Saturday, 23 July 2011

Allah certainly has unique ways to show His Love, I hope I will not lose my chance....

I won't get to hug him like this again

This July, 2011, I turn 53.....pretty old, physically, but not necessarily wiser. Nevertheless, I feel it is high time I accord due recognition to all those responsible for the person I have become, because indirectly, they are also responsible towards how I have brought up Afzal. I relate here stories of my own humble upbringing, which I think have contributed as the basis of values I uphold, that I have passed down to Afzal and to which he has value added to form his own personality........

STORY NO. ONE - My Father (now 79 years old) taught me the meaning of Family Ties

My father, Hj. Mohamed Salleh, calls Afzal Tok Imam

He is not perfect, but he helped laid the foundation for my personality. He instilled in me the importance of doing things as a family unit. As a child, my siblings and I are taught to eat our meals together (the rationale then was because there would be enough food for everyone if meals were eaten together, but if everybody ate at their own freewill, the last to eatmight have to be satisfied with just rice and soy sauce!).

The girls in my family seldom have the pleasure of social outings with friends, especially out-of-town or overnight outings. If we really needed to go somewhere, the whole family will go together (the rationale was, we were still too young andnot ready to face the challenges oflife out there, unchaperoned!). It may not be as interesting going with the whole family, but we were not deprived of going, nonetheless.

STORY NO. TWO - My Mother (passed away 22.6.2007, at the age of 72, four years ago) taught me the meaning of Responsibility

Mom, Hajjah Zaharah Samad, when she visited us in the United States in 1986

She was a working mom (she worked as an assistant nurse). She taught me, at an early age, the meaning of responsibility.

I am the second daughter in a family of 8. I have an elder sister (by one year) and a younger sister (by one year). My fourth sister, diedat the age of 3 1/2, from Polio. My fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth siblings are all boys. My seventh brother died at the age of 13, fromThalasemia Major. My elder sister was also stricken with Thalasemia Major and died at the age of 22. While she was alive, there were times when she was too weak to shoulder much household chores, but spiritually she was strong. She passed her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam, even though she missed many classes!

When I was in form 5 (1973), my mom gave birth to my eighth brother, Azmir. After 42 days of confinement and maternity leave, she had to resume work at the hospital and this create a lot of challenges because there were times when we did not have a maid inthe house! I remember when mom worked the morning shift, her working hours were from 7am to 2pm. My elder sister and I would usually come home from school at 1pm and my father (a teacher) would be back by 1.30pm. My younger sister attended afternoon school and would be the one babysitting little Azmir in the morning until my elder sister and I came home. But I also had to cook lunch! Fortunately, no family member ever complained about my cooking....either because I was a good cook or because everyone was too hungry to complain, since lunch was usually only served at 3pm!

It was even scarier when my mom had to work the night shift(her working hours were from 9pm to 7am the next day) or on weekends, because it meant I had to look after little Azmir throughout the night, feed him, change him, bathe him and put him to bed! Imagine me, 16 years old then, bathing a 43-day-old baby!

STORY NO THREE - My Siblings taught me the meaning of Sacrifice and Perseverence

Me, and my siblings : Azmir, Roslina, Ahmad Shukree and Ahmad Shahrir at his wedding

Being the "eldest" in the family, my brothers depended onme for many things while they were still studying, especially after I secured a job, got married, had a family of my own and was living in KL. Times were tough then but I am thankful that Allah gave me the strength to persevere. Whatever assistance I could give to my brothers may not have been much, but I was glad I helped them as much as I could at the time when they needed me most and I believe that formed the basis of our bonding that remained strong till today. I also believe that whatever little help I gave them back then, I am reaping the benefits now because while I lived and worked in Kota Kinabalu for 16 years and my children studied in Kuala Lumpur, I did not have to worry because my siblings were always at hand to assist them.

STORY NO. FOUR - My Husband taught me the meaning af Unconditional Love

Masarudin Mohd. Yusof - very proud father at Afzal's graduation in July, 2009

It does not matter if you are a Mother or a Father. Both play a vital part in the life of a child. There is also no need to compete for your child's affection because each parent has differentroles to perform, roles that are perfectly meant for one and not the other, complementing each other, just as Allah has decreed upon partners in a marriage.

I thank Allah for giving my children the privilege of enjoying the pleasure of both a Father and a Mother. And I thank Him too for giving me a husband who knows his responsibility and discharges them well, according to his own mould and capability. But then, I did not always feel this way............

