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Archive for January, 2006

The Week That Was…

It was an incredibly busy week last week. I was occupied with work day and night.. and I am so glad that it is all over now..

But then…

Last Friday morning, I received news that our good friend, Siti, lost her husband in a car accident. He was riding on his bike on the way back from Pasar Malam, when a car hit him. Hasbullah died on the spot. Arwah was only 30 years old, while Siti is still in her late 20s. They have two small kids, the elder one barely 3 years old, and the younger one reaching 1. Allah.. Please forgive him and place him next to your loved ones.. This is such a great test for Siti. And I pray that she be strong.

I cried. I just couldn’t imagine if I was in Siti’s shoes. Will I ever make it through? Imagine the kids growing up without even knowing their dad. Allah.. But then, I have seen so many cases before this. My good friend, died of jaw cancer two years ago.. and now her husband is taking care of their only child. Another friend of mine, lost her husband six years ago.. and now she is taking care of her two kids, and to support herself, she opened up a nursery. And I have come across Norasyikin’s blog, who died in a car accident about a year ago, and now the husband continues to update the blog.

I mean.. this is life.. and you have to be strong at all times if ever you are tested… Allah.. give me strength..

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19th of January is a special day for me. Two most important people in my life celebrate their birthdays today. My mother, the greatest woman on earth; and my husband, the most incredible person I know.

A lot of my friends ask me whether I made it a condition before I got married to find a husband that has the same birthday as my mother. I just couldn’t stop laughing. Now, that is something extremely impossible to do. No, it was all a coincidence.

My mother is an ex primary school teacher. She is smart, but because she did not have any chance to further her education (I think she would have easily made it into university if my granddad did not use the money for other things!) she chose to be a teacher. And mind you, she taught Primary 1 from 1969 up until 2000 – i.e. until retirement! And I realize how important it is to have a good teacher when you begin schooling.. because these teachers teach you how to read and write. Up until today, anywhere my mom goes, there’ll always be one or two of her ex students greeting her – in the supermarkets, banks, government offices. And of course, she is a wonderful mother and wife.. Although at times she can become very strict because we get too lazy to study.. but she made sure we understood why. Mak, I love you. Thank you for being such a wonderful and understanding and loving mother! No money in the world could repay what you have done for us!

When my friends ask me, what made me fall in love with my husband, I would always tell them one thing. Besides being such a loving person, the real thing that made me fall in love with him, is his sacrifice. See, my husband has, in some way or another, a similar background with my mom. Both of them were unable to enter university for some reason. Mom did not further her education because of her dad’s actions. But my husband decided to sacrifice furthering his education for his mom. When my husband got into first year of matriculation, his mom (allahyarhumah) was diagnosed with third stage breast cancer. My husband, being the eldest and the only son, decided to stay home and take care of her. In fact, at the time of her death, he was the only one by her bedside. And I really admire him for that. Really.

Despite our difference in age (he is 4 years younger than I am) and education, he has been a wonderful and loving husband (of course we do have fights like any other couple). Thank you Allah, for him.

May Allah bless my mom and husband, and grant them happiness in this world, and more importantly, in the hereafter.

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Raising Children

I am quite upset this morning.. not with anyone else but with myself. It was a very challenging day at work yesterday, and by the time my husband and I got home, it was nearly 7.00 p.m. When we got home, mom warned me saying that the kids have been throwing tantrums the whole day. Mom thinks that it was because they had little sleep during the day. They usually sleep around 2 to 2.5 hours in the afternoon but somehow yesterday.. it was for only 1 hour. So that’s why the havoc..

Anyway, we were too tired. And of course the little darlings just can’t seem to get enough of us so they were playing and running around and making a lot of noise and jumping up and down.. That was when I sort of lost control of my temper and sort of yelled at them. The result… they cried. And the sound of their sobbing was just too much for me to take that I immediately felt so bad, and I started to have tears in my eyes. I did try to apologize, but I guess kids don’t understand the word “Sorry”… And we have never felt so lousy like we did last night.

And this morning, on our way to work, we discussed in the car about the kids. I am going to surf the net today, and find some articles on raising children. Any suggestions, anyone?

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The Sadness of Eid ul Adha

It was Eid ul Adha yesterday. So, to everyone, Eid Mubarak.

