I was helping out cleaning the house on the eve of Hari Raya. There were 3 carpets still left to be unfolded, and to be placed at the respective areas. "Wipe out" was playing on AXN, and it seemed to be the most interesting thing to watch at times I wanted to stop working. I decided to sit on the couch and watch AXN. My elder brother helped to roll out the carpet instead, muttering under his breath, cursing indeed, mentioning why he was the one doing this, and I'm not helping, merely because he was the man, the brawns, the one who should be doing the heavy lifting. Or so they say.
Listening to my brother complaining, my grandmother who was sitting on the couch as well said "Every year I was able to do this myself, you're only doing it this year, and you are complaining so much. Only this year I felt unwell and can't do it myself."
SNAP~ right in my brother's face!
Upon hearing those words, I turned my head and watched my grandmother's face, the face with wrinkles, the eyes which has seen almost 73 years of the world, in happiness, in war, in devastation.. her cheeks which used to be held so tight and firm around her face, now sagging, yet still showing her prominent cheek bones, her mouth, full lips, which is considered sexy nowadays, almost forming a frown this time around.
At that split second, I felt something in my heart, I felt how my grandmother felt, it wasn't anger, instead it was disappointment. How such a minor task such as rolling out the carpet could cause such cursing and muttering, when not even one's life is at stake, unlike during her younger years, where young men volunteered to serve the country, leaving their families, the girl of their dreams, to get independance.
The very next day, on Hari Raya itself, we were heating up the meals that we prepared the day before and my grandmother told me that she wanted to get plates and bowls placed at the top tier of the shelf. As I went to get it, she waited patiently, eyes fixed on me, and her mouth non stop muttering words such as "Be careful", until the minute my feet landed on the small, square tiles of the kitchen.
As she scooped the Beef Rendang and the Chicken Curry into the bowls that I had just taken, she said "I feel so tired nowadays, even such a small task is hard to be done."
Listening to that, my heart ticked. I guess it is a sign from God, as I've been so lost for the past few weeks, feeling so detached from the world, not knowing what exactly is the purpose of living, where to go, what to do.
It seemed so clear to me, that as a grandchild I should be taking care of my grandmother. God knows how long she has left in this world? The only thing I worry is that I would have regrets later on, regretting not spending enough time with my grandmother, regretting not showing her how much she plays a big role in my life, how much I care for her.
All this time, it was a big dilemma for me, as I thought, living in Kuching means I would be leaving my parents, but I realized, they have their own dreams too, and their dreams were set in Kuala Lumpur. I also realized that leaving KL would mean leaving the comfort zone, leaving the nest, leaving the only place I really know, the only lifestyle I know how to live, basicly, leaving ME. Leaving a big part of me behind, not knowing what is set in front of me, rewriting the course of my life. But as I said, I wouldn't want to regret, I wouldn't want to curse myself later on, I want to say that I did live my life to the fullest, I did try my best to be a better human being than who I was in the past.
The only thing left for me to do, is to live in Kuching with her, so that we wouldn't be miles apart. And I know, that is achievable.