I can't believe that almost half the year is gone - there's only a few more days before we reach Ramadan and then it will be Eidil Fitr. Then the Haj season and before you know it another year would have passed. So many things have been happening here too in my life that I hardly have time to blog anymore. Of course part of it is just pure laziness... ehem!
First - a few major upheavals in my neighbourhood. Late in December last year my neighbour's house was on fire. It happened in the middle of the night or maybe early morning - around 3.00 am. Part of their kitchen and a store room was destroyed by the fire but what we discovered later was even more horrifying than the fire itself. The fire had been deliberately started by someone our neighbour suspected was another neighbour! The fire inspector who came to investigate said there were signs of a break in and that it looked more like arson than a fire accidentally started by faulty wiring. We were all shocked to the core and quite frightened too. What if someone had died in the fire? Luckily Nadiah, the neighbour's youngest girl was woken up by noises which she thought to be little explosions. It turned out to be the glass of the downstairs storeroom window breaking because of the intense heat. She alerted her family and they all ran out after calling the fire brigade. At that time my maid was also up - she too had heard the sound and on looking out her window saw the neighbour's house on fire.
This brought on a series of security concerns for all of us - I had my house fixed with an auto -gate and an alarm system and for the first few days after the fire, both my maid and I could not sleep peacefully. We woke up many times during the night - the slightest noise and I would sit up in bed wondering. But worse of all, my neighbour, the kindly lady who would pass us some bubur durian or durians or rambutans during the fruit season became ill after the incident. First she had lost her appetite, then she started having nausea and vomiting which she assumed was caused by her loss of appetite and maybe gas in the stomach. She lost quite a bit of weight and concerned by it her family took her to a private hospital for checks. It turned out to be a kind of intestinal cancer. Within a week she was warded at the GH in Malacca but they didn't have a specialist so she was sent to Sungai Buloh instead for the operation. There she was too weak to have an immediate operation so they kept her to strengthen her immune system and enable them to have the operation when she was stronger. Sadly before they could do anything she died - and it happened within 2 weeks of the discovery. One day after her death, another neighbour also succumbed - he was a heavy smoker and was admitted to hospital because of a prolonged cough. While undergoing checks for cancer he had a heart attack and died without even regaining consciousness! That was on Thursday evening. On Friday morning I had a call from a close friend to tell me that my former CEO, Encik Omar, who had retired in December, had also died of a heart attack/ stroke while waiting to fetch his wife from work!
Three deaths in one week. It was a bit much. I still miss Kak Rohayah my neighbour who used to send over durians during the durian season. This year in fact I received more durians than before - from her husband.Sometimes while watering the garden I'd remember how we used to exchange gardening tips over the fence and that many of my flowers were given by her. She was always so generous - with her flowers and even with her time. Once when I admired her lovely beaded shoes she said she made them herself and that if I liked them she'd make a pair for me. That was more than 5 years ago but I still have them. They are so beautiful I felt loth to wear them for everyday and now they are precious memories of a loving neighbour.
|Beautifully sewn beaded shoes made by my neighbor|
A month after my neighbour's death a favourite aunt passed away.She was my father's eldest sister in law and had always been kind and patient with me. Then not even a week later, her younger brother also died - making him the last of my relatives on my father's side. They were cousins - in those days cousins often married each other and my uncle had married his cousin. So of my father's relatives, none remains now. His brothers and sister had all died in previous years, with my father one of the first to go more than 20 years before.
Last week one of my nieces got married and yesterday another niece gave birth to twin boys! Both good news after a spate of bad. Life goes on...