Friday, March 07, 2008

When there is divorce there's bound to be bitterness, heartache and animosity. My relationship with my ex-mother in law was very much like mother and daughter. It wasn't was just her. She was a warm and loving person who embraced anyone who walked into her life. Regardless of race or religion. It was an honour to be her daughter in law. I know how her heart broke when my marriage ended. We were still in communication during the last leg of my marriage. She tried her best to help us make amends yet committed to still be by my side if I decided to unravel my marriage vows. And that was exactly what she did. But I did not want to create a rift between her and her son and his new bride.I realised how hard it was for her to balance between supporting me and her son. I concluded that by taking me out of the equation, the task to reconcile with her new daughter in law will be made easier. Her new daughter in law also will not need to work so hard to figure out how to strategise to make me look like the crook :), Hence, I decided to stay away. I had to sever ties so that there will be no reason for the new forged relationship to weaken in any way. And part of the reason, was also selfish, I was too tired of being accused of many things I did not do, by certain factions. I just wanted to move on.

There's a malay saying which goes- "to swallow will cause the child's death, while to spit out will cause the father's death,". Such was the situation my ex-mother in law was in.

Reconciliation was made and I achieved my objective. But on her death, I had to contribute the final deed for her. To pray for her and do whatever I can to ease the burdens of her children. Cutting the pandan leaves, tying the last knot of her shroud..anything else. I realise how much I love her, and I know she loved me back after knowing each other for more that 20 years. I just hope, that from where she is now, she knows that.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tahlil for my Ex-Mother In Law

I know I am a little late to post for Wednesday. Now let me come up with the genuine excuses..i was tied up with all sorts of stuff in the day time..and had a meeting all the way in Cyberjaya and had to rush straight for my Ex-Mother In Law's tahlil (like a prayer and memorial). I realise how much i miss her.
Ties lost are reforged. I realise how much I missed my ex sister in laws. Well I hope i still qualify for Nablopomo. I have to rest now, coz it is really tiring and I have tonnes of deadlines to meet.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Ex-Mother In Law Passed Away

I won't be saying much, except that my ex-mother in law passed away early this morning. The reality hit me when I was there to help prepare for the funeral and when I saw with my own eyes her pale remains, as if in a deep peaceful sleep. I am still unable to diffuse the gamut of emotions which currently seem to feel like one big untidy knot in the very pit of my being; ranging from sadness to grief to fear to i don't know what..It is tough to figure this out on my own...I was able to be a pillar of support to others, but when it comes to me, I have to go it alone..but well and good..that is how it is meant to be. And thank God for my wonderful sister and my seven wonderful babies. I will post again when I feel better.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Under One Big Sky

As the day draws to a close, and I am completely blank about what I should blog about today, I begin to become restless. I have scribbles and scraps of ideas on things I would like to immortalise in my blog, but none well formed enough to justify a complete blog post. But I need to uphold my commitment to blog everyday for a month...and therefore to fill up this gap, I have decided to count my blessings.
There are many..countless blessings, infact. But one that deserves mention in this little space is that I am extremely grateful for the new friends I have made in the cyberworld through my blogging, and the bond with existing friends that I am able to strengthen. It is quite cool to browse through various websites and blogs to find nuggets of wisdom to fill the void within me and for me to carry along throughout the day, revelling in the beauty of the language and nuances used by the authors, seeing things I have seen all my life from one angle from a completely new perspective and knowing that I am not alone in my trials and tribulations, and that there are many who think like me. But to have a bilateral communication is truly something else, I feel like I have friends who speak the same lingo. And I am not lonely anymore. Thank you so much for reciprocating to my comments and for dropping by and leaving your comments so that I can return your gesture.

