I just read an article a friend of mine wrote on her Facebook’s notes. It gives me a moment to think. In short words, she has a hard life or – living in depression, as she told – because of her childhood. She was raising with a dad who is an alcoholic and a mom who is very submissive to her dad and able to accept all his dad affairs. I feel so bad for her mom, as I am a woman as well. But she told me, she loves her dad so much, since her dad is more close to her as best friend than just a father.
It’s really a strange life, where everything not merely about black and white. Because we both feel connected and experienced some of hard life, then we try to work on it by writing it. For a kind of person who love to write, usually writing will give us a good feeling. If an alcoholic will try to drink alcohol as much as they want to forget about the problems or “try” to find a solution, for me who love to write, words are my drugs and let it explode make me feel so much better. So I will start to write more about personal things in this blog and I put there on hashtag #TheLifeProject – because for me, life is a project that always need to be maintained and to be learned. If you don’t like to read and prefer to following my travel journey, that’s also ok, you can skip all the personal articles 😉
I never have a completed parents since I was a kid. So I don’t understand her feeling, her idea of having divorcing parents is better rather than having a completed parents who always fight to each other many times. For me, if I could have completed parents, I would love to be the happiest person in the world. But every one has their own opinion and caused why they feel that way. And I am also thinking I may not like it to live in a same rooftop while my parents fighting all the time.
My mom passed away when I was 1 year old. Even my sister told me some of memories of us being mother and child, I can’t figure it all since I am too small at that moment, so I never remember the feeling of having a mom. Sometimes I am thinking, I am exist in this world without a mom. It doesn’t mean that I don’t feel grateful of having her as my mom, instead, I am fully grateful how she wanted to give me a chance to alive. Being alive is the most treasure I can thank her for that opportunity. I just told my friend, how I would love to trade anything I have to be able to feel the feeling of being hugged by her since I never know her personally. It makes me sad, how I can not remember anything about her. My memory some times are so bad, I tend to forget things easily. That’s why also one of the reason, I developed a habit to write, because when I write, I can recall again the memory I had before.
My sister told me how my mother looks like me. She also having the same style as me. Or maybe I am having the same style as her, hehe. My sister said, she liked to wear the nail polish, cute accessories, nice dresses, very chick at that moment and so pretty. She also had beautiful long hair, very long hair. Often my sister and the other sister helped her to wash her hair. I once had very long hair too, so I understand how difficult to wash it especially when the water wet the hair and make it felt so heavy. The idea of my mom from my sister’s stories gave me a warm feeling because now I feel connected to her. Some times I asked to God, why she needs to passed away that soon? But again, life is full of mystery. I should be happy with what I have now.
When I was in Junior High School and Senior High School, the era when we are as teenagers felt so rebel and think that we know everything better than everyone else, often I heard my friends complaint about how their mothers were so fussy about their life. How they hate to go to groceries shopping with their mom because that activity wasn’t cool for them. They loved to play in the band, spending time around their friends in food court with bullshit conversation for hours than being home and spending their time with mom and dad. For them, gathered in a family, it’s enough for only one time a year, when Eid Mubarak day or Christmas or New Year. For me, I wish I could see them every day and touch them every day. I also feel so mad to some of my friends who always complain about their parents (mom usually) and I want to scream to them, “Oh well, give me your mom, and I will give you a life without mom so you can feel how it feels to not having them in your daily life.” But I just quite and keep that on my mind.
The disappointment of me growing up without a mother, made me such a rebel person to my dad. I didn’t have so much good times with him because I always think he is out of my life. Deep inside my heart, I blamed him because of my mother’s death. I always thought he is not care enough so let my mother passed away that soon. I always thought he’s taking something really precious from my life and how I ought to have a mother beside me and not losing her that fast, in the beginning of my life. Maybe that was when I even can not able to walked yet 😦
It’s a contradiction to me, because I hate how my friends complained about their mom and I hate how they spend much time outside home than spending it with their mom, but for me, I also did the same. Because I felt disappointed with my dad, I prefer to spend outside the house and spending time with my friends than to be home and see him. I still remember how he so mad toward me because I always late to home and how I liked to stay over at my friends house. Sometimes when he got angry, he will call me nasty words which make me feel so mad to him more. I even remembered how he ever threw me from such height to the floor because I was so rebel to him that time.
So I once lived in confusion.
It’s a different story with my sisters and brother. Since I am number 6 from 6 kids, I feel luck but also hate it for being the youngest. Luck because my sisters raised me so good from one time to another. Hate because I always got something the latest, for instance clothes, usually the clothes that I had mostly from my sister #1, #2, #3 so on and so on. My dad often left us because of his works and another stuff, but my sisters shared the job of raising the little kids alternately. In one day, my first sister will bring me to her elementary school because I can’t left at home alone. Then I made a mess in the school room by peeing the table and make her very shy. Some times I also cried a lot during the school, so the teacher will ask my sister to bring me home. For me, my sisters and brother are the angels that make me able to survive in this life and become such a good person – yes, I can proudly say I am a good person. I can choose the wrong path to live, but indeed, I am now as I am because their influence in my life.
