that blank moment

It was mother’s day yesterday and just like any other mother’s day I wanted to write something nice and straight from the heart. Except, I was staring at the blank page for almost an hour.

A week ago, I was writing a letter on behalf of ze big boss and my attempt halted after 3 lines. He saw me and my pathetic 50 words, and took over.

Often nowadays I ran out of things to say to friends over whatsapp, the inspiration was somewhat patchy. Like I know what I wanted to say, yet they came out dry and soul-less.

I am taking up writing again. Need me mojo back.

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not the overwhelming kind

Rachel: I want to be someone’s first choice.

Ethan: Yeah, you are.

Rachel: No, I know what you’re saying. I’m not his first choice.

Ethan: Maybe you’re someone’s first choice. What? You never wondered about me? I don’t know how to say this… Um, gosh, Rachel, I like you. I’ve always liked you. And when another guy came in the picture, I liked you even more. You are home for me. Wow! That sounded crazy. Wow. And that’s probably what all this is. I mean, it’s probably crazy. It’s not love. But… it kind of feels like it is. Don’t worry. My love is not really the overwhelming kind. Geez, when I’m in love, I drink Rose and watch “Remains of the Day,” so… I don’t know, Rachel, maybe it’s just that I miss you. But I think you fell in love with someone else. And I think you still are. [Rachel nods her head and sits by Ethan’s side.] Ah, dammit, I knew I should have gone for Claire. [Rachel laughs.]

—Something Borrowed (2011)


Is it a sign of maturity and ageing? That love isnt the overwhelming kind? Because love now is calm and serene.

Or has it achieved the equilibrium between holding tight and releasing, between smothering and giving space, between temporary euphorias and permanent ‘low flutters in the belly’?

Perhaps, love is finally.. home.

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half-hearted 2014

I embraced the new year by being at work. When the year kicks off with fireworks around the country, my phone rang to mark the moment. A patient collapsed. I was grateful that we revived him within 5 minutes, my heart went out to the loyal wife shaken by the thought of stepping into a new year with a reminder that she lost her love the very same date.

Alas, although that patient made it another day. Another young soul met his Creator a few hours later. And his wife crumbled before my eyes.

That was my new year experience. *cringes*

It will be a huge year biiznillah for me and my family. Insya Allah a major (final) exam and a major life change. I get chest tightness over thinking of exam and how ill prepared I am at the moment. Which leaves me very lil time to think of the other prep I have to do.

Rabbi yassir wala tuassir. I need You – as always.

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that corridor

That once heard the laughters of 4 doctors sharing their tales of the day – the demanding patient, the poor makcik who cant afford our chemo, the nasi lemak that was worth the calories – appear bare and hollow in every sense.

That once led us to her office, where we sat in her room listening to the wisdom of our sister – of another way of being grateful, of another chance to repent, of another resource that shall not go to waste – still hangs her name of the door.

I wish I can tell somebody who can understand how I feel, walking the same corridor.. seeing the same signage on her door.. hearing her voices everywhere I go in the department.. seeing her smile in the surau we spent an afternoon too many.. is just very difficult.

Ya Allah it is so hard not to miss her. Ya Allah it is so hard not to remember her. Ya Allah it is so hard not to touch her gifts, her belongings and expect her warmth enveloping me.

From time to time, I go back to my entries on her and take comfort that some of the words I failed to say, she managed to read on this space. From time to time, I scroll down her messages, always full of naseehah and always full of love, and my heart will stop hurting for a while.

This place, brings so much memory. And I’m too overwhelmed.

Allahummaghfirlaha warhamha wa ‘afiha wa’fuanha. I love you. Always.

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1435 H

The last entry I wrote was the end of a phase. What better things to write than a hopeful beginning? 🙂

In all honesty, I have been rather down sober since last month. Life feels different. Life has been different. I deal with life and death all the time, on a daily basis, 24/7, constant pronouncing patients death and talking to families about active phase of dying. Yet, funny enough, it shook me in ways I have never really expected. To bathe, to clothe, to pray upon and to bury someone so close to you – who had breakfasts together, who shared an office with, who was on your speed dial list – is the biggest wake up call ever.

We knew it was coming, and she knew it was coming. We pulled up our strongest act, yet she was stronger braving it. Just as she said, she was ready. And I can gave a testimony to that – it was all written on her face. As I kissed her goodbye, I knew my tears were all selfish tears.

Again and again Kak Emi lectured us, taught us “it is not about here that matters”. Again and again she said with conviction “He wants me with him, I am happy”. Again and again she believed that what she leaves behind will be all taken care of by Allah’s will and plan.

I was crying for the strength that she had, and I dont. I was crying for the faith that she had, and I dont. I was crying for the certainty that she had, and I dont.

The late Kak Emi not once winced at her sufferings, yet figured she sinned so much that it takes so many hurdles in her illness to get her “cleansed”. What is between a slave and his Master, we will never know. But my heart is at ease witnessing how serene she looked when we bid her goodbye. I’m sure you are with your Beloved, happy and painfree.