I have had my share of frustrations and anger towards my better half. Frustrated because I feel that I have done so much, whereas he is always not at home (his job takes him out-station a lot). Angry because I felt that I have always been giving and sacrificing for the family, whereas he has not appreciated it....But how wrong was I!

Indeed, reading entries in Afzal's and Jeps's blogs has made my realize a lot of things about what kind of father my husband has been to our children. He is the very opposite of me. I am very vocal and express my feelings openly towards my children, whereas he is more reserved. I cry when I am sad, laugh loud when I am happy and nag when I am angry! He keeps his emotions in check most of the time. Throughout our marriage, I have only seen my husband cry twice...once when he got news of his father's death and another when sending Afzal off to the UK to study, in 2004....and I thought he was not a sensitive person! After Afzal left us, I have come to realize also that my husband loves his children and cherishes them more than his life! It does not matter to him if others realises that or not because he is not out to impress anyone. He is just loving his family unconditionally!

Reminiscing over all these stories make me also realise how true Afzal's words were in these Entries:

Title - "I know what you don't know (Part2)"

"...and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know." [2:216]

Titlt - "I know what you don't know (Part 1)"

".....even the Prophet couldn't initially comprehend the wisdom of Allah's planning, only to learn that his Creator is indeed the best disposer of all affairs..."

........Mama Afzal


zahirahharyati said...

keep on posting. please !

.:. Kupu-kupu Kecil .:. said...

~*tears! :')

edogawa conan said...

auntie, i always waiting for new up date from you.
may God Almighty bless u n family.
if i'm not mistaken, i understand from your writing, your besday on july right? eppy belated besday auntie. may God bless your age.

reBELLEious said...

i was waiting for your update. thank you auntie :)

FareHa Ainuddin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mamanurin said...

happy belated birthday autie, moga senantiasa didalam rahmat dan lindungan Allah S.A.W..keep updating auntie

joegrimjow said...

1st day at uk - mas jadi imam terawikh, die tak ingat kiteorng masih jet leg =)

really miss him!

nadia mustafa said...

that pic brings me to tears :'(

Anonymous said...

Selamat berpuasa Mama Afzal.....
keep on writing, dah lama tunggu tulisan Mama Afzal.....
Happy belated birthday, semoga ALLAH merahmati usia.....=)

Mohd Shahnom Ismail said...

Assalamualaikum wbt
Happy belated birthday ..

Afzal sambut kami dengan wajar ceria masa kami tiba di Sheffield pada September 2006.
Setiap kali kami jumpa afzal, pasti senyuman terlakar di wajahnya.
Hingga hari ini, senyuman afzal masih melekat di ingatan.
Rindu sekali...

Teruskan menulis makcik, banyak yang kami boleh pelajari

Thanks sangat2

Nurul Aqlima said...

Tq for updating..

Membaca entry ni membuatkan teringat petikan program tv yang ditonton semalam "Panjang atau pendek ukuran umur seseorang bukan berdasarkan kepada ukuran angka semata2..tapi lebih kepada keberkatan dan ingatan orang kepada beliau.. ada orang telah sekian lama meninggal dunia, tapi masih tetap kekal dalam ingatan..itulah orang yang panjang umurnya...dan Alhamdulillah..Mas Afzal, "panjang umur"nya..

dan adakalanya ada orang jasadnya masih hidup tetapi orang lain mengharapkan kematiannnya..dan itu adalah orang yang "pendek umurnya"..

mommyNadia said...

what a really food for thoughts for today!!thank u..

U. NO. HU AEZAL???? said...

Saya tahu blog ni dari sorang sahabat, dan saya baru jumpa blog ni tadi. nama kami hampir sama. Salam dari saya, masrul afzal, shah alam selangor. :)

Anonymous said...


I am currently doing my one-year preparation to go to the States in order to continue my study there under a scholarship. I had been very determined to secure stellar results in exams and quizzes so that I can go to good uni, and have good degree, then having a good life. Everything, as I was imagining-life is simply a bed of roses.

Then, it was at the end of this Ramadhan and yes, I was diagnosed to have cancer-Synovial Sarcoma. Life had been slightly changed for a week. I was depressed, saddened by the fact of the big C. My quizzes marks dropped and I did not have the 'appetite' to live my life.

But, I was good in pretending. I laughed and smiled-sometimes too much-that I knew I was actually rotting inside.

I knew Mas Afzal through some of my friends in KY and Ustaz Hasrizal- that they had posted their condolences to him in blogs and facebook. I used to read this blog before. Vigorously, for a day or two,feeling all inspired to lead a better life, then stopped.

