It scares me to think that now, the memory of my parents that I remember the most is the day they died. Even though it still feels like it was yesterday, you now realize that you are getting older and memories of them start to fade. I wonder if it's because of the shock and overwhelming emotions you felt that day, that makes the moment forever embedded in your brain, or is it because you realized at that moment that it would be the last time you will ever see them. 

I still remember that Sunday morning in April 2008 very vividly. I was maybe eleven at that time, and I was wearing my favorite red Chinese silk pajamas. I woke up from sleep, and started going down the stairs passing by the window, reassured by the sight of my parents tending to their garden in the backyard. Maybe the TV was already on, or I was the one who turned it on, and "Post-Grad" was on so I lay on my side on the couch to watch the movie. I vaguely remembered Dad coming in by the back-door, tired after the yardwork and joined me on the couch. 

We watched the movie for a while, but I think he was just laying there not paying attention. I remember hearing a rugged breath, like he was struggling for some air. I asked if he's okay without turning back to check, and when he didn't reply while making that kind of noise, I knew that something was wrong. Even so, I grabbed his shoulders and rocked him, hoping to get some kind of reaction. But his eyes were rolled back, and he was not conscious. The rest seemed blurry, but I remember screaming for mom and calling my uncle who's a doctor and lived near us. 

I didn't remember when my uncle came, and the next thing I remembered, my other uncles and aunts were there at our house. And I was still in my pajamas.. It was practically clear then, but I think somebody splurted out loud that he died, and I just couldn't hold my tears any longer. It hit me then and I was crying so much, almost screaming. I remembered somebody hugging me, but I lost control of my emotions. 

For my mom, it was a little bit different. She had been sick for a while, and we were at the hospital. The strange thing was I never remembered when I realized that she was dying. Maybe I was in denial or that I was simply ignorant to what people were telling me, but there was still a part of me that was hopeful that she will get better. For all I knew, she was still going through with the chemotherapy. 

Few days before, I even dressed up brightly and stayed with her in the hospital. People come to visit her, most were her former students. I remembered I was not exactly pleasant to be around, and that was still my biggest regret in life. From my perspective, my relationship with my mom was complicated. But as I grew up, I realized all of it, or everything she said was for my future benefit and she was just giving her best with what she herself grew up with. 

It breaks my heart still that I only realized completely that she was dying, was during that one last day we had with her. Her once beautiful long black hair had been completely lost and she had trouble breathing so they had to put a machine on her. She wasn't really conscious, but her eyes were still searching for us. Suddenly, I realized that everybody was there, as if they knew that it was their last day with her. Everybody told me to stand on her bedside, I held her fragile thin hands. I realized that she got so thin, and I was screaming to myself that she was dying. When she slipped away, the doctor declared her death, and my aunt took me and my brother away, out of the room. We were crying, but we did not even get to see everybody else crying in that room. It seems that my aunts and uncles have planned things, but we were taken in one car going back home and we would try to prepare the house to receive the body and the people that would come to pay their condolences. I helped with what I could around the house, but it seemed now that my aunts and uncles have prepared things in advance. I remembered my friends that came to see me and be with me that day. 

There are still other memories of them that I have, but I just wished there would be more. And that I would give everything, everything, just so that I can get to know them as adults. I sometimes wonder what conversations we would have, what they would say, and how different my life would be if they were still here. I would love for them to know Bintang, and know how someone can love me this much. I would want them to know that I turned up okay, and they raised me well. I wondered how I would try to make them happy...

But that's the thing, I can only wonder... and that's why sometimes I day dream. 




Popular Posts