have left us. I could not contain my deep sense of sadness and regret..
I could not shake off this feeling of devastation. It was a truly sad Raya with the demise of both Mak and Ayah.
We decided to go back to KL the next day as the emptiness in the house was enveloping us, particularly me. It was pulling me down into a wave of emotions. I felt like I was drowning.