Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Maybe This Plan Is Too Big For Us.



Under communist rule you give up your freedom for food. That's not a bad deal if you don't have a choice, or especially if you plan to live under the regime for a long time since you can't go anywhere because you are not a nuclear scientist or an important person who can work up the crowd with fiery speeches to start a revolution.

Aunt Su is willing to give up the comfort of home, food, security and privacy for freedom. It may not be the same freedom as being able to vote or say what you want against the government but it is, I believe, the same same principle of freedom that men and women have died for in countries where it is illegal for you to even mention the word freedom in your dream.

I won't lie to you. I am sad that it has to come to this, but at the same time I am glad that Aunt Su can be so candid about it that I need to make an arragement to fulfil her wish as soon as possible. It is hard for a woman her age to be all alone with me all day and night in an apartment, without a friend to talk with being so used to having a lot of friends at the old folks' home she used to stay. She hasn't got used to the idea of independence, like making simple decision what time should she have breakfast ,or take a nap. Years of living under strict schedule at the institution has conditioned her entire self into a creature of habit I believe will take at least five years to break. Yesterday I did a simple maths. In a day, she speaks hardly more than a hundred words. This is not good at all and I have to give in to her wish. This life is not for her. It isn't for me either but at least I've got something to look forward to in a day like people to meet, or ghost stories to write. Or clean the house for the fourth time.

Last night we talked about this and I felt like being a child again, putting my head on her lap to feel her breathing the way I did with Grandma when I got frightened with something I wasn't sure of like what would happen to me in school tomorrow because I had gotten into a fight with someone and I just knew his brother or father would be there tomorrow to slap me. I sat there looking at her, listening to her every word. Laughing with her when there was a need for me to laugh to keep her going so she won't feel as if she is making me feel useless.

We've got several appointments with a few old folks' homes in PJ. There's one that I believe she will like at SS3, Petaling Jaya. It's not too far away from this place and I can always go visit her until my visit is a nuisance to her. We'll see which way this thing is going.

I have a feeling being too close to each other is not good for us because we have never been this close before. No, I don't count the time I stayed with her and Pakcik Syed. That was different. We are not a real family in the true sense of the word. We are more like friends.

As it is I am not sure what I will do with my life. Maybe I have to give up the idea of going back to school to study law. Maybe I should take up the job with Aramco and start living out the only life I've known. A cowboy.

14 Comments:

Blogger AuntyN said...

She obviously need company of women her age. If you are near my place, I would't mind having her at my house during day time, so that she and my mak will keep each other company.

btw. my mak was from Jelutong as well, how old is Aunt Su? My mak is 72 this year.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Noni said...

Bergen...
ur NOT going back onto that rig and u ARE gonna get urself that degree... y'hear me?

The rest will work itself out... k?

So don't go swimming with any dolphins and I'm sure UIA will let u park ur horse somewhere...

1:07 PM  
Blogger dr in the house said...

Noni is right! You should not give up now. Go ahead and study law. Insyallah, do istihorah and follow your good heart!

1:25 PM  
Blogger anne said...

bergen, stumbled upon your blog from lollies. i'm so bored at the office i thot i'd go blog hopping. i like your writing, and i think i'll drop by more often

2:37 PM  
Blogger Nurelhuda said...

Actually an old folks home is a very practical idea. If she has some money she may also want to try one of the retirement communities that have been set up for Muslims. I know of a few in Kelantan and there is one in Selangor. You have your own little hut but also do things together like have religious classes spiritual activities and there are amenities like food sent to you and a dhobi to wash clothes. I think I would retire into one myself when I am too old to go gallivanting all over .
Go back to the oil rig? Why not , it suits the spirit..surrender to the flow.....

2:53 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

bergen, whatever it is, certainly not an easy decision to make. Good luck and hope that she is happy whereever she is. and that she knoows you are near when she needs you. And that degree? Go and get it! Its never, never too late. I shd know.

