If we trust in Him, He will never disappoint us.
A week ago, I left the United Kingdom surrendering to the Almighty, all my future to be etched by this trip back home. I am humbled and reminded of how little or nothing I am – without His guidance, blessings and pointers. I crumble without the strength of Imaan, and without worldly security. I collapse without a shoulder to cry on, and without a friend to confide in.
Yet again, I have been reminded and blessed with His clear affection: He keeps us all in His guidance and leads us to our destination.
Every time I step into our room here, pulling the door open, I cannot help feel so nostalgic. He used to hold the door open for me, when I had my arms full. Vice versa. Our room is more of a suite – a large room that was our humble abode. Even though Kak Long and her children had gone through the trouble of decorating our room with a WELCOME HOME banner and colourful balloons, nothing can really stop the piercing and aching from deep within.
The scent of the bathroom stirs a sense of familiarity – of something from the past that was so pleasant. Perhaps some two or three years ago. And almost every time I shower, I can never stop the tears from escaping… It still hurts. I can feel him so close by. Is he really gone?
Only twenty-one months away from home, and already we feel so alien and uncomfortable. The feeling is indescribable; of nostalgia – the laughter and tears, and of loss and feeling displaced. Yes, nothing will be the same again. It is also paradoxical. Somehow, it’s good to be home. This has always been home. The house is one year older than I am. As a child, this is where I spent my evenings on my favourite swing – swinging so high till I could reach the sky. It was also where I had my hiding place; up on the rambutan tree, climbing to the highest and most comfortable peak, my hideout when I felt the world drawing close to me.
This house is also where I had all my friends over: primary school mates in the evenings, secondary school mates (for the weekend sleepover from residential school), university chummies, and colleagues. This house saw me grow up from a sloppy girl who moved from reading Enid Blyton’s, then Sweet Valley High, to Sydney Sheldon, to Virginia Andrews, and later, the classics of Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens when I was already a young woman.
I got married in this house – the last one of the five sisters. And this house is also where I lost both my mom and brother. But this is not where I lost my soul mate. This is where I built my life with him.
It has only been a week, but we are still finding it difficult to go through our days in this house. Perhaps we need more time to settle down. It has been awhile, so we also probably need some time to adjust ourselves and relax. I am moving on, and I am wrapping it all up just like I’m clearing out all his clothes; but of course, there’s something anchoring these feelings. It’s not easy.
Despite all these emotional turmoil, I feel blessed meeting warm and affectionate family and friends. Let me first point out that I am NOT a celebrity. Please don’t anyone say that. In fact, how can I be a celebrity – what is there to celebrate? The death of a husband? Becoming a widow? Yes, the tens of people who have met me will say that I appear ever so cheerful and happy, without a hint of sadness or despair. This is D – the same ol’ D from twenty years ago, ten years ago or merely two years ago. I have chosen to be the person you meet today because the moment I become sober and serious, then, all the sadness will be gushing in, overflowing and escaping the fort I have built. I fear that it will sweep me away. Hence, putting a brave front with cheery notes and positive energy will hopefully make me go through my daily activities more swiftly. InsyaAllah. At least, that’s what I pray for every day.
Although some close friends don't like the sound of it when I tell them that I live by the day, that's really how I'm plotting my days ahead. I can trust no one other than Him. Of course I have my tentative plans laid out, but things are all loosely placed for only the Almighty will decide what is best for each of us.