Monday, September 11, 2006


It's September 11th.

Well not that i'm excited bout the date or anything. I know the twin towers thing happened today. But although saddened by it, that incident hasn't inpacted me in a big way. Well it just makes getting a Visa to the states even harder than before. But
anyway, over here, millions of kilometers away, 9-11 brings a whole different meaning.

September 11th 2001, I was in this little town in Perak called Sitiawan. We were at my paternal grandmothers funeral.
As a kid, the only reason why i'd love goin to Sitiawan was cause my grandmother had
this Rambutan tree out back. And as we drove through the old back roads (this was before the North-South Highway) i'd silently wish that none of the other cousins had got there yet so i'd be the first to climb the tree and find my branch to perch on and start my rambutan feast.

That lil kampung house in Sitiawan was pretty scary with its hidden nooks and crannies and there were chickens and dogs running all around, the occasional spiders, cicada and grasshoppers which we would catch. Once, a bat flew into our room in the middle of the night and started flapping around trying to find its way out. That caused such an upheaval! My poor mother was teased endlessly cause her screams had woken up the entire house!!

Back to 2001. Things were different. The house was torn down. The funeral, I didn't cry. Well maybe I did. I kept wondering if she was saved. I wondered if her soul was at peace. There was just so much suffering towards the end. I wish I'd gotten to know her better. I wished i'd learnt to crosstitch, knit and do patchwork as well as she could. She was a great story teller. I used to love listening to her. I wish i knew if she loved me. I felt like i was somewhat disliked. Being not 100% Indian. I wish colour never mattered.

September 11th 1990. I was at school that evening. I kept watching the clock. Ready for the bell to ring so i could dash off to the hospital next door. My maternal grandmother was there. We visited her everyday! That was the highlight of my evening. Being only 7, the hospital was like my playground. I practically knew it inside out. But before school ended, my brother and cousin had come to my class with tear stained faces. I knew she'd passed although they wouldn't tell me.

We'd seen her the day before. We gathered round her bed to pray and she was alert. We said Psalm 23, her favourite Psalm. She told us she loved us and she told me and my brother to look after my mom who was expecting for Jessica at that time. And then she looked at my grandfather, he held her hand and she said "Alex, I love you..." and then she drifted off into a coma. I've never seen two people more in love than my grandparents.

She suffered too. CA of the colon. But she was happy. She had us by her side right to
the end. I admire her strength. She went for chemo afraid her hair would fall out. So
she prayed! And her hair didnt fall out but just turned a lovely white. For her soul, i worry not. I know she's in a better place. I do miss her. I miss not having grandparents around. But i admire them. For their strength, for their love for God and for memories. I hope i never forget.


Anonymous Steph said...

That was really touching Mel...thanks for sharing it.

1:12 PM  

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