Friday, December 29, 2017

Farewell 2017

I have been on annual leave since 18th December and my brain is totally relaxed! So much so that I am forcing myself to write a post tonight simply because the next following days will fly in a flurry, filled with events and things to get done before I resume work in the new year. Somehow, I find it challenging to remember what had happened in this year. 

I reviewed the handful of posts I made this year and my memory is jolted to several painful memories. Yes. Grief and loss. Sigh... Now I know why my brain had blocked them out. The pain lingers now as I look at the keyboard, waiting for my brain to string some words together to form sentences. Something that makes sense to me. Something worthwhile writing.

Fast forward from my last entry to the last three months.

Since October this year, I have started a new hobby: playing a game called Design Home. It has become something that I think about first thing in the morning and the last thing on my mind before I fall asleep every night since this adventure began. The thing I find addictive about this game is that it allows me to decorate rooms virtually and be proud of my designs. Its the creative outlet to replace everything else that I can no longer do: singing.

The game isn't without flaws. The voting system sucks. Voters consist of players with various degrees of interior decorating knowledge. Truth be told, I really don't care much about the scores. I just want to keep on designing. It fills this long time hunger to decorate my home to my heart's content. I thought of posting some of my design work here but I know myself too well that I won't be able to pick just a few. Hence the two photo albums on Facebook that I had dedicated to just that.

Working as a lecturer has become a continuous learning process for me. I learn from my students on how to improve my methods of teaching. I believe I am getting better with each passing semester of this year. Having two career subjects to teach as well as Crisis Intervention Strategies this year has been splendidly delightful. And I am happy to report that I am now the main lecturer to conduct Sensitivity Camps for pre-practicum students. Also, this time around, I get to teach a handful of students on how to conduct such camps.

Has 2017 changed me? Yes, in that I am stronger now to say "No"to things that are no longer right or true. Some may view this as harsh or cruel. But I need to do whatever it takes to take care of myself. My family needs me. My students need me. My clients need me. I need me. I have no room in my life for people who are still deciding whether I am worth their loyalty or not.

Who am I now? These practicum students of mine used these words to describe me:

Some of my other students gave me a thank you card, ladened with deeply touching words, at the end of camp.

This is who I am... for now.

... to be continued.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2017: First Quarter of Grief

Something I had not mentioned in my first post for this year is the losses I had suffered since the year began. On January 3rd, my much loved cousin whom everyone called Kak Long (Suhairah Wahiduddin) passed away much too young for her age; leaving her family, relatives and friends from far and wide, grieving. The impact of her unexpected death hit many of us so deeply.

On 20th January, my husband's uncle, Rahim, passed away in Port Dickson, during his morning nap. From the first time I was introduced to him, we had a connection. We would comfortably talk about faith, spirituality and sufism for countless hours. We shared the same interest and love for Allah. He had always mentioned how he looked forward to the day he would return to Allah. Therefore, when the news of his death reached me, I had a mixed feeling of happiness and grief. The day he had been looking forward to almost the whole of his life had finally arrived. But I had lost a father figure. He died during Friday prayers. Masya Allah!

Not long after, on February 1st 2017, someone I befriended exactly 10 years to that date, Syed Omar, passed away after years of fighting cancer. He was buried on a Thursday afternoon. His funeral was attended not only by his family but also royalties and dignitaries. Despite his designation and relations with the royal family, he remained humble and simple.

On the morning of February 24th, I woke up to a message from my friend Helen Yap, that our fellow musician/composer Johan Nawawi had passed away. His death was unexpected and sudden because he had not been unwell. In fact, last my husband and I met him was less than 2 months before and we had a chance to catch up on what's been happening in each others' lives. He died and was buried on a Friday. There were three congregations of prayers done for him on that day! Masya Allah! How he was so loved by everyone.