I particularly dislike thinking about Eid ul Adha because one day before 10 Zulhijjah in the year 1996, my beloved grandmother passed away. My grandmother, who took care of me since I was born until the day she died.. left us at about 8.30 a.m. on 9 Zulhijjah. And the worst part is, I wasn’t by her side when she died, I was thousands of kilometres away from home.. She started feeling ill about 3 weeks before that, and my mother warned me to be prepared for all circumstances. I did not believe her. But by that time, opah (as I fondly call her) was already unconscious. And coincidentally, she died on the 27th of April – which is actually my elder brother’s birthday..

Opah was a very strong woman, and extremely patient even after all that my late grandfather had done to her. She was a pious muslim, and a very obedient wife.. I pray that she is placed next to Allah’s loved ones in the garden of Firdaus….

I miss her so much. And that is the reason why I don’t particularly like thinking of Eid ul Adha, and that is also why everytime we celebrate Eid ul Adha and my elder brother’s birthday, there are only tears in our eyes….

Opah… may we meet again in the hereafter…..

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I felt so tired today. The twins were very active today, trying to get their dad’s and of course my attention. I kinda think that they miss us very much. They didn’t see much of their dad while I was away as they were at my parents’ house. We tried very much to give our fullest attention to them, and of course, I was nearly half asleep by the time I was trying to put them to bed. I wish I could make them understand how much I love them. Perhaps, one day… But for now, kakak and adik, mama and abah love you so very much!

Anyway, it is just two days before Hari Raya Aidil Adha. We haven’t done much though. My elder brother has gone back to Johor to my sis-in-law’s house, so our house will be quiet this year. I still have to work on Monday, and will only be off on Tuesday, so I guess nothing much can be done. The worst thing is, I may have to be at the office early in the morning of Tuesday as we are running some examinations. Darn!

My significant other has started his new job at a pharmaceutical company just 5 kms from my workplace. It is a good change for us.. driving to and from work, spending 40 whole minutes in the car without any disruptions. Alhamdullilah, I pray that everything goes smoothly for him this time.

I have set some goals this year, the two most important being striving to be a better mother and spend at least 3 hours of quality time with kakak and adik (we already have plans to start trying for another baby end of this year), and secondly, trying to lose all the weight that I have gained while pregnant with kakak and adik! I have some few others.. and this year, I have actually written down all my plans properly. So, hopefully it will work this time!

Allah.. Thank you for everything….

To all, Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.

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Photos to Share

The city of Addis Ababa

Merkato – the biggest open market in Africa

View of the highlands

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My last four days was spent in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Just a few months ago, I was in Khartoum, Sudan. Sudan and Ethiopia is just next to each other geographically.. but there is such a vast difference in terms of culture, and surrounding. Addis is located about 2500 feet above sea level, so I had a shock upon arrival at the airport. The weather is so cool, and very refreshing.. and so unlike my imagination that all African countries are hot and dry. It was almost like Melbourne.

The first three days were spent completing the job that I was sent to do. It was pretty exciting, meeting new people, discussing about things and understanding how people work. And my last day was spent touring the city, shopping for things that are mostly cheaper than Malaysia. The driver took us to the highlands just to have a look at the scenery.. and Subhanallah! It was fantastic. I have never seen anything like that. Insya Allah, I will post some pictures later, once they are ready.

Ethiopians are mostly Christian Orthodox, and they have a different calendar from the rest of the world, and they celebrate Christmas on a different day. It was really interesting to see and observe what they do, and what their customs are.

And I cannot help but think of the Sudanese brothers and sisters whom I met while I was in Khartoum 3 months ago. Of course, Ethiopians are slightly more modern than the Sudanese, and the development in Addis is a lot more noticeable than in Khartoum. But who can forget seeing these people praying along the roadsides, reading Quran while waiting for the bus (and the security guards will always have a Quran in their hands and reading it while working) and screaming happily upon knowing that the next day is Ramadhan? Allah.. it was the best experience I ever had. Sudan is definitely a place I would like to go again if I have the opportunity. And the brotherhood in Islam.. you can really feel it there.

Regardless, it still feels good to be going back to Malaysia. I cannot wait to see my daughters!

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