Friday, September 11, 2009

Life's Like That - Life Lessons (Part 1)

Few years back, I woke up one morning with a voice ringing in my head that said "You will lead this life alone." At first I was taken aback, unsure whether my brain was playing tricks on me. However, dunno why it felt so real and true which later made me cried. Waaa ... who wants to live in this world alone.

That incident baffled me for quite sometimes, in fact I was in a state of depression for weeks. I really don't want to be like my aunties and cousins who happily embrace singlehood the rest of their life. But stupidly, I didn't have the willpower to expand my social circles - I turned down a lot of invitations for a drink, travelling, parties and paling lah I malas nak pergi ... kenduri kawin. So macam mana nak get myself hitch! Huhuhu ...

But nevertheless, I never forget to pray to God seeking for His help and begging for His forgiveness (aiyo ... panjangnya sin list akak). Of course, one of the main items on my wish list to God is to make me find my soul mate AS SOON AS POSSIBLE as my biological is ticking. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years ... hmmm nothing happened on the LOVE department. I began to have doubts ... what happen to that whole "seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall be given" thing?

So that's when I stop asking and hoping. Worst still ... I might have to face this harsh reality for the next 20-40 years ... or perhaps in another hour (oopsss Palis Palis)...

Then on a one fine day, I received a call from my dad informing me that my grandauntie had just passed away and asked whether I want to return to Penang for the funeral. Honestly, I was very busy that week but considering that my late grandauntie had no one else other than us (she 's never married) I took 3 days leave.

Few minutes later, I received a call from Cousin Wendy (another unmarried family member) asking me if I wanted to join her to Penang so I said why not! Wendy then suggested that we took the Super Luxurious Coach home.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect because the only thing Chinese about me is my surname ... okay lah ... at least I know how to eat with chopstick and cook/eat Chinese food. So all these Chinese taboos or customs on funeral were pretty new to me. So imagine the looks and stares that I got upon reaching the funeral parlour at Mount Erskine where they conducted the ceremony.

Yikes! Rule number one ... never wear bright colour outfit in a Chinese funeral. I was wearing a shocking PINK T-shirt and Wendy didn't bother to ask me to change first when we were at Puduraya! All my unmarried aunties who were there managing and supervising the arrangement quickly asked me to wear black outfit before my grandauntie's spirit became displease and haunt me for the rest of my life (hehehe ... this one I tambah-tambah).

My grandauntie's funeral was not as grand as my grandmother's. But throughout my 2 days on duty on the funeral, I was amazed with the number of flower bouquets that we received and visitors from near and far who came to give their last respect. Then every night grandauntie's living friends will stayed vigil with us, relating to us all their fond memories of her. Even showing us wonderful pictures of their trips overseas.

I also found out a lot of interesting facts about my grandauntie like her among her most treasured item were family photos and a journal during her nursing course in England (in 1957) ... you see both my grandma and grandauntie were adopted since they were little because my great grandmother could not conceived. So after their mother passed away, she tried to locate all her real family members all over the world. She had a sister living in Bangkok married to a Thai. She also had a sister in Hong Kong, whom migrated there from China during the Emergency. She also had a brother whom sometimes commute between Singapore and Sarawak to live with his children. So that was what she did, travelling from one place to another place to spend her living years with her love ones

Nevertheless, my grandma and grandauntie remained close till death to them apart. She loved all her sister's children and grandchildren like her own. No wonder she never miss following up with latest updates on everyone (including myself) when she was still up and kicking. She was a devoted Buddhist (in real sense ... you know the one that chant the Hum Namo Pade) and was actively involved in a local Buddhist association activities. She also loved all her bitches (yes she took in a lot of female stray dogs and care for them).

Then came the shocking discovery that all her surviving family members inherited her fortune which valued at nearly RM 1 million. Quite honestly, no one dare to say anything about dividing the inheritance. In fact all of us didn't know what to do with it. So uncle Kei Jin, tried to find out if there was a will although in my humble opinion, he deserved it more than any of us. He was the one paying for grandauntie's nursing home bill ... yes, she was given the best caretaking service! Yet, some people whom were not in any way related to grandauntie dare to claim what were not theirs!

So that was the "fantastic" time when the Yeohs, the Lims and the Khoos fight back to honour her final wish. The best moment was when everyone uninamously agreed to donate all her wealth to the Buddhist Association For The Blind when the battle was over. I never felt so proud of my family, kalau nak dibandingkan dengan my dad's ex-boss 10 years fight over his dad's wealth with his siblings ...