Despite having lost all these people whom I have known and had touched my life in some way or rather, I managed to keep to my work commitments. Although there were times when I wept in the privacy of my office, I kept ploughing through, managing my grief as best I could. But the last straw that broke this camel's back happened on Sunday, April 2nd at 8:50pm. My much loved kitten that was rescued from the rooftop of University Hospital in August last year and I adopted him and named him Bleu, was hit by a speeding car in front of our home! This was witnessed by my younger daughter and it traumatized her. She was inconsolable for a long time. We all grieved over Bleu's death. There was a pool of blood underneath his cute little head. His blood-filled eyes were open and black. His mouth was open. As I picked his body up from the ground, I felt the last of his breath leaving his little body. I cradled him in my arms and wailed. My chest felt as though something was brutally wrenched out of it. I grieved. I am still grieving. I think I will always grieve over Bleu.

I believe Bleu was an angel. He came into our lives and filled it with love. He was always gentle and considerate. There's not a soul that had met and known him that was not touched by his love. I pondered on why losing a pet hurt so much more than losing a human being. I have come to realize that the reason is because animals don't have the capacity for malice or spite. Nothing more genuine and sincere than the soul of an animal.

I have suffered losses before. Losing Mad had me grieving for more than two years. Maybe because Mad was also someone who had no capacity for malice or spite; at least not towards me. Do I wish I had grieved for Mad for much lesser duration? No. I believe the duration of grieving befits the quality of the soul that we have lost.

What I have taken away from all that has happened is this: I need to prepare myself for my first night in the grave; where there will be no one who can help me. I will be buried alone with only my deeds to speak for me. Henceforth, I have revised and renewed my commitments. I hope, together with my good deeds, Bleu will be there to keep me company in barzakh.

Whatever I have composed today is based on how I am feeling today. May Allah erase from my memory anything that does not benefit me remembering. May He bless me with serenity for my soul and peace for my mind, commitment and loyalty towards Him in my heart so I would remain steadfast in my ibadah for Him, insya Allah.

Wait for mama, Bleu. Meanwhile, do put in a good word for me, ok my son? We will always love and miss you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


As I browse through the many posts I had written over time since opening my Blogger account, I noticed some that evoked memories I would rather forget. Nothing worth keeping. I believe it is high time for me to delete them. It would be counterproductive to strive for peace of mind and serenity of the heart by holding on to posts that were written while I was in the throes of stupidity. We learn from mistakes but no one in their right mind would treasure them!

Therefore, right after publishing this entry, I will be sweeping through all my past entries and deleting the miserable ones for good. See you all on the other side! 😊

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Gift of Time

My husband has a hobby of gifting me watches any chance he gets. No Rolex or anything of that sort, of course. But time pieces that carry individual sentimental values. The first one he bought was a pair of His & Hers YSL dress watches for our first wedding anniversary.

Needless to say, I wear this to formal events.

The second watch he bought me was upon my request: ICE watch in Black and Gold.

This one was my everyday watch for a long while, for obvious reasons.

The third watch he bought for me was for my 50th birthday, another ICE watch but with BMW design. It just happens to be in the same colour as the 10 year old BMW car he bought me in 2007.

This is my watch of choice whenever I am roughing it up doing outdoor activities. Usually worn with blue Levi's jeans.

And the latest and most expensive purchase he made for me was for my 52nd birthday: an Apple Watch!

I am absolutely in love with this gem! I mean, it makes it a lot easier driving to work and everywhere else now. 

I pondered on the reasons behind my husband's tendencies to buy me a watch any chance he gets. I came to the conclusion its about giving time. Time is the most precious gift anyone can ever gift to you. Its the one thing they can never recover or get back. 

Looking back, hubby has always been there for me. He has always given me the time and space to grow. He was patient during my difficult and most trying moments. In the past, during my depressive years, I had pushed him to make quick decision to let me go. But instead, he stalled for time; giving me the space to regain my equilibrium. He knows and understands me better than I do myself, I must admit. And I am eternally grateful for his gifts.