Monday, May 3, 2010


Ever since my mother had broken bones in her thigh several years ago, she was unable to walk since then. After several years, she accepted this disappointing fate and started living from one place to another, from Kak Yah’s house at Bandar Tasik Selatan to Kak Ni’s house at Gemenchech and now been living permanently at Fizah’s apartment at Desa Tasik.

My sisters used to take turns taking care of her but not anymore. Mom is finally living with Fizah now as Fizah is still single and living in her own rented apartment which I paid half of the rent and fully furnished the apartment to give comfort for mom.

It has been a long time since her last visit back to her beloved home at Kampung Gedok, Gemenchech. This is the very house that we 7 siblings grew up since my grandfather retired from being a Custom Officer in 1970.

For months my mom has been nagging at Fizah to go back home but she has been giving Mom excuse due to financial restrictions and also couldn’t live apart from her fiancĂ©. So the minute I found out that she wanted to go back Kampong, I half-heartedly agreed to sacrifice my colorful weekend activities for her instead.

As we drove back to Kampong, I realized how my mom was so eager to reach her home. As we reaching closer to Kampong I could see the glow of excitement in her eyes. But she has always been a very reserved and quiet person. She would not speak her minds to us. She’s not the kind of person that would be so talkative or even social. Mom would only talk whenever she needs to or when she has something important to say or ask.

Now that she’s over 70’s, frail and on wheel chair most of the times, she enjoys her quiet life alone. Pretty much nowadays she would wake up early in the morning and then enjoys the company of Kak Yah for her daily visits of bringing breakfast and lunch. At around 11.30 or so Kak Yah would go home. At 1 pm Fizah comes home for lunch with her. Sometimes when I am not busy running around town doing my errands, I would join lunching with her too or sometimes just a quick visit to see her.

In between our visits throughout the day, she would just watch TV or lying down resting in her room. Kampung is a much needed diversion from her boring daily brick view of Fizah’s apartment. She needs a change of scenery from artificial to organic view of her familiar territory. Mom’s wooden Limas-styled kampong house is surrounded by Rambutan, Langsat, Mangoesteen, Mangoes, Pomelos, Coconut, Durian, Rose apple and Chiku trees.

This house is her private fruit gardens for the past 40 years. However, since most of the neighbor houses are also inhabited for the past 10 years and visited by families during holidays only, wild monkeys have taken over the whole village and invaded our homes. A lot of broken roof, pipes and not much of fruits left during fruit season.

Despite these broken things around the house and lesser fruit trees around, this is still a true home for her forever. I realized how important it is for us to bring her back home to her kampong house once in a blue moon for her to see and feel alive. This home holds so much fond memories and brought so much joy and happiness in her life.

I could still remember how I used to live in this house when I was a kid with my grandparents and us all living under the same roof having dinner together every night. It was so wonderful and irreplaceable.

If I were her, I would be the same too. I have neglected her for too much. I am too wrapped up in my own stupid life. Getting distracted with petty little things that come my way and forget to repay all her sacrifices for us all.

I hope she can forgive me!

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