• بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

    This shouldn't take any longer than it intended to be. My first intention was just to record every little piece of moments that I could collect from my deepest memories, of my late Abah. From my already smeared remembrance of him, Abah has always been the pinnacle of the family, obviously cause he's the head of it. Sole breadwinner for almost half of his life, up till each and every six of his children could earn by themselves. Abah was in his late 60's when the calling came. The inevitable, but painfully swallowed by our family, that he's gone forever. 

    Per usual and typical of me, every passing of my loved ones would get tribute posts. If it's not every year, I would do it when I felt it was time to jog our memories of the good ol' days with that special someone. Some may say that I'm vain of oversharing certain things or certain stories, but in my defense, some of my mutuals even thanked me, for bringing up- the painful pill to swallow that our loved ones are gone. 

    I've always heard the news of someone's parents passing, every other day, it's like a broken record and bitter truth to slide to their DMs and wish them well, keeping strong, and offer my condolences. We do it out of respect, out of courtesy, humbleness, and this tiny bit of guilt, that we can't offer anything else. Unbeknownst to me, these little wishes, prayers, duas, were sometimes, one of the only sources of strength that the family members were looking for. Sometimes the passing was awfully devastating, they don't even have words to express their feelings. It's overwhelming. So in that wishes, of offering condolences, of saying keep strong, of praying for the strength of all the family members, in that prayers, they found solidity. They found, solace. 

    Haji Ahmad bin Mohamed was born on 19th May in the year 1955. This year would be his glorious 68th birthday. How far he's become, the journey he trod, the path he took, and one heck of a story he would wish to tell his generation to come. They were six of us, 4 boys, and 2 girls, and I'm the youngest. Legend has it that Abah was pretty strict back when the three boys came about and slowed down when my first sister was born. Her very first princess. 

    I was told, he was the typical full-on rage dad to his first 3 boys, but the last 3, got the royal treatment. I chuckled a bit, can't imagine his fury cause as long as I could remember, he kept his waves of anger in check, and not once did he ever raise his voice, but oftentimes when needed, he expressed his frustration. Well, the latter was way worse than a direct spit of anger. Just shows that he's upset, and he was expecting better out of us. That's a more disappointing turn of events. 

    Abah was loyal, to his wife, to his job, to his car, to his watch, to his wallet, down to his outfits. He strides carefully, collects his words before his speech, and is well-known for his witted humor. He loves equally and provides accordingly. All six of us finished school, did our higher educations, and pursue our respective passions in careers of our choice. He'd love to see all six of his children get a steady job with the government bodies, cause you know, why not? Cause Abah himself is a pensioner of government bodies. He often advises us to look for a better and more stable job. But being in this family comes with a tiny hardheaded trait that we usually refuse to admit, hence, out of six of us, only 1 got the spot. Well, Alhamdulillah to that.

    I did mention that he worked with a government body right? and he's also very loyal to it, He was on full service, for a whopping 33 years if I'm not mistaken, till his servicing year expired, and he left the field as a pensioner. Throughout his life, Mak always fills us up with the story of how Abah insisted to marry Mak, and that Mak has zero feelings toward him. Abah showed his effort day after day to make Mak his lawful wife, and seeing this, with some sense-knocking by our late Embah Lanang, Mak wedded Abah in Dec 1979. That would make their anniversary this year, a grandiose 44 years of marriage. 

    When you put the math of being loyal and having the patience as tall as Mount Kinabalu, you'll get the combination of Mak and Abah. How they maneuver their marriage, handle conflicts, and raise all 6 of us. With mom being the homemaker since she dons that wedding ring, that's an astoundingly good job right there. There were times that they fought, but oftentimes, it only lasted for an hour tops. Before anyone of us bumped into them in the kitchen having proper meals together like nothing ever happened. I aspire to be like that, mature enough to talk it out, resolve the issues, and get back to being husband and wife. 

    Mak and Abah weren't filthy rich or born with a silver spoon. So we grew up witnessing their hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, in the effort of raising all of us to become what we are now. That alone is a sacrifice that no one could ever repay. When I was job-hopping in the first year after I graduated, the one-liner advice that he gave me was super distinct that I could never forget. Abah said:

    "Batu yang bergolek, tidak akan terkumpul lumut," That alone hits hard, knowing he's a master in playing words, and that one-liner holds all the truth in the world. So I decided to look for a more secure job afterward. 

    Abah was a writer back in his prime. He wrote multiple radio dramas, I once saw all the cassette recordings that he kept, and the scripts too. Some were funny settings but mostly contained Islamic morals to them. I guess the apple didn't fall far away from the tree, half of us were into writing. Out of 4 theaters I directed, I managed to pull him in to watch my last show. Though he didn't show it, I could see in his face lines, that profoundly, he was proud to see his youngest boy could write and direct theaters during my uni days. I dearly dedicated that to him.

    There were a few moments when I felt he was deeply happy. One was when I was offered to further my study in uni, my exam results, when the directorial debut of my first show won 8 awards, and he's the first I called, and he congratulates me. He even sent a long-ass congratulatory text to me, with the gist of it saying, thank you for continuing the legacy of writing in the family. I immediately cried. 

    Our communication was the typical father-son type. We talked direct, with no added information needed, and precise, brief, and to the point. It has always been that way, we got the point crossed, and we ended the conversation. The two girls in the family usually had more words dished in the dialog. As I mentioned earlier, Abah is more reserved and quiet in the pair of my parents. 

    He was charmingly closemouthed and only spoke when necessary. But once in a while when he did the talking, everyone laser-focused on him, and that amount of respect was earned. Admired, respected, and knowledgable, I often said to myself, I could never be him. His mind was like a thousand acres of shelves and shelves of books, though he might not have all the answers to all the questions in the world, I bet you he had most of the answers to most of the questions he got asked. 

    And that's how I would wanna see myself age in a marvelous way in my Abah's footsteps. 

    -to be continued.