Tribute to My Late Guardians

Approximately one year ago, on the 4th January 2013, an incident had marked a history in my life. Followed by another incident on the 8th January 2013. Two consecutive news came one after another, making me almost wail in misery for almost a year.

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Yes, a year. There were times when I hop into my Facebook and accidentally saw her post on my page, and then I skimmed through her Facebook page and then I cried—openly. Even though I did some effort to cover up but yeah, it was pretty obvious.

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The death of my grandfather, followed by my aunt, whom I hold so dear in heart. They were once my smile and laughter, my joy and strength.

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Thinking back, despite being born in a Kelantanese family, I never knew Kelantan for the first few years of my life. My parents got married and studied in England. I was born and spent a few years of my life over there. But even so, I still remember my grandfather occasionally visit us in England and took care of me and my brother over there. I wonder how much trouble me and my brother had caused him back then.

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He loved travelling. In fact, he was quite energetic and adventurous considering his age. Even when he was staying at home, he would occasionally went to our ‘kebun’ and do some… gardening? (I’m not going to translate ‘kebun’ into garden, it sounds so… ‘hilir’ to me… -.-)

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And thinking back, when I was first being ‘returned’ back to Kelantan, he was the one taking over my parents to build myself up. He was quite strict, but funny at the same time. It was a bitter pleasure having him around. His words would ease any awkward situation, his jokes were never failed to make our family laugh. Actually, he was funny even if he didn’t try to. I remember one very funny incident when me and my cousin, Ili Hazwani were about to go to school and that story can still make me laugh even now—it never gets old.

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When my cousins and I managed to be doctors, he was one of our family that sounded the happiest. And sometimes, whenever I feel like whining about this job and feel like quitting, I remembered how he had strived to bring us where we are now.

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He always reminded us of our roots—that we are muslims, and anything we did on this world is for our akhirat. Works and colleagues may crush us. Mend our broken hearts with soothing Quranic ayat, and each time those words never failed to heal me—even now.

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During his health, he never failed to go to the mosque for prayers. And even when he fell sick, he still managed to perform tarawikh prayers, even in his weakened state. Whenever we told him to rest, he refused, telling us that this might be his last Ramadhan. He was one of my family I really love—my idol.

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4th January 2013 marked the end of his journey in this temporary world. Al-Fatihah and may Allah bless his soul.

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Surprisingly enough, four days later, when I was sleeping in the middle of the night, I was awakened by my uncle who was staying behind my house, giving us another dreadful news of the death of my aunt—my uncle and my dad’s younger sister. It came out as a very huge surprise. She was well and kicking—well, more like the term baby in her womb was kicking—during the funeral of my grandfather. It went so perfect that no one saw it coming.

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I didn’t join the funeral that day, more because I was having an assessment that time. But I couldn’t even concentrate in my assessment. Not even a single knowledge came out of my mind. And I cried. I cried so bad that even when I was working in the Paeds clinic, I just couldn’t stop the tears no matter how bad I tried to bottle them inside. I thought I was stronger than that. She was one of my aunt whom I was really close to. When I was flailing about world cup soccer she was the one cheering with me—she was a huge soccer fan. She was a good friend, a good sister, a good aunt to me.

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She always make difficult things simple. When I was a child, I was quite a perfectionist. I wanted to make sure things were perfect, and not a single flaw. But whenever I hit a dead end, she was the one who would pat me and say “bendo mudoh, toksoh duk buat susoh la”. (Don’t make simple things difficult) As I grew older, I learn to be more lenient, and accept that things in this world are never perfect. We walk on this world to seek perfection, but know nothing is perfect except Allah. But even until now, whenever I feel stressed out with things I couldn’t do, I would always quote her saying. Her words, her intonation, her wisdom, and good God, her birthday. Her birthday was just the day after me, and we had always become the first to wish each other’s birthday. It was like an unspoken rule between us.

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Last year, when my birthday came, she wasn’t the first to wish me. Of course she won’t. She’s no longer here. I never thought my birthday would be sad and gloomy. For the first time in my life, I wish my birthday never came.

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It’s not good to mourn too much on dead people. Especially when it’s already a year passed this month. But let me continue dreaming about them, and keep reading them the Holy Book while wishing we would meet again in Jannah—all of us. And maybe, just maybe, we can have another family gathering there, amiin.

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Because indeed, the current me, was the result of them being there. This is a tribute for their first year death anniversary. With a du’a, I hope me and my whole family would continue this journey as a khalifah—the task they left for us. InsyaAllah.

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Allah is always the best planner. We belong to Him, and to Him we shall return to.

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Al-Fatihah for them both.

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