Tonight, I thought of my late great grandmother who I called Nek.
She's one of the people who loved me unconditinally, who loved me with all her heart. I could feel her honesty in loving me.
She's the one who pampered me with her tender love and care. She joked with me. She chose me over other great grandchildren whenever she needed assistance to go to bathroom because she was most comfortable with me. I would assist her without any fuss although so many times she wanted to go to the loo. I was around 7 or 8 years but I loved to help her.
I loved her so much, even though she was not my biological great grandmother, even though we were not related by blood, I considered her as my flesh and blood because I did not know anyone who loved me greatly just like she did.
When my parents divorced when I was in standard 1, I stayed with Nek for about 6 months. It was one of the most precious and memorable events in my life. I enjoyed staying with Arwah Nek and Arwah Tok Nyang (my late great grandfather), along with PahChor (their daughter) and Kak Rodiah too, I think so (the maid, I couldn't remember so well whether Kak Rodiah was already there when I stayed with them).
Arwah Nek would teach me to recite Alif Ba Ta and short surahs almost every morning, she would ironed my school uniform, and gave me some money to spend for recess time at school. I never spent the money during recess because I was very frugal when I was in primary school, I loved to see my money growing in my piggy bank. But now, where's the frugality has gone? I am a great spender now😑.
There's one time I wanted to skip school because I got fever (slight fever only) and my school uniform was quite dirty (actually the dirt was so small) but Arwah Nek and Arwah Opah Minah (the neighbour) rejected my plan and insisted me to go to school.
For all my life, I never took paracetamol for adults during that time, normally my mom would give me cortal (paracetamol for kids), Arwah Nek made me take the adults' paracetamol. I told her I did not know how to swallow medicine because kids' paracetamol could be taken by chewing it. Arwah Nek told me to chew it like I normally did and so I did hahaha! It was damn horrrible! Very bitter, such a bitter sweet memory! 😆. I was panicked due to bitterness and she asked me to drink lots of water so I finished up drinking a big bottle of water but still, the bitterness did not fade at all.
And there's one time when there was a celebration of either Teacher's Day or Children's Day (couldn't remember so well), all of us in scholl had to come to school in the morning, both students and teachers of morning and noon sessions were required to gather to celebrate together. Hence, I told Arwah Nek on that matter and the next morning, she woke up so early, boiled water and woke me up. She bathed me and dress me up. It was so early but to my frustration, the school bus driver who I called Ah Pun never picked me up. I fed up and told Arwah Nek that I needed to change because there was no sign that Ah Pun would fetch me but she insisted me to wait. I waited from as early as approximately 6.30 am till noon just to see Ah Pun passed by in front the house and one girl who was also my school mate screamed out of her lungs, "Today was Teacher's / Children's Day!No learning today! ". How could Ah Pun never fetched me? 😩
Arwah Nek was so strict about schooling and never like to see me skipping school. She always reminded me to study well so that I could go to university. And I did. But, she was not there when I managed to enter university because she died when I was in my form four. Before she left me, on our very last meeting, she kissed my hand when she knew it was me who held her hand. She was senile that time, she was just like a baby, bed-ridden, people needed to change her diapers and bathe her, she could not remember anything, she could not see because of her critical diabetes had disabled her sights, only that sometimes we could hear she talked and acted like she could see relatives who had died. Sometimes we could see she waved at "them". We knew that her time to go back was already close, it's just a matter of time, set by Allah S. W.T.
When my mom told her that it was me who held her hand, out of sudden without my expectation, she pulled my hand towards her lips and kissed it. I was like crying but I did not want people see me cry (there were few people there as well, my mom and cousins), I held back my tears. It was tearing up my heart. I was a teen that time. Did not know how to show my love and care in natural way. If one thing that I would regret of was that I never hugged and kissed back my great grandmother and told her that I loved her so much.
Another thing to regret was I never kissed her on her last day on earth, on her funeral day. I cried heavily but I felt ashamed to go forward to kiss her because my cousins (almost all but not all) laughed at me when they saw me crying. They were not close to Arwah Nek, thus, they never felt sad at all. I should just abandon their opinions on me that time but come again, I was a teen that time, a teen who never knew to express my feelings in the supposedly way. I regretted it so bad for not kissing my beloved Nek😭.
The time would never come again.
One thing that I would teach my children is that to show compassion to others since small. To teach them that it's okay to show your feelings no matter how young you are, you don't have to be an adult in order to express your love and care towards the people you love. Put aside the shyness. You never know how long the people you love will live and you, yourself too. Show your love now. Spread the love. Never wait until the end of time or else, you will regret. The time will never come back. Appreciate your loved ones as long as they live.
Nisha love Nek, Nisha miss Nek. Nisha love and miss Tok Nyang too. May all of us get together in Jannah. For now, I'll be sending to both you Al-Fatihah,sealed with a kiss, from time to time.
Your beloved cicit