I was a secure baby which I considered my parents as a secure base from which to explore the environment. I used to cry loudly as Ummi sent me to kindergarten.
There was a funny story that one day an uncle recognized me as the loudest baby ever who cried every single morning when I was left. I was really shy.
Ummi influenced me along my journey of life. She trained me to perform prayer since I was 7 years old. She always gave me advices if I was wrong.
During her free time, she would tell me a story of prophet. My cousins loved my mother so much and they called her Ummi as well as me.
Apart from that, Ummi taught me how to save my pocket money when I went to school. I still remember that one day, we went for a shopping.
I asked Ummi to buy a diary, but she replied me that I had to use my own money to buy it. I started thinking the way to thrift.
I loved almost everything that Ummi loved. For example, she admired Westlife, an Irish band. I thought an idol is our favourite artist or band.
In my diary, I wrote Westlife as my idol. Their good-looking faces and lovely song made me one of their fans. Among the members, I liked Bryan McFaden very much.
Instead of the Westlife, Ummi also encouraged me to listen to Nasyid. I memorized their single song when travelling in car without any tiredness.
What amazed me, my parents told that I refused to sit down in my father’s Bluebird car along an hour journey as I enjoyed the Raihan songs.
One day as I was in Year 4, Ummi suggested me to participate in a story-telling competition (Bahasa Melayu part). She had prepared an interesting story for me.
I did not know why she encouraged me to do that, but I promised her that I would join if only my best friend accompanied me.
Ipah was my best friend which I knew since we were in class 1. She was willing to accompany me during the competition. I said, “Ipah, if you join the story-telling competition, then I will follow.” She agreed.
Ummi was the one who coaches me throughout my journey to become a great story teller. My passion was in story-telling. Hence, I enjoyed every competition which was held.
There were 3 different story-telling contests that I took part for example “Pertandingan Bercerita Kisah-kisah Nabi, Pertandingan Bercerita Bahasa Melayu and Pertandingan Bercerita Doktor Muda.”
The sweetest memory is during Pertandingan Bercerita Kisah-kisah Nabi. I presented the story of Moses written by Ummi. She wrote the story based on Quran and hadith. Moreover, she indeed was a teacher who taught Islamic education.
I won the first place twice before participating in state level. I almost gave up when I had to memorize all four different stories in less than a week.
What a burden for me! I managed to memorize only two stories and I put trust in Allah that He will help me.
Fortunately, I got the same story of Moses to be presented in Kelantan state level. My parents gave me a full support and Abah bought a video camera to record my presentation.
I did not expect to win again in the level as all of the competitors were great enough to beat me. Surprisingly, Allah made my parents and teachers proud as I would be Kelantan’s representative.
The story continued. A passport would be given to me if I agree to take part in the national level of the story-telling competition.
I cried almost two hours as I knew I had to fly to Miri, Sarawak. I wanted Ummi to accompany me.
She felt pity on my condition and decided to accompany me. She spent more than a thousand to be with me.
I realized of her effort. She was the only person who knew me better than anyone. Although I did not win in national level, but my sacrifice was remembered as the PIBG (Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru) reward me a bicycle.
That was the half way of my story. In the other side, tears were the best friend of mine.
Ummi was tested with a great test in her life. The sad story began when at one night, I saw Ummi put some tissues in front of her face. Her nose was bleeding. She consulted a doctor and was diagnosed to have a tumor.
She was advised to be operated as soon as possible. She had been warded for a few days. My aunt and I accompanied her.
Although the children were not allowed to accompany the patient, but I was stubborn to follow the hospital rule. Nothing worried me too much except my mother’s health.
I acted in front of the guard like I was 13 years old girl. Spending time with Ummi in the hospital gave me the chance to know how the doctors work.
After a year being operated, Ummi attended a radiography session in HUSM (Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia). She also participated in fitness campaign and training in order to lose weight because the bad steroids made her quite chubby.
I frequently accompanied her to jog together after I had finished taking UPSR. I could not imagine how I would survive if Ummi was not besides me.
I started to think of further my study in the nearby secondary school. I kept my decision as a secret. I told Ummi that I did not wanted to stay in hostel.
