Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Heart Bled on the 1st Day of Syawal

20 September 2009, Sunday (1 Syawal)

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.
And today is the first Raya where not only both my Mak are missing, but Ayah too as he was called to be with Allah last December.
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.

Even though my siblings (Kak Pah, Abang Man, Ocah and Syed, Kirah and Din, and Abang G, plus An and Faidzal and all the nieces and nephews and grand nieces) were in Bukit Mertajam, the feeling of loss and emptiness was sorely felt all around the house.

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.
I also missed Mak's aromatic cooking coming from the kitchen on the eve of Hari Raya, where she would toil to prepare all the Hari Raya delicacies for us kids.
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.
But, believe it or not, I missed the mess on Ayah's bed.  I missed the mess under his bed.  I missed the mess around his bed, with all his tools, the wires, the unkempt and untidy bed, the old bedsheet, and the old pillowcase, and all his clothes which were hung neatly above his bed. And most of all, I missed Ayah dearly.
I missed fussing around him during buka puasa as we would usually go back to Bukit Mertajam a couple of days earlier so that we could spend buka puasa with him, particularly after Mak's death in 2000.

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.
So, on the eve of Hari Raya (19 September 2009), it was with a sad feeling that I made the journey to Bukit Mertajam after Mak's burial on Friday.

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.
I was really in no mood to celebrate, and I'm sure my other siblings felt the same way too. Nevertheless, life has to go on.
My female siblings had each prepared our own delicacies to be savoured on Hari Raya morning.  Kak Pah had prepared Lontong, Kuah Kacang (which was really delicious), and Nasi Himpit; Ocah had prepared Rendang Daging and Ketupat Pulut; Kirah had cooked her Daging Masak Hitam and Sambal Tumis Udang, and I had brought along my Baked Macaroni which I had cooked earlier.   

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.

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