Monday, June 23, 2008

Emak's passing


Asia Jofrie (Cik Yah of Gedung Kuning), a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul.
Emak (Mum) passed away suddenly on 18 June 2008. When I kissed and hugged Emak that evening, she hugged me a little longer. I smiled and said, "Emak, it's not as if I'm not going to see you again, I'll visit you tomorrow..." Alas, she returned to our Creator about 15 minutes after I left her. Oh Emak!
Emak was truly the epitome of a good wife and mother. She was kind, patient, gentle and loving. She spoke softly, did not think badly of others and was religious. Many old neighbours, friends and relatives attended the funeral. How everyone cried.

I have many wonderful memories of Emak. Even while I was away in America, I talked to her almost every other day. She listened to my woes and comforted me. She advised me and was understanding and supportive of my ambitions. Yes, we had our differences and petty mother-daughter squabbles but how I love her!

"Cik Idah, your hair is long now..." Emak commented. As I continued to rub Vicks on her back a few days before her demise, she made 2 doa for me. Even in sickness, Emak thought of her only daughter's well-being.

My beloved Emak, I pray that you will be placed among the blessed and virtuous in Paradise, ameen.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the silence

Why the silence, Hidayah?
Amidst skipping out on Hadi's 4-wheel drive adventure overseas, enduring chest pains, surviving the stifling system and sleepless nights, I managed to finish writing my book! Yes, the long-awaited Gedung Kuning, Memories of a Childhood Home is completed - all 29 short stories (32,943 words, 1/3 of a PhD dissertation). This is my labour of love which started 4 years ago.
I should then be jumping with joy, right? My silent composure causes some to worry and they wonder... Am I worried that NUS Press might not publish my book? Am I anxious about the expensive rewiring, retiling and plastering of my new dilapidated flat? Am I terrified that I might not pass the MCAT and make it to Harvard next year? Am I saddened by the not-fairy-tales endings of love stories?

Sometimes the silence kills you slowly, n'est pas?
Sabarlah Den Ayu...