After Istikharah prayer, I felt that the right school for me was Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kamil which is situated not far from my home.
Moments had passed. In the end of 2006, my family was tested with unexpected news. Ummi was diagnosed to have the tumor again.
At this time, her disease was getting worst. She had to face the second operation. There were 3 teams of specialist physicians who carried out a 13 hours operation to save my mother’s life.
Her maxilla (the upper tooth bone) and right cheek bone had to be taken out. The tumor had made Ummi face far different than once. What a big test to her!
I accompanied Ummi for 19 days in the ward. I knew that her disease which named as Maxilla Neuro Endocrine CA was still under a research. I hoped one day I could discover the right remedy for her.
After the operation, Ummi was not able to speak fluently. She wrote everything she wanted to say in a notebook.
Fortunately, I was able to understand what she meant when she talked to me. I wanted to take care of her and been a good child. Ummi was a positive thinker. She always advised me so that I did not sad as Allah tested us because of His love.
Every single day, my tears would shed seeing difficulties that Ummi had to bear with. She was the strongest person I had ever known.
Ummi did not work as a formal teacher anymore. She could only help to check students’ term paper. However, she found another alternative to gain income.
Ummi then open a small bridal business. She was really good in decorating the gifts for a marriage. She had many customers.
She said when we did the things that we loved, we will become happy. That was one of the self-therapy Ummi had tried.
I learned determination is a key to success in life from Ummi. She showed me that in every difficulty, there would be an alternative.
In the end of 2007, the disease attacked her back. At this time, the doctor said Ummi will be blind as one of her beautiful eyes will be eradicated.
She refused to face the operation. She thought she would not be able to read Quran if she blind. The doctor chewed over the decision and found a solution. Ummi was advised to do chemotherapy.
She requested me to accompany her in the treatment. We spent a week together in the ward.
She used to motivate young patient beside her bed. We visited other patients together in the next ward. Ummi acted like she was not a cancer patient.
She thought all the positive things. She showed me the love that I could not get from anyone else. I was pity on her condition and always prayed that one day Allah will reward her with a great health.
After the chemotherapy, Ummi had to stay a few days in other ward to receive white blood cell.
It was Monday. She was pale and had no appetite to eat. She requested Char Kuew Thiau, but she only ate a spoon of it.
In that day, she was not as happy and motivated like passed days. I still remember that after the nurse tested her heartbeat, she was then hardly breathing.
I was panicked and called my father to come immediately to hospital. Doctor tried to safe her. Hours had passed and the day came in twilight.
Ummi was quite better in condition. Abah, my younger sister and me stayed closed to her. Angah (my younger brother) did not able to come as he stayed with my aunt when Ummi admitted to hospital.
For about a few minutes after the Isya’ azan, Ummi passed away in front of me.
I could not believe that she left me so early. The atmosphere turned cloudy. It started to rain. Abah was still besides Ummi after he taught her to declare kalimah syahadah.
I went home with other family members to help the funeral preparation. Ummi was then sent to home around 10 pm. My house was full with many people to give the last respect to Ummi. I saw her smile as I kissed her.
After she passed away, I felt half of my soul gone. There was no longer motivational word that I used to listen once.
Ummi often came in my dream. The happiest dream was when she returned home. It was a bright sunny day. After school session, I came back home. I was surprised to see there were many people in my house. There could be a ceremony.
I immediately searched for someone, and I found her sitting in the living room. I hugged and kissed her. She smiled and she remained silent. I was so grateful after waking up from the dream.
At home, the atmosphere was gloomy. It was totally different when Ummi stayed with us.
However, I held tightly what Ummi told me. Ummi told me so many times about that. She reminded me to determine by my own effort to get something, for example the success.
I was totally different in school than I was at home. My sorrowfulness was hidden neatly in front of my teachers and friends.
Allah did not burden me with something that I could not bear as I have the motivation still, to live my life to the fullest.
All praise to Allah that I am still continuing my life with positive quote that one day I would meet Ummi in Jannah, so I need to be as solehah as her.
“So verily, with the hardship, there is relief. Verily, with the hardship there is relief.” (surah asy-Syarh, verse 5 and 6).