Hmm ... during the day of her cremation, I realised all that happened was actually a message or God's way of telling me that even though my grandauntie lead her life alone but she was never lonely. She filled her life with purposes and meanings. Caring for the sick as a nurse. Working hard to earn the position as a Matron (careerwise she could be considered successful). A loving aunt and grandauntie to all her nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. The router (I can't find a better term) that link every computer to the World Wide Web.. metaphorically speaking ... no matter how near or far we were from her.

One of my Malay friends once told me, one of the reasons that Islam encourage its believers to marry other that pro-creation or ketenangan batin is to ensure that when we leave this world, akan ada waris untuk menguruskan jenazah and pray for our soul.

For that, I think my grandauntie was a very lucky woman. Family and friends prayed for her even during the month of the Hungry Ghosts or All Souls Day (the Khoos are Christians). Even to the day of her death, she performed charity and donated to the needy. Best of all, she still got her Buddhist funeral despite not everyone is a Buddhist ... Khoos are Catholics, Yeoh's are Taoists, and one Yeoh "was" an Anglican on vacation huhuhu. Wasn't it beautiful?

... so that was the start of a new journey for me since 2007 .. to fill my life with purposes and meanings. Setting new resolutions on every birthday. Spending quality time with my parents , siblings, extended families and close friends who already like saudara mara to me. And like grandauntie, finding and creating wealth not to show off but as a security, charity and wealth distributions when the time finally comes ...


Preview of Part 2 ... is marriage a solution to loneliness?


9 comments:

Si Yoyop Bah... said...

Mengingatkan kpd episod 3R yg aku suruh ko tgk hari tu. Part Celina dan Rafidah berumur 105 tahun.Granny Celina byk duit, kumpul semata2 nak honeymoon, tp bila end up dgn mbujang seumur hidup, what happen to that money?. Jd, better jd nenek rafidah, tak nyesal mbelanjakan duit dikala ada. Psl tgk episod 3R ni lah tetap terus kptsn aku mbeli glider. Sblm tu, mcm rugi dan tak berbaloi krn mahal.

SeMiN said...

so rambo... what is the moral of the story? I think u know what u shud do. hehhehe!

rambomadonna said...

Yoyop: Me too Yop. That's why aku renovate rumah aku gila babi sampai aku sendiri di bawah paras kemiskinan. Walaupun one day aku tau aku taklah akan tinggal di apartment nie, but selagi aku duduk sini, I want the best for myself.

Then aku beli DSLR lagi ... untuk expand my artistic self. Aku kalau makan pun minta maaf yer nak cikai-cikai.

rambomadonna said...

Semin: Ada lagi min mesej2 yang hendak disampaikan tapi dalam Part 2.

suna said...

Ntahlah...tapi itu yg aku ndak kisah belum kawin..
But then, aku belum kaya dan adik-adikku semua masih bujang so belum terasa tekanannya lagi..
kecuali kalau balik kampunglah plak.. tu jak yg ditanya..

rambomadonna said...

Suna: Nanti aku update on Part 2 ... banyak kesedaran sivik aku 2-3 menjak nie.

norzah said...

Mungkin elok tunggu Part 2 sebelum beri komen tapi
bila dah baca cite u, susah nak diam-aiam je. Ada ketawa. ada sedih, ada geram....I ada dua sister-in-law yang bujang dan seorang adik pempuan.Macam mana nak nasihat pun tak tau. Elok I tunggu cite u. Tapi tentang diri u sendiri J, someone's sure to grab you soon, around December, orgnya.....Isy tak mau buat ramalan. Nanti kena panggil pula Tok Nujum, hehe.

rambomadonna said...

NOzah: mudahan-mudahan lah jodoh memanggil i in december hehehe. Part 2 nie ada twist of event and sedey sedikit. Tapi itew yang buat I leave my life in God's hands, for HE is the one that knows the best.

norzah said...

J. U dah tonton ke U Tube on 'How to be the Perfect Girlfriend'? When I say u must pretend to be the damsel in distress sometimes and cater to his ego, macam u tube tu cadangkanlah. Kalau u terus independent, confident, daring,smart, sidia jadi takut lo. Wanita yg kayaraya macam Paris Hilton pun selalu buat macam damsel in distress supaya kenak belai, ho,ho.God knows best but sidia belai best.

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