Of thank you and updates

The most frustrating thing about the whole thing was that I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone. And had a mini spat with my younger sister on why wasn’t I told that mum was ill. She said she wanted to call but bapak said he would, but at long last, no one did.

So in all my gleeful excitement of preparing for lebaran like a child on a candy spree, I didn’t know that back in my hometown, mum had a 40.5 degree fever for 4 straight days, one of her legs swelled into the ‘elephant’s leg syndrome’ — the swelling of the leg made one leg huge while the other remained normal size, that she couldn’t walk and there were blotches and patches of rashes that made her look as though someone threw hot oil onto her bare skin.

I didn’t know all these. All these I pressed out of her, while trying to contain my fury that I was not even told even a tiny gist of it all. ‘ Tak nak bilang orang lain lah.. kan dah nak raya, orang semua sibuk… buat orang risau ajer…’ she said when I called her, at the time her fever was still that high and she was on drips and antibiotics and tests and x-rays and what not. But I am not orang lain what !!! I am her first daughter for goodness sake. At that point, all the doctors suspected was infections of sorts. But my mother has a history of cancer. Stage one, colon. So of course, anything with blood infection is a cause of worry, especially since she also has high blood pressure and is taking pills for it.

I wanted to pack my bags there and then and head for home right away. But she stopped me. She told me she is stable ( yeah right, she sounded weak and distress and harlow, you cannot fool me lah.. I am your first daughter ) and that we should stay with our plans of hosting Meine Schwiegermutter for this festival and then balik raya on Thursday. Aper sajer sey… But she insisted. Jangan balik dulu. Stick to plan, I am ok— was her final ultimatum.

Alamak, dah sakit pun itu kepala dia ada batu besar ada duduk lah ini makcik… But then again, kalau mak dah cakap jangan, baik jangan kan.. nanti lain cerita pulak jadi. So ok, plan to leave immediately for home, abandoned, but I kept calling and sms-ing for updates. So far doctors have not found the cause of her illness. Initially they suspected dengue but the blood test showed it was not. So test after test that kept me on the edge waiting. And more frustrating is that, I am not there with her.

Just now right after the last iftar for this year, I finally got the news that her condition has stabilized. And that it was an allergy to a medication that caused the infection and it has not affected her in her other health problems ( she has quite a colourful medical history ) and now, like Toni Braxton sang.. I can finally breathe again.

She won’t be discharged anytime soon though. With her medical histories, doctors wanted to be sure that there is nothing more that what they discovered, and also she still has one huge leg and one normal size leg,which means she is unable to stand, let alone walk. Bapak sms-ed that this year, he will be celebrating raya at MacDonald’s near the hospital.

Cobaaaan.

To all the prayers of the people here and personal friends, thank you so much. May Allah bless all of you too. Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin….

U-Turn

Just as the excitement of Raya is setting in, I just got news good ol Mum is hospitalised. And no one from back home told me until I accidently found out that she was smsing me the lodeh recipe from her hospital bed this morning.

Apparently I am not supposed to know– yet (?). Ok people back home. Your secrecy about this kind of matter/news sucks big time. You hear that? And I am so not happy of being ( purposely ) kept out of the loop, no matter how noble all your intentions of not making me worry are.

Lodeh vs Roast Turkey

I woke up to Mum’s sms of the lodeh recipe I asked for her the day before. Looks pretty easy. But then again, yesterday the husband and I were just discussing. Since meine schwiegermutter aka ibu mertua ku will be with us for this celebration, shall we include a few dishes from her side of the world instead of the rendang shebangs, which we will get to eat in abundance back in my hometown from Thursday onwards?

But where to get Turkey here lah? Bangsar Village Grocer ada tak?

Tis Ramadan…

…we saw hurricane Ike

…the Malay leaders here who are Muslims showing the worst of themselves

…the Marriot bombing in Pakistan

…Malaysian politics going down hill…

and of course many, many more tribulations the world over. Could the future Ramadans be better? Are better things in store for us? Or is this the beginning of the end?

Having it OUR way…

The first year the husband celebrated Eid with my side of the family, to say he had culture shock is an understatement.

I think he got dizzy, at the endless number of people streaming in and out of Bapak’s house, the noisy, laughing, chattering and bantering people that we are, of the endless amount of food my mum is famous for and tables holding bottles and bottles of ‘kuih raya’ in all hues and colours. My paternal side, being Javanese means the family is huge. A clan of sorts. And on the first day, the merry making and the flow of food is always as though time stands still. The following day, the visiting will carry on and on. From one Nyai to another Yayi to another Nyai and another Wak or Bibik or whoever.

Most relatives get visited and if they don’t, they would visit us. I remember the first time the husband celebrated raya with us, on the third day, while the merry making was still strong and on full blast, he asked, ‘ This celebration doesn’t end here is it ???’ Ahaks.. 😛 .. there and then I felt genuine pity for him. It must have been a huge experience for him to ask me that.

Eid, I guess for the husband as he knew it, is not a too social affair. A quiet one with food and prayer in the morning, some visits and that’s it. The next day is yet another working day. And that’s about it.

This year, we recently had the confirmation that my mother in law will be with us on the first day of raya. The ibu mertua to a menantu hantu ( me lah ! ). Meine schwiegermutter. So first day raya will be at our humble abode with her, Milo, Tito and ourselves. Hopefully a quiet nice affair, sans the pandemonium of the first day in my hometown. BUT, oh ho… it won’t be too quiet for long. We will be traveling back down south on the evening of the 2nd day raya and I know, I will not be too late for the merry making that I knew all my life. Insya Allah.

And I remember when I was in my zaman anak dara, I told my mum that once I am married, raya will be my way. Sans the wastage of changing just about anything and everything in the house. From curtains to cushions to bedsheets to eating utensils. My raya would be simple and just celebrating on the essence of what it is meant to be.

I think we are quite achieving that. She did sms if I would be changing the curtains. Nope. Nope. Nope. But I did buy some new cushions as the old ones had cat vomit marks and what nots, and some retro bottles for my kuih raya ( retro lagiii ! ) and going to buy a new bedsheet later as ours have seen better days. Oh, I ordered some retro kuihs too ! Makmur, Samprit, Putu Kacang, Tart Nenas, Semolina ( sugi lah tuh ) and gorgeous cake lapis Sarawak all from her, I must say I am a really, really happy customer.And oh… as previously written, I have lampu colok in the garden, STILL a symbol of my excitement for raya.

It’s during raya I feel like a child again, if only I am not the one giving out the duit raya.. heh 😛

Speculations

Last night the husband felt as though it was.

Somehow I looked up and hmmm… I thought it was too.

We were not alone. Today, I had several people wondering the same thing, asking the same question.

But if it had been last night, I would be kinda sad. Cause I did the barest minimal. Even missed my sahur, hence missed the chance to do that extra bit.

Oh well… I hope it was not. If it was not, then I have hopes in several more nights to come. Since the night which is more blessed than a thousand months comes only once a year in Ramadan, the urgency to get it is more propelling now. I mean, how sure can I be that I would see next year’s Ramadan? Some people I knew from last Ramadan didn’t get to see this Ramadan. They are gone, forever…

So I shall not, rather… must not take any chances.