Saturday, November 17, 2007

A very special family

My dad is going back in two days' time. The children are going to miss him like crazy, I know. And, I think the absence of their dad will hit them more, realising that no other family member will be around.

During the week, from 3.15 pm to 8.15pm, it would be the children's quality time with their grandad. They draw, read, talk, pray and read the quran together. The boys even sleep together with him.

Like all grandparents, my dad is much more lenient and sporting with my children, as compared to his relationship with my siblings and I many, many years ago. I was made aware of this since my dad first became a grandad more than twenty years ago. However, what struck me most was the openness my dad had with the children. They talked about his family and about his past - something which was a taboo for me. When I was a small girl, I remember asking my dad about his dad and each and every member of his extended family, for his dad had four wives. Unfortunately, I never got answers and until today, I still don't know my roots.

My children, on the other hand, have managed to get A LOT of information about things of the past. Openly, my daughter asked her grandad, So, tell me again, how many wives do you have?

If I could blush, I'm sure I would have turned all red hearing that!

Boldly, Twin H even announced, Atuk, I think you have a very special family because your dad had four wives, and you had two.

While my children were asking and discussing these matters which were once taboo to me, I couldn't help but cringe, while pretending to busy myself with house-chores. In actual fact, I was embarrassed that the children were being so blunt! Our family is full of half-sisters and half-brothers, and step-sisters and step-brothers.

When I was growing up as a kid, I always thought that my family life was ever so tragic - Mom passed away when I was four, the only grandad I knew passed away when I was ten, and the only brother I had passed away when I was fourteen. Death seemed to loom over me wherever I went. Yet, somehow, I knew that Allah loved me because the paths that led me through life always seemed to be clear. I believe that I always got the best of life and that was how I knew that death does not always depict negativism.

I'd be lying if I said that I had never thought of my own family and the idea of death. My late mom died when she was 36, so I had thought that when I turn 36, I'd have to think about that... But it looks like death doesn't strike me, it just strikes the people surrounding me!

Many moons ago, Mr D and I once made a pact. Most of you must think that it's a silly one. Still, I'm going to share it with you. We sort of promised (though it's highly impossible) that none of us would die on the other. If we were allowed to choose the way we would die, then perhaps, a car accident hitting us both would be fine. Then, we'd both die together, instead of leaving the other behind. Of course, that would be a tragedy for the kids, but a great love story to tell.

Today, I feel that dying in an accident is too sudden, and it gives us no warning at all. It is a blessing in disguise, that the late Mr D, was given warning of his departure. Though he had suffered the pain for approximately 6 months, it had given us the opportunity to reflect on life and the day after. He made sure he spent more time with us (especially the children), and with Allah, through his readings and sleepless nights. In short, he was allowed to repent.

So, looking down at the family tree my daughter has sketched, I am more than sure that what Twin H had said was true. Though crazy as it may seem, we do belong to a very special family.

18 comments:

Minci said...

Yes you do.. :)

MULAN said...

happy belated 1st birthday..!! ahaa.. mine was last month & i ter-forgot lah..!!

semua yang berlaku ada rahmatnya.. be strong & take care dear sis..

~ahni~ said...

Semua family adalah special.... tapi family kita sendiri lah yang paling special.

Kalau kita tak fikir macam tu, maka kita pun sedikit sebanyak tak rasa belonging or apart of that family....

intan salwani said...

Time will heal the pain...
Bring the sun, dry the rain..

leo said...

sounds like how my father used to be - a strict military man. my boys never believe me when i told them how garang atok used to be. to them their 'atok ki' is the best. good for them! take care D

anggerik merah said...

D...yes a very special family indeed..

Thanks for sharing your story.

You take care dear!

anggerik merah said...

D...yes a very special family indeed..

Thanks for sharing your story.

You take care dear!

NJ said...

Salam D,

As cliché as it may sound, yes, all the hardships will make us even stronger and more special …

Take care, dear.

Kak Elle said...

A special family indeed:)

hugs and lots of love.

maklang said...

special to everyone who appreciates having each other, no matter what they are..and I am sure you are one very special person too..

kc said...

my family is not perfect but i wouldn't trade them for anything else in the world...

i so love this entry!

Baizurah said...

Assalamualaikum,

I found your blog by chance and I am glad I did.

I would like to express my condolence to your family. I lost my mother this year to cancer too. She was diagnosed in March and died in August... Sometimes I feel like it all never happened. Like it's just a bad dream and I would wake up any moment and realized that mother is still alive. So I know how you feel when you say that you sometime feel like you're in a dream. Maybe it is the mind's way of dealing with the pain.. to lessen the pain.. so that we can move forward ... because that's what we have to do.. move forward and live.

Bee
http://www.prozak-nation.com

Faruha said...

Salam D,

I guess I know...
kenapa D begitu tabah hadapi pemergian arwah Mr. D.
Sememangnya pengalaman lalu membuatkan kita lebih bersedia menghadapi cabaran hidup seterusnya.
Saya belum berpengalaman kehilangan keluarga & org tersayang...tertanya2 kuatkah diri jika ini berlaku!

One big family..satu keluarga yg unik.

qoth said...

I am still in awe of your strength and acceptance. We can never be prapared enough to lose the ones we love but being slightly prepared is better than not at all.

I understand about the complexities of the extended/expanded family. Sometimes death in the family makes it even more complicated, but sometimes it opens up the taboo topics. I should know - my own paternal grandfather has two wives, maternal grandpa had three, and my own father had two. Under such circumstances, you have just got to stretch your understanding and tolerence even further. Sometimes, this situation does have its advantages. For one thing, if everyone is on good terms, you'll be all the richer in terms of family members.

I am sure the relationship your father has with your children will be treasured by them.

mardhiah12 said...

growing up, we always think that others families are better than ours. but i'm glad i grew up in my own family, even though we have our own shortcomings :)

Ajzie said...

Yes you do..
And all the hardships will make us even stronger and more special.


Hugs

rizal_a said...

There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go.

Helena said...

Most important is that, no matter what happens, we would know that our families are there to give their support.

Happy 1st Birthday D, take care yer...