Tag Archives: Family

Canned sardines in olive oil and chillies

Today, I was having canned sardines in olive oil and chillies, with wholemeal bread for lunch. Suddenly I missed my dad.

Once upon a time, we were one happy family. My mom, my dad and my two small brothers. We used to go for picnics on weekends at the lake gardens or at the beach or at waterfalls.  My dad would bring canned Norwegian salmon and sardines in olive oil, and we will eat with bread.

It was a really happy time, and I savoured those blissful moments until I grow up.

Whenever I see Norwegian salmon and sardines in olive oil, I will remember my dad.

Unfortunately, happily ever after is now only once upon a time. I lost my dad when I was 13 when my parents divorced. I felt very betrayed when he left us to marry a second wife. 

My parents kept fighting over the other woman. Eventually  I saw less and less of my dad.

When I was 15, he totally stopped coming home to see us, and we didn’t hear any news from him at all. My parents divorced when I was 17. 

As a single mom, my mom raised the three of us single handedly because my dad was never around, as he was busy with his new family, and we were neglected, without a single cent from him. Times were really hard for us back then.  

I met my dad again when I got married in 1995.  In fact, I looked up for him as he is my wali, and must give me away at my wedding. I also insisted that he hosted my wedding together with my mom. I had a lot of resistance from my parents and the relatives initially but I was very head strong and I went ahead with it anyways. Fortunately, my parents became friends after my wedding, and are no longer as hostile as they were once.  Alhamdulillah. Sesungguhnya sesudah kesulitan itu adalah kemudahan.

Unfortunately, my marriage only lasted for seven years. My ex-husband left me for another woman. He said I have always been his ideal. But his ideals changed. And I didn’t fit into his new ideal anymore.

When I divorced in 2003, my dad cried with me.  I don’t know why he said he was sorry that I had paid for his mistakes and he felt responsible for my divorce. But I guess, that opened the door between us. After that, I see my dad often and we became closer and closer. Alhamdulillah.

I’m also taking another step in reconnecting the family ties. I’m getting to know my four half siblings, because I believe, blood is thicker than water. Air dicincang tak akan putus. No matter what happened, they are my family too, irregardless of the past.

We cannot possibly return to undo the past. Neither can we make up for the lost relationship and the missing years between us. However, we can create new relationships that are meaningful, and make the remaining years that we are alive, count. Inshaallah.


Unexpected journey

Sometimes an unexpected journey is the most rewarding.

Today I drove my mom to Kuang, Selangor to attend burial of my grandaunt, Nek Ucu, my late grandfather’s youngest sister. I heard the news of her passing yesterday evening. The relatives couldn’t bury her yesterday evening itself as it rained heavily. Unfortunately or, fortunately, because it allowed me and my mom to pay our last respects to her.

We left for Kuang as soon as the morning traffic on Jalan Hulu Kelang eased, and made a quick breakfast stopover at Kaya Kopitiam, Sg Buloh Overhead Bridge R & R.

When we arrived at Nek Ucu’s house, they were preparing her “jenazah” or body to be transported to the cemetery. After the burial, the elderly relatives congregated at the same house and caught up with each other. Most of them get to see each other only at family events like funerals, weddings, kenduri-kendara and Hari Raya.

I sat with my cousins as we are not supposed to join in the conversation unless we are asked to, although we can hear everything the elders talked about.

One of my aunties, who are known as the grand diva in the family, befitting her Datin title, remarked about Nek Ucu not leaving any descendents, as she was not married and has no children, not even adopted ones.

What she said had left a small hole in my heart now, as I’m at risk of ending up like my late grandaunt. No children. Not worried about not having anyone to leave whatever I have, because that I am sure I do. But somehow having no children of my own does leave a gaping hole in my heart, more so than not being married.

If one were to measure the degree of success in life by who they have in life, namely, spouse and children, then I have not tasted success. 

I don’t see signs that I’m getting married anytime so soon, and my biological clock is ticking, slowly but surely. That started me thinking of adopting a child or two.

I don’t know if I’m ever emotionally ready to become a parent, and a single parent nonetheless. But then again, sometimes an unexpected journey is the most rewarding. 

If any of you out there who’s reading this blog, have personal experience being a single parent of adopted children, please share with me your experience – whatever it is. I really appreciate that.