Ayah, a man that I adore so much. He is my perfect father figure; funny but very responsible, strict yet very soft hearted, poor man yet very noble and respected. Ayah born in 1943 from a poor and broken family. Grandma was very poor to accept offer for Ayah to further his study to secondary level. That is why Ayah had put education as his highest priority to all his children. Ayah had raised all 14 of us to with such a strong determination despite our poverty.
Ayah was mainly a farmer, sometimes a construction worker, sometimes a rubber tapper, and sometimes even a fishmonger. There was an incident that nearly killed him when he went to the jungle and fell down from a tree, trying to get a ‘rotan’. He did everything he can as long as he can gain some money. There are times that we have nothing to eat. There are times that I cried along the way to my home when the shopkeeper was reluctant to give us credit to buy things. There are many times that we didn’t have a single baju raya. Don’t ever dreams of toys or TVs because we didn’t even have the electricity until I was in form 3. Thanks god, despite all the difficulties, we all manage to did pretty well in our studies.
I still remember during my teenage years, there was times when I was so ashamed to admit that I have a poor father. I had butterflies in my stomach when teachers ask about father’s occupation. When ayah sent me to boarding school. I asked him to just send me to the guard post and let me go to the registration and dorm by myself. I’m afraid that my friends will see my father with such a simple attire, wearing ‘selipar jepun’ and all. Little that I know that ayah had sacrificed a lot just to get me there. How hard for him to get money for fees, for my uniforms, for transportation, etc. What an ungrateful child I am! It’s not that I did not appreciate him, but when I was among friends, I felt inferior about it. But thanks god I had come to my senses when I become older. I start to realize ayah’s sacrifices for us. Ayah is not a smoker although all his friend are. Ayah never buy new clothes for himself. Ayah never ate at restaurant or warung coz he will felt sorry thinking that we all didn’t have good food at home.
To cut the story short, I had saw him for the last time when ayah sent me to Subang Airport on September 1996. I still remember exactly how he look like that day. I remember the way he look at me. How shouldn’t I? That was my last moment with him. Ever. Little that I know that’s gonna be the last. I regret that I did’t hug him and say that I love him soo much. And I truly appreciate whatever he did for me. And told him that I’m so fortunate to have a father like him.
05/03/1997, he left us eternally due to kidney problems. And a lot more diseases that I can’t remember. He keep his pain for himself, none of us know until it become worst. Just a week before he passed away, I had dreamed that he came to visit me and I fetched him at Heathrow airport. He was on the wheelchair, waving at me. I came home for his funeral, but I didn’t manage to arrive on time. Ayah had already in his eternal home, leaving us. At that time, I feel sooo lost. Life seems to lost it’s meaning to me. It takes years for me to overcome that feeling. There’s not a single day left that I had not remember him. Sometimes I feel touched when I look at our success in life, and he is not here to even share a bit of it. Although we all know that if not because of him, we may not be what we are today. Ayah, I pray that God bless you and place you among the Solihins.