Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesdays With Bapak

Little White Lies -- Tuesday February 19 2008

We've been lying to Bapak about stuff.
We feel really bad for having to do that.
But we reckon that's in his best interest.

Like last Wednesday when we had to rush to Singapore after we were informed that our cousin, Juriah, passed away.
We decided to leave for Singapore in the afternoon. We couldn't leave any earlier. Besides, it would not have made any difference because the funeral and burial would have been over by afternoon anyway. That's Singapore regulations.

Juriah who was my age, died of a heart attack. She had been hospitalised for a bypass, and suffered a stroke after the operation. She was also diabetic.
Juriah was the youngest of Wak Lah's 4 children.
Wak Lah (Kamlah) was Bapak's second eldest sister/sibling.
Wak lah died about 30 years ago. Her husband, Ismail had passed away much earlier.
Juriah's other siblings are Zubaidah (Kak Bedah) , Fatimah (Kak Mama) and Abdul Rahman (Aman).
Kak Bedah was only in her 30s when she died of a heart attack (resulting from a stroke) about 20 years ago.

Aman stayed with us in Petaling Jaya from 1970 to 1973.
Bapak had always been concerned about the academic achievement of his nephews and nieces.
Whenever it was necessary, he would get them to continue their studies in Malaysia.
We have had several cousins staying with us in the 60s and 70s.

Juriah was with us in 1973 when she got a place at ITM (now UiTM) to study Business Studies.
Halfway through, she decided the course was not her cup of tea and returned to Singapore to do something else.

That day when she died. my step-mum, Kak Ton, Nina and I left KL (by car) just after 1.30pm.
We stopped at the Machap rest area (along the highway) for something to eat.
We arrived in Bedok Reservoir (Singapore) via the second link in the evening.
I was driving throughout.
It was either Nina or me. My step-mum and Kak Ton disqualified themselves from being driver for obvious reasons.

I am an okay driver but I am so known for getting sleepy at the wheel when the driving gets too boring or when it is during the afternoon or late at night.

"I'm okay...but I think I'll get sleepy around 3pm and at night, So Nina, you will have to take over," I warned them.

Needless to say, they survived my driving. I never got sleepy and drove all the way to Bedok Reservoir.

We stopped at Cik Ah's house for a little rest. Cik Ah had prepared tea and "makan". After freshening up and Maghrib prayers, we left for Juriah's house in Al-Junid.

After an hour or so meeting Juriah's husband and children, Kak Mama, Aman and our relatives, we left for home.
Nina took over the wheel when we were somewhere near Malacca because I was getting really sleepy.

Earlier, before we left for Singapore, I asked Nina whether Bapak knew about Juriah's passing and that we were going to Singapore.
She said they did not tell Bapak anything, worried that he'd be shocked.

When Kak Eda had a relapse in late 2006 and was hospitalised, she had not been able to visit Bapak. He had asked about her.
We could not tell him that she was terminally ill with cancer. We told him that that she was busy with her kids.
When he wanted to visit her, we told him that she was in Johor visiting Aziz's (her husband) father.
We told Kak Eda that Bapak had been asking about her. So when she was discharged from hospital, she immediately went to see Bapak, before going home.
Later, when she succumbed to cancer and died in March last year, we did not tell Bapak immediately but the day after her death.
We had to find the right time to break the sad news to him and when we did, we had to do so, very very carefully.

When Mak Cik and Nina were ready to leave the house the day Juriah died, they told Bapak that they were "going out".
They had to tell him something.

As far as Bapak was concerned, that day Mak Cik was going to her flower shop and Nina "to the kedai".

Oh, these little white lies.
Won't you forgive us, Bapak....


Anonymous said...

Hi Nuraina. It sure is tough to cook up white lies, especially to our loved ones... the time will come for me too one of these days (most likely I'll be on the receiving end, being away from good old Malaya)... I suppose one has to just bite the bullet when the time comes? Kesian Pak Samad... salam to you & your dad.

Srikanth Siva said...

Those are good white lies. I support them.

Anonymous said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiun - Al Fatihah. May Allah bless Allahyarhamah Juriah's soul..

Last Saturday, my late father's first cousin passed away at the age of 85. She had never married in her lifetime. But fortunately for her, her nephews and nieces had been looking after her well.

And on the way to her funeral, I drove my mother and pledged to her that God Willing when it will be time for Mama to return to our Creator, your only daughter (my youngest sister-lawyer) will help to bathe you and all your four sons (the eldest is a Police Senior Superintendent, second brother is an Army Colonel and yours truly, a "Coolie" and my younger self-employed brother) shall carry you with our eight arms and slowly but gently lay you to rest in the "Liang Lahad", Insya Allah... Just as all of us four brothers did when my late Bapa passed away a few years ago.:(

My mother, who is in her late 60s now, has survived a double heart bypass and is stricken with diabetes and high blood pressure. She can hardly see clearly and it is always the least I could do to hold her hand and lead or guide her to places, whenever I have such golden opportunity to do so.