I think, living without completed parents made us such a strong person. We are, the 6 of us, need to think how to survive in this life, especially when our dad often to left us without any money. I am really admired my sister number one who really work so hard to feed us, no matter how young she was before. I think, that’s why the reason her husband now so proud to her, her personality and strong character saved the 6 of us. No matter what, I don’t think I can able to thankful enough for what she has done for us.
I remember how careless I am to had a good life or dream to having better life than we had at that moment. It was my sisters and brother that planted the idea of we can have a better life than before, we can have a dream, even our life at that moment were so miserable. I tended to hide myself in the corner and having the self-pity rather than able to face the reality that life is suck and think how to conquer it. I remember how we need to live without electricity because we can’t pay the bill and how we need to take the gold paper in cigarette because someone told us that we can make money from it – such many endless nights when we sit next to the water bucket which fill with so many cigarette papers that we already put to the water nights before, and how our fingers were becoming so wrinkle because we need to take off the gold paper from the normal paper in the water. I remember how I need to helped my sisters to sell used clothes in traditional market because to we need money to survive. Life was tough for us, but there is no reason to not be grateful because comparing to others people who is more misfortune than us, we can still feel better than them. That’s why I dislike people who have weak personality and always blaming life, God, parents or everything because they have miserable life. And maybe that’s why I always beat myself that hard if I face hard situation, I tend to handle it in strong way, because there’s no gray area for me in life.
Because of my sister, I understand how to read and fill my brain with many knowledge. When I was a kid, for me, study and learning are really a boring thing to do. I prefer to play outside the house, or playing with the duck and searching for the rainbow, than learning the Alphabet. I still remember how my sister tried to catch me because I run away when the school time is coming or how I hide up there on the tree when she tried to look at me to learn about the alphabet. I feel so bad for her now because I realize, raising me is so difficult task for her.
But because of her, the endless love to books and words started in my life.
Later on when I able to read, usually me and my sisters and brother always saving our money to buy second-hand books. Because of books, I know there is another world than Indonesia. I knew how cowboy looks like and how ship, sea, tiger, lion look like. Our favorite books that moment mostly about adventure, detective and fairy tales. I still remember how my brother got his first birthday present from my sister, a book by Alfred Hitchcock and how we spent time so much to read it together, one book to another and go to library as long as we could. I also still remember, because our home was so far from the school and make me always arrived late in the school and caused me so shy because I need to run in the basketball field for few times as the punishment from teachers, I was so ashamed because my friends mostly laughed at me. So rather than arriving late at the school, I chose just go directly to second-hand books stores in Jatinegara. The owner of the book store already knew me so well, the little woman who always read in his book store but he never asked me away.
Now, when finally I can make money from the stories I wrote, my sister told me that I just like my sister number 1 who ever sold her writing to get some money. And she said, “Yes, I was writing before to able to feed you.” I felt so speechless.
Despite many of my disappointment to my dad, I also love him a lot.
That’s I realized when he finally passed away for real, 6 years ago. His health was so bad at that moment. He ever hospitalized for a month then come home but sick again and need to be hospitalized again for 3 months. At that moment I was thinking to quit from my job and try to take care of him. Because he needed 24 hours guard from us, the children, so I chose to give up my job – which I didn’t like so much too and together with my sister number 3 to take care of him, while the others usually will visit us after they finished working.
I think that was the best decision I took my whole life.
During the time when I set an eye to him and take care of him, I can develop, a love and close relationship between father and daughter, more than years we were in the same rooftop. I saw him in different perspective and try to understand why he became such a hard person. I think he had some hard life as well, especially the condition of losing his partner and need to raise 6 children – which 5 of it are women. Even he wasn’t suddenly become a saint to me and we still have some fighting while in hospital, but later on, I can feel how he respect me, love me and rely on me. My best moments with him, when I read for him a bible version every morning. Even sometimes he hard to handle and always demanding difficult stuff, such want to have strong tasted fishes, where he prohibited to eat it by the doctor then it made us argue and argue and argue, but I always like the feeling when we listened to the gospel songs together – the Nikita (children singer) songs.
Once time when he knew I was breaking up with a guy I had relationship with and how miserable I am in the hospital at that moment, he hold my hands and told me, “You shouldn’t be worry about your life partner. You are such a beautiful and smart woman. The right guy will come to you.” I was so ashamed and touchy because we never have that kind of intimated father and daughter moment.
Then came a day, when I sat next to him and I asked him, “Are you afraid of dying?” He said, “What a stupid question, of course I am afraid of dying.” I know I was being silly at that moment, then I just try to console him, “Don’t be. You shouldn’t be afraid cause you will leave all the problems in world and you will be happy to meet your Maker. And we will live well here as your children” I don’t know whether my words were able to console him or not.
Now he is already gone for more than 6 years. How does life pass us so fast! I think the moment I lost him was more painful than the moment I know I never able to know my mom. The most painful times are, when I achieve something, usually he will tell me how proud he is to me, but now no one said it to me. It’s like I don’t have someone who I can proudly say, “Dad, look, I got this! Or Dad, look, I passed it!”
That’s why now I say, I would like to trade anything I have to being able to hug them again in my arms. A mother figure that I never able to know well and a father figure that for me always as a strong-person-which-always-have-a-distance-to-me man and also the one I miss a lot.
Miss you mom and dad,