Friday, February 17, 2006

Welcome to the Family

A while back, our Mak Lang passed away after suffering from the Big C. It was heart wrenching for us to watch her day by day deteriorating and slowly losing grip of life. All the while the family was with her, at the hospital holding her hand, rubbing her legs to make her feel better, reading the Quran to soothe her and when we were not there, she was always in our prayers. She still is.

Never once leaving her side was Pak Lang. Coaxing her and fighting the battle with her with soft words of encouragement and appearing strong and optimistic for her as though everything would be ok although the doctors had told us, that it was just a matter of time. Whenever I visited her, I could not help but shed tears. Not only because I was sad for Mak Lang who had to bear the pain, but for Pak Lang too, who left everything, just to be by her side. There wasn’t anything that he would not do for her. He read to her, he held her hand, he took in all the anger that Mak Lang let out due to the frustration that the pain brought. Never once did he complain, never once did he say anything hurtful to her back but instead he just smiled at her and stroked her thinning hair lovingly.

The day came when she left us. Pak Lang was left alone, suddenly without what it seemed like, any direction in life. His wife who had been his sole purpose in life was gone and it seemed like he did not know what to do with himself anymore. He was no longer the Pak Lang we knew. His smile was always paired with tired, sad eyes and he never joked as he used too. He walked with a subtle slouch as though he carried the world’s hugest burden not having Mak Lang with him and he was like that for a long, long time.

Last week, after a few months of not seeing him, I met Pak Lang at my home for dinner As he stepped into the doorway, I was pleasantly surprised. Gone were the lonely sad eyes, gone was the slouch he carried and he bore the huge, warm, cheeky smile that we remember so fondly of. He was back! As I hugged him and welcomed him into my home, I saw a small figure hovering behind him. He turned towards her an introduced me to her. “Anedra, this is your new Mak Lang.”

I had heard of the news. In fact Mak Lang’s (the old Mak Lang) family had been very much a part of pairing the two together. I was in shock as I wasn’t prepared to meet her. Being the naturally over loyal person that I am, I couldn’t imagine him being with another woman. Not that it was anything I had a say in. It was something I sort of ignored for a while. So, ss I faced her and put my hands out to salam, I just said, “Hello Aunty”. I think Pak Lang expected me to address her as "Mak Lang", but I just couldn't get myself to. It was too abrupt. I hadn't rehearsed it yet. I wasn't ready. But it was strange though, I couldn't stop stealing stares at her. She looked a lot like Mak Lang, only that she's a slightly younger version.

Throughout dinner I felt like breaking into tears. Seeing the new Aunt brought back memories of old Mak Lang and made me miss her so. I wish she were still alive for me to hug and kiss and stroke her hands like we did during her last final days. And memories of her having late night coffee with us on our terrace seemed so fresh in my mind, it hurt. But then I saw how happy Pak Lang was and how gentle, mature and caring the new Aunt was with him. I knew he would be in good hands. And although she looked almost like Mak Lang, she was very different from her, in a nice way. I was happy for him. Perhaps this is one of God’s ways of rewarding Pak Lang for all that he did for Mak Lang before. He deserves this happiness.

She won me by the end of the night. Looking at Pak Lang so happy and back to his normal self was worth having to accept this new lady into the family. Anyway, I’m sure Mak Lang would have wanted this too. It’s not as though she is replacing Mak Lang, she’s just a new addition to the family, just like a new cousin or something like that. Our Mak Lang will always be there, in our prayers and in our thoughts and always very much a part of the family.

They shall be married soon. I still don’t know when I can call this new Aunty “Mak Lang”. Perhaps I never will. But that’s not really important is it? I have always believed that we only get one chance at life and we ought to be happy. So if this is what it takes for Pak Lang, I’m all for it. So to the new Aunt, come ere. Lemme give you a big welcome hug!


Blogger AuntyN said...

Kata orang patah tumbuh hilang berganti.

