Wednesday, December 8, 2010

New Year's Day with Mikhail and My Mum

Yesterday morning, while still in bed, Mikhail said, “Papa, why don’t we buy some flowers and visit Tok’s (my late mother) grave.” As we left the house we bumped into my dad who was sitting outside. Like all grandfathers, he was overjoyed to see his young grandson (as if he hasn't seen his grandson just the night before!). Above you can see Mika, looking all awkward being hugged by his granddad.

On the way, we dropped by a big florist shop in Bangsar, which is a small suburb of Kuala Lumpur. We had no problems picking the flowers for my mother because I remember that she always loved orchids, especially whites and purples. We also purchased some dandelions for the house.

Not long after, we found ourselves at the cemetery. While walking in between the dead, we gave our salutations of peace and recited an offering of the Al-Fatihah (The opening verse of the Al-Quran). After saying hello to my mother, we wandered around the cemetery. Mikhail was fond of looking at the graves of babies, and he sighed, Kesian (what a pity)”, after reading the tombstone of a baby who passed away after only 4 months of living.

There is a huge rocky outcrop beside the babies’ section and Mika climbed to the top. He insisted I joined him, and so I made my way (slowly) up. What a beautiful view, Papa!”, he said surveying the gardens of stone that laid before us. He has no fear of graves or cemeteries, this boy.

We said our last prayers to my mother, with me sitting near to her headstone, and Mikhail down at her feet. As we left, Mika said Okay, we are going now, goodbye People of the Grave! Goodbye Tok!”.

My mother never got to see Mika. This thought always leaves me wistful because I believe that they would have loved each other so much. This was what I mentioned to Mika and that was why he suggested that we visit her grave. I think it is good to begin the first day of the new year 1432 with a visit to the past. It is always good to remember the past as we prepare for the future. Especially if the past is so good.

If you feel the same, in the thoughts of your late mother or father – really, how can we not be brothers and sisters?

Have a wonderful day, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

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