Oh I love my mother so! In fact I am her only son who will always kiss her right hand before kissing both her cheeks and her forehead, each time I "ziarah" her and say goodbye to her. However, I am also the worst child who seldom or rarely visit her due to workloads, what have you - EXCUSES! I know..:(

Anonymous said...

Dear Nuraina,

I offer my condolences on the passing of your cousin at a relatively young age. May God give her family strength through this difficult time.

Your step-mum and your sister Nina must have been at the flower shop and the "kedai" until the wee hours of the morning. Wonder what kept them there for that long? :)

The little white lies you have been telling your Bapak are told out of the love and protective instinct you have for him. Echoing Srikanth Siva, I support them.

mutalib saifuddin said...

hello mdm ena,

firstly, condolence of the passing.

forget about the fact of 'tipu sunat' or white lies for a while. I believe that it's important to take care of your Bapak's heart (both perasaan and heart, of course), as i've seen how the elderly would subscribe to that sad fact saying their close relative has passed on. surely enough your Bapak would broke down and feels depressed. so did on your late sister Eda.

i think you're doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Inna lilahi wa inna ilaihi rojiun.

Takziah Kak Aina.

Anonymous said...

dear ena,

i teared reading this.

you, your siblings and makcik shouln't feel bad about the instinctive need to protect your beloved bapak who is now frail.

alfatihah to yr cousin Juriah!

life is so fleeting...

JuJu Eyedaa said...

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rojiun... Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat pada Allahyarhamah Juriah.

Hi Nuraina,I always look forward to read your post, Tuesday with bapak.

I understand the white lies,..If I were in your shoes, I would have done the same thing.

Hope you can find the right time and the right way to break the news to him later. Insya-Allah, you will find a way.

BaitiBadarudin said...

Inna lillahi wa inna lillaihi rojiun.
Ucapan takziah kepada seisi keluarga serta kiriman al-fatihah buat Allahyarhamah.

Anonymous said...

Salam Nuraina

Inna lillahi wa inna lillaihi rojiun.

Al fatihah.

Rockybru said...

it must have been a tiring journey. when my nephew died in an accident last 06, the drive back from my brother's home in JB to KL was the longest and most tiring. i was alone at the wheel and i was thinking of the few thi
ngs that the 16-year old and i had in common. went over and over again the question and concept of death, and life.
i have driven the jb-kl and kl-jb highway countless of times. the drive that night was the longest.

alfatiha, my yr cousin's soul rest in peace.


dhahran:i'm sure when my kids start telling me little white lies, i'd probably not know.
and thank you for visiting.

srikanth: oh thank you.

anon@3:45pm: wow..you are a wonderful. may you be able to do all that for you mum, when her ime comes.
Al Fatihah to you aunt.

sesat: i know... haha.. i think Bapak fell asleep before we came back, which was around 2am.
thank u, sesat.

mutalib:thank you, mutalib.

caza: thank you.

mekyam: hi mekyam. oh dear.. i hope you didnt tear to much.
and thank you..

juju: thank you.

baiti: thank you

bru99: thank you


rocky: oh i remember that day when your nephew died.
imagine that -- you happened to be in Johor and were about to head for KL when you received the news.
Rezeki you, Rocky. Dapat bersama you brother and his family and you managed to ziarah jenazah.

AL Fatihah.

Anonymous said...

Syukran Jazakallah Khair, Kak Nuraina... I am a huge fan of your old man's journalistic achievement par excellence! I couldn't help admiring his strong spirits and determination from his "Kajang" days and still fighting for all that he believes in and surviving until his daughter's blog era now!

I aspired to be a professional writer as you both 'like father, like daughter - tag team'. A feat I could never achieve in this short lifetime, I must confess.

So the occasional butt-ins in kickdefella, MarinaM's rantings, The Scribe's analytical blog, and lately in your lovely blog and mostly in Anwarblog.com now disguising as both Insan Prihatin and Salman Al-Farisi (Pro-Anwar;).

I am 44 (die,die) bad luck number in Chinese feng shui, I think. In fact for the past few days, I have been grappling with some health issues. I suppose the hay fever and global flu virus season must have gotten the worst of me... (I don't even know myself what the phrase means! Ha haha hah:)

I have a strange feeling now even as I am typing that I may be having symptoms of a heart attack! So if ever I were to die after this, this comment I am posting may fetch a fortune which you may auction in Christies' or any other biggie auction houses.(Hehehhe! As if I am a world celebrity of sorts)

Talking of death, I would suggest Kak Ena to go out with your lovely 'rebellious' young ones and watch the latest box-office movie by Hong Kong's actor-producer- director extraordinaire, Stephen Chow i.e. a comedy-drama film, entitled simply, "CJ7"... It's a real knock-out, I tell ya! I was brought down to tears and high up in bursts of laughter watching it with my wife (who sobbed the worst)

What I am trying to say is that this particular movie could be a great way to patch things up with regard to 'mother-kids' bonding!