Friday, July 15, 2005

Memories of my late grandma

As usual, we do not talk much during the drive to work everyday. It was still dark when we left the house today, because of the heavy rain. With both girls still asleep at the back, and papa22beas on the wheel, it was just nice for me to let my mind wander about anything. I felt fresh after getting a good night sleep, and I did something that I did not do for a loooooong time: thinking about my grandma!

It started off as I thought about what lzbone write about choosing to look fat or old. I've been on the slim side throughout my life, except for the last few years, I'd rather call myself skinny. I'd lost 8 kg during my final year in U, and I'm still trying to get it back! My mom and my sisters (except one of them) are all on the plump side. I remember vividly one of our neighbours, an old lady once told me that I (and the other sister) inherited the gene (she did not not exactly say this la...) from my grandma.

Memories (in black and white, on a yellowish screen like old movies like that) of her came back to me during the 1/2 hour drive to papa22beas' office. I have 11 siblings (yup, you got it right!), and off course mom and dad had hard times taking care of us. Grandma (or we call her "mok") and grandpa ("cik") stayed nearby and offered to help, and some of us were taken care by them. We frequented my mom's house but as a small child I once thought that my mok was my mother.

I remember vividly even in her 50s, kebaya (not the long and loose type, but the short and tight one) and the Indonesian sarong (nicely pleated in front, and tied with a steel belt) were her daily wear. With a knot (er...what do you call sanggul in English?) decorated with jasmine, she just looked elegent. And she was just in her home daily wear! I was wondering how she could maintain that while running around doing daily chores and taking care of us. My daily wear at home is off course, also sarong but with baggy shirt, and where got time to nicely "sanggul" my hair like that. She also smelled nice (*deep breath...closing my eyes to imagine it*). Cik also owned a sundry shop, and mok helped around. It was the only shop in the kampung, and because of that people said we were the richest. Mok also owned some lands and have people worked on them. That time we were the only one owned a TV and a car, a pale yellow Ford Cortina.

She loved gardening and planted her own jasmine. She taught me to plant tomatoes, and water melon. We also had a small "reban ayam", I used to help her picked the eggs. She cooked the best fried squids in the world. Every morning, she boiled water so that we could have warm water to bath. She starched our school uniforms. Nestum with warm water and sugar waited for us for breakfast. It was just luxurious, and we also got toy cars with remore controls, and once I was given a doll with a size as big as me. She taught us not to just stuffed our socks in shoes, but get them straighten and fold if we wanted to use them again. She took a really good care of cik, even to the extend of making sure that not even one padi husk were in his rice!

According to mom, she was a very pretty lady (now I wonder why that gene had not been passed to me!) and became "rebutan" (now, what happen to my vocabulary today:() among the young (and old) men in the kampung and around that. She married 3 times but had only one child (my mom) from her second husband. Cik was her 3rd husband.

I remember tears rolled down my cheeks when she told me that she would have to leave me a few weeks so that she could go to Mecca for haj. I was about 9, then. Soon after that, she got sick and they said doctors could not identify the disease. After lying in bed for a few months, she passed away. I was really sad when she told me she was leaving me for haj, but her passing away did not really effect me. To me, I just knew it was the time. She did not make it to Mecca.

After that we returned to my mom. Things changed a lot as mom and dad were not as rich, and they were just too busy. I shivered from the cold shower in the morning, and no more expensive toys. We learnt to fend ourselves and each other. During some parts of my life after that, I was kind of unhappy with mok leaving me too soon. But I always believe that whatever Allah decides for us, there must be "hikmah", and one of them is I got to get back to my mom. It was a bit tough, but I was just happy that all of us were together as a big, happy...er big family!

As we moved closer to papa22beas's office, I thought I wanted to blog about mok but later thought it would be nice if I can scan an old photo of me, mok (in her kebaya, of course) and cik and put it here. Unfortunately, off course old photos are at my mom's house. Will do it some other time.

My time with her may not be long but she did influence me on certain things. I hate to see socks stuffed in shoes, and I just love squids. As on being elegent even at home, I at least have the thought of I would really love to follow her one day. And I'm trying to take good care of papa22beas;). And now this blog reminds me to finish my Bodyshop EDT and Azzure perfume. They've been sitting on the shelves, collecting dust!

3 Comments:

Blogger amira said...

Hmm .. just told hubby last nite that I wanted to blog about Amira's grandma's .. what a coincidence.

But it's true that to most of us .. grandmothers hold a very special place in our hearts ..

11:11 AM  
Blogger Mama22Beas said...

yeah...though she's gone, the memories stay on.

Looking forward to read about Amira's grandma;)

3:14 PM  
Blogger 5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

Wow, Ros, your grandma amazed me. Wish I pun ada cerita pasal rebutan to tell the grandkids next time. Tapi...eh, mana ada.... LOL!

3:21 PM  

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