Seven days has passed since Ayah (my father in law) is gone. There has been quite a few tribute for him over the net by cousins and relatives. Aji's has been the most touching - its the only one I manage to read anyway. His writing in part inspired me to write about my perspective, my story with Ayah.
For me his journey began on Friday right after Friday prayers. It was the day I took delivery of a new toy that I have been wanting since I was a kid. A convertible, black with red leather trim. He is the only person who knew that the car was coming and has been anxiously waiting to feel and touch the car. He is blind, yet his love for cars never wanes. To him a car is not just a mode of transport but also a means to affirm one's status in life. Not to show off, merely to mark life's success. His background dictates this sentiments which I do not subscribe to. One of the things that we agree to disagree on. He would have been more pleased if it was Mercedes. Sorry Ayah, even if I could afford one I would not want to take the attention and risk...
My life has been quite hectic, I took the car, went for Friday prayers and drop by the house intending to show it to him. He was upstairs in his room, lying down reciting prayers. I excitedly told him about the car. He mumbled a few words and dismissed me. I left in a hurry thinking to myself, never mind, I'll take him for a ride later tonight. This never happens.
After midnight, mummy called saying that Ayah is not responding to her words. We rushed over, there he was still reciting his prayers and struggling with his life. His feet has gone cold. I knew then that his time was near but I did not dare say it to the rest. I went down, fixed the auto gate which somehow got stuck and call my partner. To confirm my feeling and to draw from his strength. Following his advise, we recited Yassin, to ease his struggle. It was during this time that I broke down, not for him but for me. It was at that instant, the thought struck me. No matter who you have or what you have, at that particular moment, it will just be you and yourself. Will I have the strength, will I have the patience, will I bear the pain ?
An hour or so later, he passed motion. We cleaned him, changed his sheets and lay him down again. The ambulance came at about four. I stayed home with the kids. After subuh prayers, the call came. Ayah is no more. I got into my practical mode. Mentally ticking lists of things to do and people to see. His remains arrive back home at about ten. We were lucky to get a plot in Bukit Kiara. There I was honoured to be one of those holding and carrying him into his final resting place.
I thank god for giving me 15 years with him. He was my confidant, someone whom I can talk to about anything. He replaced my biological father whom I was never close to. It has not been all rosy. We had our fights and disagreement, but we still had each other. One of the biggest argument ended with my wife and I being chased out of his house. Well, actually at the end of the argument he said - I think you better move out. I agreed and he promptly found a place and made the arrangements for us. Even then he took care of us, our kids, iron out clothes, wash our cars. He gave us his life.
Semoga Allah mencucuri rahmat and meletakkan dia dikalangan orang-orang yang soleh. Al-Fatihah.