Now, I reread these posts again. Not merely reading but to really feel and understand the mixtures of feelings and emotions. The strength and Allahuakbar, how this word-Cancer- should actually brings us closer to the Creator, and I shall not regret.

I am going to undergo chemo and radiation-as the doctors said-on the days onward. I feel scared. I am just 18. I used to build big dreams, study and working, getting married, imagining that I'll be offering a good life to my kids, taking care of my parents, having a handsome amount of money and go for vacations etc etc but now that I know that these are actually small dreams-the biggest dream ever is securing Jannatul Firdaus and I am reconstructing my life in order to achieve my new big dream. Please please, pray for me...

I dont know why am I writing this here. Perhaps, I feel like I want to write :) I just want to tell people out there that life is really unexpected and let us prepare ourselves to meet Allah.

I dont know if I can that strong and so poised as Arwah Mas Afzal. I hope I will and I want to be one. Pray for me.

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum Anonymous,

I am sorry to hear about your predicament. But I hope you will not give up hope. Like Afzal said, you have to believe in the plannings of Allah. Everything that happens, happens for a reason only He knows.

You are no different from any other human being inflicted with a serious disease. It is natural to feel the way you do. But, like Afzal said, above all else, do not ever give up. He never gave up hope. I never gave up hope eventhough deep inside I knew I would lose him. Have faith in whatever Allah has planned for you.

It is vital that you keep being positive. Live your daily life as normally as you can. Lean on your family for support. Work towards achieving your dream and pursue that study in US. InsyaAllah, you will shine over this test.

I will pray for your recovery and above all else, I will pray that Allah give you the strength to continue living life to the fullest. The battle can still be won because only Allah decides when it is time to stop.

Afzal had his ups and downs just like any other cancer sufferer, but he always picks himself up again after giving himself a good cry or after he finished complaining about his condition to me.......Mama Afzal.

......... said...

thanks update makcik...sgt2 bermanfaat...

Anonymous said... the of the ur son's blog reader..takziah dari saye...i can understand how u feel when it comes about death...sbb sya baru je kehilangan adik kembar saya 5 bln yg was really hard tough..yes it is...infact we are very close..dah berkawan sejak dari dlm perut lagi..dan mane2 kami pergi selalu bersama..ape yg saye tau msti dia tau...sume mnde...x kira mnde pntg ke x pntg ke.sume mnde kami share bersama..but then kami berpisah bile msuk u..saye di kl,dia di nilai..but then kami still lagi rapat..selalu kol atau msg...she started to sick since we were at secondary school.when we are at form 3..dia disahkan menghidap SLE..she was the chosen one in my family to be tested with that disease... she was really strong person..x pernah sekali merungut..x pernah sekali mengadu x sihat..seorg yg sgt pendiam dan x byk berckp,..dan mase dia di masukkan hospital..saya yg bergilir jaga dia dgn mk..sepjg di hospital sy yg byk menangis..i had never seen her cry since dia disahkn sakit..x pernah sekali pun ..x tahan tgk wayar yg brselirat di bdn dia..the things get worse in the last march...mulut dia dipenuhi dgn ulser..dan alhmdulillah..mase tu dia tgh cuti sem..jadi spjg dia sakit tu my parent g byk jge dia...mase tu saye still ade kt kl..tgh sibuk nk final exam...dia x blh makan dan xde energy.dan disebabkn itu dia dimasukkan ke icu..but then saye sgt2 terkilan sbb seblum dia dimasukkn ke hospital dia prnh ckp kt mk sye yg dia nk sye yg jge dia sepjg dia kat hospital tu..=(..tapi mase tu sy mmg x blh blk..i cried when my mom told to me....actually my parents x nk bgtau sye pn g dia dimasukkan ke icu.mybe my parents takut sye x blh nk fokus on my exam..everyday i kol my mom.asked bout her mom said she will be ok..n i believe but actually she was not ckp kmbr ni blh rase ape yg pasgn kite rase.and its true...sye selalu teringat dkt dia..mcm mane dia skrg...shgga lah sy blk..i cried when i saw her.lying on the bed with oxygen tube in her mouth..her eyes look at me when i stepped into the room..oh god.i cant bear it anymore..i cried to the fullest....she was not like what i had imaged...different...sgt..her face..everthing was different..semggu saya balik dia 'pergi'..mgkin dia tggu saya agknya..=(..but then i thanked to god because saye smpat bersama2 dgn dia di icu,,mnjga dia bersama dgn my mom..Alfatihah to my sister..