As I looked up to the sky from my balcony, I can see the peaks of the Petronas Twin Towers. (I live just 10 minutes' drive away from this grand landmark). And above it the sky with sprinklings of clouds illuminated by the towers' beautiful and expensive specialist lighting. Way above it the great big sky stretching out spanning this entire planet, forming an extensive roof above our heads..and I realise that we are all under the shelter of one gigantic roof, and it makes me feel close to everyone, regardless of where are feet are planted...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Brown Waxed Paper Brollies - Sunday Scribblings

It was raining outside as I was writing this blog. My bedroom draperies were slightly opened and I could see how beautiful the curtain of rain looked as it fell on my balcony. Sheets of rain which pelted on the wooden railings splattered into beautiful splinters of blue and settled into transparent saphire droplets.

I love rain. I love the world after it rained. It is as if the world has just returned from the launderette. Everything looks so clean, the trees and grass looks fresher than ever. And the greyish tar on the road looks even darker as if it has just been freshly laid. Even my soul feels as if it has been washed. And I love the sweet smell of rain. It reminds me of the time when I was little, in good old Penang.

My first memories of rainy days are of brollies made of brown waxed paper with ratan ribs. It gives out this distinct aroma which is unique and wonderful when rain fell on it. And whenever it rains, wherever I may be, be it when I was in Sydney or in London, or in Kuala Lumpur, the city I now call home, my senses will be taken over by this wonderful sense of smell, it is as if I am transported in an invisible time machine back to those days when I used to live in this little house, in a neighbourhood called Brown Gardens; where the neighbours were multiracial. A truly intergrated Malaysian society with an Indian neighbour on my left and a Chinese one on my right and some Malays, Indians and Chinese staying in the row of houses opposite ours. Every evening, when the clock struck 5 , I was allowed to go out and play. I and the other kids regardless of race and religion would play hop scotch, police and thief, skipping, kali toi, masak-masak and many other games which we never managed to christen with a name, but nonetheless enjoyed tremendously. Among the most significant memory I have of this era of my life is of the time when my Indian neighbours taught me how to ride the bicycle. I went for quranic studies at my malay neighbour’s house and we celebrated every religious celebration there was, with no discrimination. Those were the days when we used the waxed paper brollies which gave out the wonderful aroma of rain.

The gusty wind blew rain into my face and my invisible time machine brought me back to the current time in my bedroom. Back to the time of automatic opening, wind resistant, fibre glass reinforced plastic ribbed brollies.

Reflecting on what I saw during my “time travel”, I wish we are less discriminatory today. I wish that my children can experience the same warmth, friendship and solidarity among their multiracial, multifaithed friends as I had during the days of the waxed paper brolly. In fact their sense of brotherhood should be stronger now that 50 years has passed since Malaysia achieved her independence. How can we achieve this, if we as parents still can't put aside our differences and embrace our similarities, and grow from there...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sometimes we forget the most important questions

These last few days I have not been as strong as I have been or would like to be. I hover around different webpages which have given me inspiration, and later went blog hopping. I know i am supposed to be working, but there are times when I know the best thing to do is to just go with the flow. Need to hit bottom to the point where there’s no where else to go but up, and that’s exactly what I am doing.

As always, God showed me again how He answers our prayers, I came across this beautiful, blog, owned by an equally beautiful mother of two, called THE PAINTED HOUSE .
All her posts interest and amaze me. I relate to her, since I am also a single mother, but at this point in time, this post really struck a chord. Here is a link to her post:What is your unrelenting passion?

I wish I can be half as eloquent as her and as sure footed in this expedition through life on planet earth.

The questions laid out on this page of her blog made me rethink again about my life and my journey.
1. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
2. If you think life is hard, what are you comparing it to?
3. What do you pack to pursue a dream and what do you leave behind?
4. How would you introduce yourself to God?
5. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?
6. How many ways do you know to free yourself?
7. If you had 5 minutes to live, who would you call and why are you waiting?
8. If you don't have the things you want, are you grateful for the things you don't have that you didn't want?
9. What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?
10. Do you know where you are on your journey?

Among all the questions, I find question no.7 most urgent. Maybe if we live our life constantly asking these questions, there will be less regrets.

Thank you Jane. It is wonderful to find your blog.I hope we can be friends.