Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Until We Meet Again...

First and foremost, I'd like to wish my Muslim readers Ramadhan Al-Mubarak and Selamat Berpuasa dan mengerjakan ibadah. I realize that it's a tad belated, but I wasn't really in the 'right' mood to get online. And I'm sorry for not visiting your blogs for the past few weeks.

Today marks the 14th day since TokBa (my grandfather) has left us and this world, to begin his new life in the hereafter.

He went so very peacefully that day, that fateful morning of August 27, 2008. His last breath on the hospital bed of Putra Specialist Medical Center in Melaka, was slow but steady, both his eyes closing slowly as if falling into deep sleep. He went while his three daughters (my mom and my two aunts) were sitting beside him, reciting surah Yaasin by his bed.

I was glad (and somewhat thankful) that I had felt berat hati to return to KL the night before his passing.

He'd just turned 86 on July 5th this year.

A few weeks before his demise, I had this recurring memory of him picking me up from kindergarten. I was 5 or 6 at the time and we were living in Penang then. He had arrived in his motorbike and was waiting for me outside the kindy gate. I remember running towards him, both my hands hugging tight to three small kittens. One was grey with black stripes, one was orange with darker orangey stripes. I can't recall exactly the color of the third one. Maybe it was black, with some white patches. I don't remember. Stray kittens they were, abandoned. Ada orang buang kat kawasan sekolah tu kot.

"Nak bawak balik anak kucing ni. Depa takdak mak..." I looked up at him. Innocent but insistent.

He hesitated at first. "Satgi Mak hang marah."

I ignored him. Without delay, I placed the struggling kittens into the carrier (yang macam bakul tu) at the front of the bike. Covered the top with my school bag, afraid that the meowing kittens might climb out. I gave him a questioning "So, boleh bawak balik, ya?" look. I don't remember if I had subconciously also added a pair of puppy-dog pleading eyes for special effects.

He didn't say yes, but he didn't say no either. He didn't scold me but he didn't show any signs of disapproval. He just told me to climb up, take my seat behind him. He started his bike and rode off. I remember clinging on to him, my grandfather, on his motorbike, as we rode down and up the valley roads, passing by some anak bukit hutan area and Customs quarters. I was the happiest little girl in the whole of Bukit Gelugor that day.

Growing up, I don't think I have ever seen him get angry or lose his temper, you know, like reaaaaaallly angry, the naik suara meninggi kind. He was always the patient one, whereas my grandma was the garang one. I think I inherited my garang-ness from her. And to a certain extend, so did my mom.

A chunk of my (study) life was spent overseas, so I sorta missed those growing up years with him, but each time I got to meet him, during our balik kampung sessions, he never failed to express how proud he was of me for being offered the scholarship to study abroad. Haaa... ni lah dia cucu Pak Mansoor yang pi belajaq kat Amerika tuu... It often made me go red in the face, although deep down I felt extremely pleased (and sedikit kembang) to be able to make him feel that proud of me.

I am thankful that he was around to share the joys after the birth of my two children, his cicits. When he was still strong and healthy, he enjoyed conversing and playing with them. Layan-ing all their antics. He'd ask Sofea about school (kindy) and ask Aidiin to say his (Aidiin's) full name out loud. Both of them called him Boo-ba.

It was from my grandfather that my kids learned a valuable life lesson. MUST BRUSH TEETH EVERYDAY. Otherwise, semua gigi will cabut and jatuh macam gigi Booba. Sofea and Aidiin would shriek ketakutan dan kegelian when they witness my grandma carrying, in a bowl, their Booba's full set of false teeth, over to him before his meals.


After two weeks, I still find it awkward and difficult to refer to him as 'Arwah'.

I still cannot complete reading surah Yaasin without having to stop in between to wipe my tears and blow my nose.

Sometimes after performing solat, without realizing, I still panjatkan doa to Allah to ease his pain and sufferings, agar Dia dapat sembuhkan penyakitnya.

I still have trouble writing and editing this post, having to think about him in the past tense.

I don't know how Aidilfitri this year would feel without his presence.

I still remember how calm and peaceful he looked after his mandi jenazah. I still remember kissing him on the forehead, for that very last time.

And I shall cherish the memory of that motorbike ride for as long as I live.

I can only offer him my prayers. Semoga roh Hj Md Mansoor Hj Abu Bakar, my TokBa, ditempatkan bersama-sama mereka yang beriman dan bertaqwa. He will always remain in the hearts of those who love him.


Thank you all for the ucapan takziah smses, text prayers and comments left in my shoutbox and in Zan's blog entry. It meant a lot to me and my family. *hugs*


Cherry said...

alfatihah. sorry i didn't know since i haven't blog hopping here for some time.

mamarawks said...

*wipe tears*

oh dear you reminds me of my arwah tok ayah those days naik basikal tua pergi pasar dengan dia...

al-fatihah to you tak ba and my tok ayah too..

atiza said...


Gart the Blue said...


hang on to that memory and cherish it always.

zan said...



called u a few days back during office hours, can't get you..saja nak tanya khabar..


Jill said...

hugs. and alfatihah.

nae said...

AlFatihah to arwah. Take care, dear

famyGirl said...

*group hugsss*

thank you, you all.

ninuk!!!!!! i have been looking for you since you bertukar identiti menjadi buah ceri.

mamaR: al-fatihah to your to ayah. ada some things we just cannot forget kan? sebagai budak2, benda kecik-kecik pun rasa macam significant giler.

atiza: *hugs* balik

gart: i will, i will. it's as if i could FEEL that happiness each time i think about it.

zan: thank you girlfriend. will chit-chat sometime. i'll ping you when i get a chance

jill & nae: thank you much...

elisataufik said...

oh my.. so sorry to hear this. Patutlah senyap aje..

*hugsssss banyak banyakkk*

I dok imagine mesti muka you macam sofea masa mintak bawak balik kucing tu.

famyGirl said...

elisa: thanks. i haven't been able to get myself to write about it before. nak bukak computer pun takde mood. now need to catch up with readings. sib baik blogger tak count and total up alerts. sure banyak giler nak clear.

mosh said...

ingat dah komen.

alfatihah. friendly hugs can kan? :) this year would be my first raya without a father also la. so, i'd be quite sad, i'd imagine.

you ada keturunan orang hang tuah jugak la ye?

Nazrah Leopolis said...

sorry famillah, baru ini nak menjengah...

salam takziah n my doas for u n ur grieving family.

SabrinaWM said...

Famy...meant more to him if you would recite Alfatihah to him daily...

famyGirl said...

mosh: thank you my friend. friendly hugs back at ya. errr... keturunan hang tuah? ada kot sikit-sikit *shrug*

nazrah: thank you, dear. i pun dah lama tak blog-hoppin juga

sabrina: insyaAllah, that's what i plan to do. thanks.


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