Yesterday, a friend told me ..."my nephew just got back from UK. It seems many babies born recently have been named Afzal!"...MasyaAllah, it never ceased to amaze me just how much Afzal had touched people's lives that it frightened me sometimes. But at the same time, it gives great comfort to this heart that is still sorely missing him, knowing that he is remembered even after more than a year since he passed on.
As I leafed through past emails, I came across one from the Consultant Haematologist at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, who treated Afzal from day one at Ward O2. He wrote..."He was brave and always so polite and respectful. Despite his illness and suffering, I never once heard him complain, It was a priviledge to look after him..."
Another of Afzal's friend from his school days in Kota Kinabalu wrote in her blog ".....we met again in 2002 @ Pusat Asasi Sains. He was there a few months before he was offered to pursue medicine in Sheffield University. Me and my sister called him our "green button" because by seeing his face with his braces & curly hair, would always make us smile...there is always "nur" in his face. He will always be smiling...."
This friend also wrote:
If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again.
Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
Thank you Azwa.
We celebrated this year's Eid without Afzal, again......and as I went round shaking my families hands, asking for forgiveness and hugging them praying for continued happiness and well being, the tears fell freely because the one person I longed to hug is no longer there. I am so thankful to be surrounded by close and concerned family members. They are all my pillar of strength....and honestly, there are many times when this supposedly "strong mother" need a shoulder to cry on (even if it's only in silence).
Eid family photo minus Jep who's still in Aussie....
Miss hugging Afzal on Eidul Fitri morning....
Every now and then, I would meet people, some I only know by sight (because we bump into each other in the lift at my office) and others who are complete strangers, who would ask when I was going to update Afzal's Blog! One of them is an officer working in the ICT Department at my office who is suffering from kidney failure and who needed dialysis 3 times a week. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for her, to endure the suffering and bear the financial costs and yet still turn up for work everyday, smiling. She would smile at me every time we meet and would ask me when I would update Afzal's Blog. For you Ros, I'm writing this entry from my heart and I pray that you recover soon. Afzal would have advised you to keep fighting and not give up....remember he said "cancer is a word, not a sentence".
As I continue with life, I gain wisdom from reading and re-reading Afzal's entries, drawing comfort and strength from his absolute trust and believe in Allah's planning. I hope others out there continue to benefit too and may we remain always blessed and guided to the right path...Allah's path......Mama Afzal signing off writing from the heart.
Afzal's resting place as it looks today....