Sunday, 30 August 2009

My Old Nanny (Ma' Tua)

I haven't written much lately, apart from being busy with the start of Ramadhan (fasting month), also because I still couldn't bring myself to write about something that was really hard for me.

Even though it didn't take too long for me to accept what happened, I still needed some silent time just to move on.. after my old nanny passed away on Thursday, 6th of August 09..

She was the person who always took care of me since I was born. Then, by the time I had my sons, she loved them even when she didn't have any strength to chase them around like she did with me :-)

After I was old enough to be without a nanny, she concentrated in cooking for my family. Each of us had a different favourite, but we would all agree that she made the best Beef Rendang. Some of my friends who used to come to our house a lot (during high school time) also had their favourites..

She retired from working with us two years ago, right after Idul Fitri and stayed with her daugher's family since then, but she always came to stay for a few days at my parents' home at the end of each month (at the time of local community religion gathering). So, we could still enjoy her cooking once a month.

The last three months (May, June and July), many things (Ariq's end of school year performance, for one) had kept me tied down so that I couldn't stay at my parents' home at the same time as my nanny did.

During that time, I missed her so much, and my mother always told me that she was always asking about me and that she missed me so much too.

I kept telling myself that once everything was over and I had some control back over my life I would ask her to stay for a few days here.

But, who could deny fate?

That Wednesday, my father came over to see the grandchildren, and my mother spoke to me over the phone, telling me that my nanny had been in hospital since that Sunday because she had been having difficulty breathing. I was having bad flu and fever at that time, so I called my nanny's daughter to ask about her condition and told her that I would come to visit once I felt better.

She told me that her mother was much better and she had started asking the doctor when he would release her to go home. The doctor however wanted to be sure that everything was completely fine, so they were not rushing to go home.

The next morning, at dawn, my mother called me to tell me that my nanny had passed away..

After Ariq had left for school, my parents picked me up to go to my nanny's daughter's home and we saw her there, laying on the bed, looking peaceful as if she was sleeping.. My nanny's daughter told us that she didn't know that her mother had gone either that morning.. she thought she was only sleeping, until the nurse who was going to check her blood pressure came in, found out that she was gone and told her daughter.

My nanny's daughter also told us that all her mother's lab tests came out good. In general, she was healthy. I believe her good health was because of her love of walking. For over 30 years, she always walked to the market and walked back with the shopping. She used to take me to the market too, whenever I was on school holidays..

I couldn't find any strength to perform her last bath, but her daughter and grandchildren were all there.. After the bath, however, I finally found some strength to dress her in her final piece of cloth without any drop of tears.. I'm so glad I did.. It was the least I could do out of respect for the person who had loved and cared for me since I was born..

I guess the hardest part for me was the fact that everyone else still met her during the her final three months, while I didn't.. but now I understand it was fate.. Maybe it was meant to happen that way so that my love and respect for her would stay deep in my heart for a very long time, because I consider myself to be the person closest to her, yet I had to lose her the first, before everyone else did..

The best thought that my mother had was that she let my nanny retire two years ago so that she spent the last two years of her life living with her family, after having lived with us for over 30 years!

I still miss her a lot.. how could I not?! I still remember she bathed me, hand-fed me, lulled me to sleep while rubbing my back, carried me on her back, played with me, told me off when I came home late from school, taught me to cook, and later on.. had arguments over various things with me but always ended up in giving in to me.. :-)

I still miss her.. but I find comfort in knowing that her departure was without suffering and that she is now in a better place..

I love you always, Ma' Tua.. :-)

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