Posts Tagged ‘ blast from the past ’

are you healthy, mentally?

In the name of Allah.

I’m doing one of the most personal assignments I’ve ever done in my life. It’s not easy, but it’s good to know what’s important in a kid’s life. It’s good to know things that a kid doesn’t know, like I did when I was little. Experience teaches more than what a book can tell.

I was eight when my father passed away.

I could remember vividly the day ayah passed away. We were in one of the resorts in Pulau Pangkor. Ayah had some police conventions over there. It was the second time we went there.

I remember how the jenazah was brought to one of the mosques in the island, and how I had my last kiss on ayah’s forehead. I remember how ayah’s body was covered with this yellow powder I don’t know what it’s called. I remember how everyone was crying as though it was the end of the world…But what does a kid like me know?..I couldn’t remember whether I cried or not, but I definitely know what being dead mean. It means living this worldly life and heading to another one, which Muslims call Barzakh. But that was definitely it. Nothing more. I did not have anything over that point. That was my period.

Oh yes, because ayah passed away in Pangkor Island, the jenazah had to be brought back to the mainland. ayah was buried in Kuala Kangsar, his kampung, where he had always wanted to settle down. I, sometimes can still remember how he would always say to me, “Kalau ayah meninggal, ayah nak kubur tepi pah…” Pah is my great granma, whom I did not have the chance to meet at all, because Pah passed away before I was born and Pah was the one who raised my ayah after his mom passed away when he was little.

Ayah was brought back to the mainland with a police boat, because ayah himself, was someone in the police force. I remember how the boat was unstable and I was REALLy worried that ayah would slip into the sea(silly as I was, can a boat be stable on water? come on girl!). And as we reached the mainland, angah and abang was already at the shore. FYI, angah was having her PMR back then and abang was already in college when ayah passed away. That’s why we met them at the shore in Lumut.

Then, being the youngest of my siblings, I accompanied my mom in the hearse and that experience, I don’t remember much about it. All I remember was, my mom whispering to me, “Ayah is at the back.”.

My aunt’s house was in front of the main road heading to KK town. It’s directly opposite to KK Technique School. It was shocking to see how my aunt’s house in Kuala Kangsar was flooded with human. As the van approached the the road heading to my aunt’s house, I thought there were some kind of parade the town was having. The only kind of traffic that is similar this is when KL is holding the Merdeka parade. Mom said, because ayah was such an influence in the police force, and ayah had travelled to many places that he had such many friends. Such many wonderful acquaintance who always had time for him. Even after he had left.

I never really thought I could be this transparent. I didn’t even know there is a part of me that can tell this story openly.

A kid I was, I never really know how to deal with death. Yes I understand the fact that death is this and that, but to deal with loss of loved ones, I don’t know how. I’ve heard that people say that everyone deals with grief and loss differently, but what harm would it cause if this topic is being explored in the classroom?

There was no such thing as mental health when I went to primary school. Nothing. Pendidikan Jasmani &Rohani was always about physical education. And being an athlete myself in primary and secondary school, is it fair to say that I’m healthy when an aspect of my mental health was not being dealt with?

I’m confident that I am not the only 8 year-old whose father died when I have yet to understand the meaning of death.


A tribute to Mama- my mom, my dad, my hero


Dulu masa ayah aku meninggal, aku dengan family tinggal dekat Taiping. Sebab before ayah aku meninggal tu, ayah aku nak pindah Taiping. Dekat dengan kampung katenye (Kuala Kangsar). Ayah aku meninggal masa aku darjah 2. Tak berape nak paham lagi maksud meninggal. Aku ingat lagi time tu, aku rase macam ayah aku akan datang balik. Budak kan. Mane nak paham. But anyhow, bila sampai Father’s Day, aku sedih sikit. Sebab aku dah tak buat kad dah, sebab aku takde sape nak bagi kad tu. Pathetic, tapi macam tu lah budak-budak kecik macam aku dulu fikir.

Tapi hari ni, aku bukan nak cakap pasal arwah ayah aku. Aku nak cakap pasal mak aku yang jadi ayah aku, yang jadi mak aku (obviously) lepas ayah aku meninggal.

Aku ingat lagi, bila ayah aku meninggal tu, memang family aku menghadapi pelbagai masalah. Financially, emotionally, semua lah. And paling terasa sebab time tu, abang dan akak-akak aku semua dah keluar dari rumah untuk belajar. Abang aku kat Uniten, angah aku kat Unikl, ekin dekat MRSM. Tinggal lah aku dengan mak aku kat rumah.