With this new year, I am embracing it with a spirit inspired by my sister. That each drop of tears, each drop of sweat..let it be for our investment in the Hereafter. I need to keep asking myself “is this for the dunya or is this for the Akhirah?” “is this going to please fellow humans or is this for the pleasure of Allah?”

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Goodbye for now. (Al Fatihah for Dr Nur Emilia Othman)

It seems like a dream. I feel like I went through the motions of the day without clarity. Yet, it was true. You have left us Kak Emi. And we know you are in a better place, insya Allah, but we selfishly miss you and thought of you more and more.

This time last year as Astrid pointed out yesterday as we drove away from the kubur, we were still going out on our daily lunches. The 4 of us – the misfits I call us. Yesterday, you went in a different car and we left without you.

You were beautiful as always my kakak. And the ceremony went smooth and serene. Masya Allah how calm you looked with a smile on your face. Ya Rahman, the price of a strong heart bearing sabr and yaqeen.

For others, they lost a colleague, a cousin, a schoolmate. For us 3, we lost the Kak Emi who educated and nurtured us from how she fought her battle. We were lucky to have known you Kakak.

Remember when I told you my life is stagnant and how things are not going right?

You told me I was losing the point of this life. That everything should direct me back to the al Khaliq. That the stagnancy was also a means of returning. That the uneasiness within the heart was a means of returning.

Remember when I told you keep straying away and failing to persevere in my deeds?

Tahajjud, adik. Tahajjud changes your life. And without fail you made me wake up and had that special 4 am meeting.

Remember when I was hurt and people wronged me? And all I wanted was revenge?

Everyone was ready to fight for me – hurt him, kick him, scratch his car. Everyone agreed he was mean, he had no heart. But kakak, you focused on me. That I should learn the lesson – that human comes with flaw. Expecting from fellow humans, I get crushed. Kakak you told me, seek the Al Jabbar (Mender of the broken heart).

Remember I wasn’t ready to let you go?

You calmly said, then our paths crossed by the will of Allah is wasted. That the living me should continue what I have learnt from her and be better. That if we were to be reunited, it shall be in Jannah hopefully. Merely hours before you passed away, you told me you are ready and I just cried hugging you ( I wasnt quite ready kakak)

I have a long way to go Kakak, to be able to join you. But I will not waste this gift. Allah has placed you in my life and set example of how a believer should approach this life.

You saw none of this world, your eyes were fixed on the next world. You pushed away pain and saw the beauty that awaits you. You smiled through the hardship and knew Allah is just and you will be rewarded. No one or no patients I have encountered ever said this illness puts their hearts at rest except you. You saw it as a path to have your rank raised in His eyes.

I wish I can tell the world how beautiful you are. I wish years down the line, I still carry you in my heart -your advices, your exemplary attitutde, your peaceful soul, insya Allah.

I love you and I miss you so much already. But I am keeping my head high and know Allah’s plan is the best and found solace that your sufferings have come to an end.

Insya Allah, if I make the’ grades’.. I will see you later 🙂

 Innaalillaahi wa innaa ilaihi raajiuun.

‘O Allaah, forgive and have mercy upon her, excuse her and pardon her, and make honorable her reception. Expand her entry, and cleanse her with water, snow, and ice, and purify her of sin as a white robe is purified of filth. Exchange her home for a better home, and her family for a better family, and her spouse for a better spouse. Admit her into the Garden, protect her from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire’ (From the Fortress of a Muslim)

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new relationship, old loyal partner

No, this is not a mushy post. Not even a post about wedding preps. I thought of writing about rekindling my relationship with my ‘old lover’ – with a new kind of passion, with a few barriers dropped between us and a new overwhelming desire to submit.

I learnt (more) about the Book. My vitamin Q.

Back in high school, I had a mountain of worries. And I remembered what I learnt on my umrah trip: Allah speaks to you through His words. So at times of sorrow and at times of need for tranquility I sought them via my Tafseer. I will just make a dua and randomly open the pages and I put faith that He will show me a way out or a way through. And it never failed. 🙂

Throughout the years I held on close to the practice of reciting the Quran as much. Khatam whenever you can. Khatam through Ramadan. But as I grew older and as I recently learnt from attending Ust. Nouman Ali Khan’s lectures, I should really foster an unrelenting relationship with it. IT should be my manual, my chicken-soup-for-the-soul, my BNF and BFF. IT should have worn out pages and stick it notes more than my Dobbs for radiotherapy.

I took my loyal tafseer from the shelf and I placed it on my bedside table. I lay down coloured pens and post-it labels by its side. And I had all the podcasts from Bayyinah. Bismillah.

I am going to take time to take in the words of Allah. And I will be student who perseveres and strives insya Allah. As I said, this time around, I’m going in with a new attitude.

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