i am not a good person...
i always take things for granted..
most of the time i paid less attention
to the things which appeared unimportant to me..
but this time, it was not a thing..
a very important person...
we were near, yet it felt so far..
three years of being so close with each other..
but i seldom met you..
the one who fed me milk and porridge..
bathed and dressed me..
i was just two at that time..
yet i could still remember..
you were always in my memories..
now i am all grown up..
and you were getting smaller..
day by day..
i turned out to be an ungrateful person ..
especially to you..
it was not enough just by remembering someone..
i did not take the chance when i really have it..
i should have gone to see you..
hug you, kiss you..
tell you things i could not share with anybody else..
to watch you do what you did best..
feed the tummy of the ones you loved..
we have always asked you to cook..
because you were the best..
i know you told others we seemed like strangers to one another..
i know you felt so frustrated with me..
i never called..
i did not visit..
i never asked about how you were doing..
i should have done all that..
but i didn't..
it was too late..
you were always sick..
last two years was a turning point..
you were no longer a person you used to be..
we could only meet either in hospitals..
or at your children's houses..
where you laid in bed..
too tired to do anything..
you were sick so many times...
i've lost counts..
that one time..
papa was sick, so were you..
he called to ask how you were doing..
you were in a ward..
he was at our home..
you told him..
"i feel better now"..
"but i had a headache last night,
it was so painful.. i've never felt like that in my life"
papa was glad you felt better..
not for long.....
papa got a call..
aunty cik was on the line..
"she's in a coma..."
"but last night she told me she felt better..."
"the doctor said this could be her last time"
papa was struck numb..
he told us the news..
all six of us was there..
initially i was not so keen to go back..
to be crammed in a sedan with six people on board..
i hated the idea..
so i asked for exemption..
"this could be your last chance to meet her"
and so i followed..
i prayed along the way..
prayed to God so i could meet her..
asking for forgiveness that i could no longer get..
we reminisced the times we shared with you..
the nine hour drive felt so long...
but we filled it with prayers and memories we had with you..
the phone rang..
mama rose was on the phone..
she flew back immediately after hearing the news..
"the doctor asked if we would like to bring her home"
"no,let her stay in the hospital..
the doctors could help if anything happens.."
papa was clueless..
the road was endless....
the phone rang again...
"should we let the hospital attendants bathe her?"
to all muslims, at the sound of those words
we know that someone is no longer alive..
papa had no idea you were already gone..
the first call was the sign that you were
no longer breathing...
i was asleep..
i woke up at the sounds of papa's voice over the phone..
tears filled my eyes..
guilt overwhelmed my sadness..
"what if ......what if.....what if...."
i should have gone to see you when i had the chance..
but i didn't...
when we finally met,
i got the chance to kiss you..
to hug you..
but this time it was different..
i felt your cold skin touched my lips..
no more hands to hug me back..
no more kisses on my cheeks..
you were wrapped in white..
you were so beautiful..
i could not stop my tears from forming in my eyes..
papa was crying..
now he has no one to go home to..
he is now an orphan..
i felt so sad for him..
i am sorry nenek..
i loved you..
but i never showed it...
you never knew how much i loved you..
i was ungrateful child in your eyes..
and i did not prove myself that you were wrong..
i could not ask for your forgiveness..
as you laid stiff on the mattress..
i did the only thing i could for you..
the gift of Al-Fatihah and Yaasin..
tears filled my eyes as i recited the verses..
over and over again..
until your house was filled with guests and relatives
from all over..
as i was watching you in your resting place..
i could never forgive myself..
i could have called..
at least a call...
BUT I DIDN'T......
Raya this year was so different now that you were gone..
we have lost a precious diamond..
nothing..no one could ever be compared to you..
going back to Kelantan has no meaning to me
like it used to..
i could never hear your voice again..
scolding your younger grandchildren for being so naughty..
the older ones would always be scolded for wearing
clothes that appeared indecent in your eyes..
your voice echoed in my ears...
your face was glued at the back of my eyes..
i hope you could meet with atuk in heaven..
may Allah be with you nenek..
i will always remember you in my prayers..
though i could never forgive myself
for being ungrateful to you..
I MISSED YOU...
Halimah Binti Awang 1940-2011