Maybe sebab mak aku muda lagi time tu kot, aku ingat lagi macamana mak aku garang gile. Aku ingat pagi-pagi kena sidai baju before gerak pegi sekolah dengan mak aku. Mak aku drive aku gi sekolah. Kalau tak sidai baju pagi tu, dalam kete memang tunggu mase je la. Aku dulu librarian time sekolah. So, pakai baju kemeja yang tuck in dalam skirt macam tu. Jadi compare dengan pakai baju kurung, lapisan kain skirt tu lagi nipis sebab baju kurung ade dua lapis kain. And hukuman aku untuk tak sidai baju pagi tu, cubit sampai paha aku lebam. Mula-mula aku tak bajet pon akan hitam paha aku, tapi bila sampai one time tu, aku pakai seluar pendek kat rumah, kebetulan sape tah ade kat rumah aku, tanye kenape paha aku ade tompok tompok hitam yang sangat banyak. Lebam rupenye. Aku tak dapat lupe la kan, sebab mak aku cubit memang pergh, and memang bergenang air mate pagi2 pegi sekolah. Budak kecik kot. Mane nak paham…sekarang bile pikir2 balik, maybe sebab mak aku pon mude lagi time tu, anak buat hal pulak. Dia lagi banyak benda nak pikir dari aku.

Yang lagi satu hukuman aku tak boleh lupa adalah kena libas dengan getah toilet. Taw tak getah yang mane? getah yang dok pasang kat paip tu.haa.. yang kaler oren tu. hak tu la yang mak aku guna kalau marah. Tak main dah hanger, buat membazir je (sebab dah banyak kali patah). Aku tak rase aku jenis nakal kat umah dulu. sebab aku takde pun geng kat jiran aku. Tapi tu lah, budak budak kan. macamana pun, mesti ade yang tak paham bahasa.

aku ingat lagi, time aku form 5 mase ade hari academic mak aku cakap nak datang. aku tunggu dari pkol 8pagi smpai la 1tghari (time hari academic abes), mak aku tak smpai smpai. Selaku senior otai yang bawak hp gi sekolah, aku call mak aku, takde orang angkat. Aku jadi gelabah la. Pastu dalam pukol 2 macam tu, mak aku call. Cakap mak aku otw datang teluk intan. sorang-sorang sebab takda orang nak teman dia datang tengok aku. serius time tu aku kecik hati dengan abg n akak aku. aku rase macam dorang tak sayang aku. smpai hati diorang biar mak aku datang sorang. dah la time tu aku nak SPM. tapi takpe..aku taknak tunjuk sedih aku kat mak aku, aku senyum je bile nmpak mak aku. peluk tak lepas. mak aku nangis, aku TERmenangis sekali…pastu mala tu ade bace yassin ramai-ramai, orang lain bace dengan mak ayah, aku bace dengan mak aku je. Sebab aku ade mak je. Pastu malam tu jugak, aku tak tido hostel. keluar tido dengan mak aku…esoknye mak aku balik kl balik..aku ape lagi, meleleh lagi la banjir jugak la semesti tu.

Even sekarang aku dalam teacher’s program ni mak aku punye usaha. Aku tak pernah terfikir nak jadi cikgu, tapi mak aku yang apply kat aku sebab mak aku taw, aku teringin sangat nak belajar oversea. Yela, nak baut medic ke engine ke, result tak power. Alhamdulillah, berkat doa mak, aku berjaya la sampai sekarang. And alhamdulillah jugak, berkat doa mak, aku dah jadi sangat passionate untuk jadi cikgu. 🙂

Aku tak tahu la aku boleh ke tak jadi seorang mak macam aku. Bagi aku mak aku dah gone through a lot. Segala benda yang jadi kat famili aku, semua ada kaitan dengan mak aku, smpai aku tak taw macamana mak aku handle bende2 yang jadi. Aku bila terkenang apa orang buat dekat faimly aku, meleleh lagi la air mate. Mak aku apatah lagi.

So for all the things you’ve sacrificed, the things you’ve given up, the undivided love for the four of us, I know I wouldn’t be able to pay even a pinch of it all back. But what I can do is to pray for your well-being, and ayah’s too.

Wani doa mama sihat selalu, Wani doa mama dapat tengok abang, angah, ekin and wani berjaya and happy so that mama pun boleh happy jugak. I hope you find your happiness and i pray that He will always be by your side in everything you do.

Happy Mother’s Day mama 🙂

Looking for Dad

Whenever Mum and Dad
were full of glomm
they always yelled;

Just because my comics were
scattered here and
everywhere and
because I did not care
where I left my underwear

Then one day they
could not care less
about the room’s awful mess.
They seemed more intent on having a domestic argument.
They both looked glum
and instead of me Dad
screeched at Mum.

One day when I
went to bed he
simply vanished.

I had not tidied
up my room because
I too was
full of gloom.

That night I dreamt
Dad was hidden
beneath the things
I’d been given.

In my dream
I was in despair
and flung about
my underwear
but could not find
him anywhere.

I looked for Dad
lots and lots
beneath crumpled sheets
and old robots.

I looked in the cupboards
and in shoes,
I looked up all
the chimney flues.

I remembered how
he’d seemed to be
unhappier than
even me. When I woke I knew
it was not my room
that filled Mum and Dad
with so much gloom.

Now I stare at all old toy cars
and carpets stained’with old Mars bards
and hope he will
come back soon
and admire my very tidy room.

Brian Patten