2:55 PM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

Its great that you guys figured that this partnership might not be the bset thing at this stage...

Jgn pi laut lagi!!! Get that law degree and looking forward to the publication of ghost stories anthology.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Count Byron said...

Berg.. a moving piece.. the decision to make which ought to be the best for both of you. I think Aunt Su's going to the House is the best.

Going back to Aramco? I beg to differ from the ladies. Now is the best time I think.

But Law is equally great.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

It's not difficult to figure out that Aunt SU needs company of women her own age, or more people than just one (you), especially after being so used to being around many people.

Just do whatever feels right, without any guilt. Be it to send Aunt Su to a home, to go back on a rig, to get a law degree. And nobody said you can't do all three at the same time.

4:36 PM  
Blogger The Green Highlighter said...

They say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

5:10 PM  
Blogger torts said...

oh bergen, bergen.. some major decision u've gotto make there. praying that everything goes well and peace be with you and aunt su.

"Nothing carries more potential for change than individual acts of human kindness."

5:36 PM  
Blogger MA said...

Bergen : My dad is single.

* wink, wink *.

6:00 PM  
Blogger demonsinme said...

Master Bergen,

Life is a creation of god that has very funny ways mingling with our serinity. Life love to shower us with sweet sweet sorrows and pleasurfull pain. Life is a "very ruthless businessman" of a sort - to do business with Life is always a tricky one. Life would always offer us a bargain that is not so rewarding. Life is also a "cruel lover" who forces us to make choices that we would not want to make.

But, Life has a great competitions that always make it bow to our will.

The faith that we hold, the mind that we have, the integrity that accompanies us and the love that we have.

Trust me Master Bergen, this sourness that you felt right now would one day be a sweetness none could ever be able to take form you. The trick is, to folloe what god would show you by doing the istikharah no matter how bad it "taste".

7:24 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

AuntyN: That's very nice of you, ma'am. It can get very lonely for her to be home without a friend. Since the laundry fiasco, Aunt Su doesn't want to do any housework, not because she's lazy but I think she doesn't want to mess up anything. Last week she misplaced my cellphone that we had to literally turned the apartment upside down looking for it. We found it in her closet, after two days. Good thing I am not some important person.

Noni / Dr Roza: Yes, ma'am, I hear ya. I'm going back to school so I can be like everyone else i.e educated and metropolitan.

Anne: Good to have you here, ma'am. Come often.

Dr Nurul: Where is this place in Selangor? Is there one around PJ?

Kak Teh: You know better about getting a degree this late in life. I admire you and I think I'll do the same so I can admire myself.

Lifebloom: You don't wanna read 'em ghost stories, ma'am. I don't think they are any good for publication.

Count Byron: It's nice to go back in there. Unlike when I was younger and didn't know any better about anything, this time around maybe it's different. But I believe I had better stay home. I'm getting a bit too old for Aramco.

QOTH: She wants this more than I do so I had better do what she wants. You are right about she needing friends to talk with, not just me because there are things she doesn't feel comfortable to talk about with me. I got that, and I respect her wish. I'm used to being alone so this isn't going to be that hard to pull through.

TGH: It's only 20 minutes to the House from Damansara Perdana so it isn't that bad. You are right though, about space, absence and all. Maybe what she needs is a bit of space.

Torts: How can things go wrong with prayers coming in from nice people like you who. Thank you, ma'am.

Mak Andeh: We'll work something out. Afterall she's going to be in PJ. I can always bring your dad to meet up with Aunt Su and maybe they can hit it off from there.

On a serious note, she went through an abusive marriage that has left her with so much hurt that I can only guess because she doesn't feel comfortable talking about it. I was there when all that happened. I saw. And I knew something.

DIM: You are so kind, sir. You are always ready with encouragement to make me stop and see things a little differently. You are a good guy, sir. Thank you.

Yes, life is like that. We have no control over it. No we don't, not even a little bit.

8:18 PM  

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