Tapi yang berganti tu mana nak sama macam yang hilang tu kan? Nonetheless, it is their happiness that we should think off. So happy to know that your Pak Lang will be happy again. Semoga berkekalan sehingga ke akhir hayat.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

Anedra, I wish I am back there to welcome her into the family. I am suddenly homesick.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Ely said...

this transition for your pak lang is a good thing. good..for himself and the people around him, that he will go on with life happiness.

i know, sometimes its hard to think that it could 'eliminate' your mak lang. but u know that the new mak lang is not even close to comparison with ur real one.

life goes on, pak lang has a new wife, and mak lang will be in your hearts forever and ever.

2:19 PM  
Blogger drbubbles said...

ooooh...sweeet sangot!

6:07 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

auntyn: yes. life goes on for the living; and everyone should make the best of it!

kakteh: hahaha..if u were'd be the loudest one sobbing today. happy tears of course! :)

ely: yes, actually it's his every right tp do this. And it was always God's will that this would happen. Jodoh kan?
He's lucky to get a very nice lady I must say!

is: hello there! lama tak nampak!?

2:14 AM  
Blogger Noni said...

haiiii... i so do love happy endings... * dreamy eyes * ... now we only have to work on Bergen's Aunt Su and Bergen and my sister and your sister and my ex-classmate and...

7:36 AM  
Blogger narfnarf said...


that's for you, darlings, coz you've got a big heart.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous ariel said...


so saaad ..yet so sweeet...your Mak Lang would always be in your heart and in your memories is impossible for your Pak Lang who evidently loved her so much to just forget her.. he just moved on...
as you know, my dad passed away when we were in frm 2, and my mum never actually got hooked up with anybody else.. as she sd, she cant imagine loving anybody as much as she loved ayah.. and we the kids echoed dat.. how cud anybody compared to ayah..but i guess.. now dat we are all grown up ..and left the coop.. some part of me wished she did get married again..just for a simple reason that she'd have a 'teman' at home.. *sigh..but i guess ,if i cud have one wish.. i wud've wished for my dad to still be alive .. and be with my mum still... such is live huh ...

4:52 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

noni: i think there are some ex-teachers that need some working on as well!

narfy: Ayu!! Big hugs back! And kisses too!

ariel: u'r right, those who have left us can never be replaced. But those who are still living, do need the company. But then again, that's a personal choice for them to make. Like your mom, if she's happier like this, then let her be. take care girl!

6:49 PM  
Blogger mommy@lif said...

hi dena, am happy for your pak lang. now that he's a new teman, he'll be able to share his sad/happy moments with her. and of course arwah mak lang will never be forgotten.. yelah..kata orang..SAMA tapi tak SERUPA, kan?

8:15 PM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Wonderful news for Pak Lang, and happy happy news for the entire family on "Aunty"'s entry! Any new addition to the family, young or old, is great!!!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Arena said...

lalu that stage with my atuk. Cant really accept my ne toksu. but bila tengok atuk happy sangat.. kita pon hepi sangat..

12:30 AM  
Blogger bergen said...


1:20 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

alif's mommy: sama tapi tak serupa. serupa tapi tak sama.

blabs: The more the merrier!

arena: ya lah..who are we to deny them their happiness kan? Dia happy kita lagi happy.

bergen: have always wondered what this (Hadir) means?

4:08 AM  
Blogger LifeBloom said...

Anedra: A thoughtful piece and brings me back to my own experience. I keep comparing my old Mak Long (who passed away from breast cancer)to the current resident one. At one point it was useless. My Mak Long will forever live in my heart and comparing the both of them is in a sense unfair to the new lady. I began to see the latter for the person she is - which Allah SWT sent to my uncle to be his partner until his time comes. They now have a baby son and he is getting a new lease of life. Alhamdullilah.

3:51 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

It means I attended this entry but had better shut up because I've got nothing to say, ma'am. I hope this is okay with you.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

Anedra, I hope your Pak Lang lives happily ever after. Of course the new Aunt cannot and will not replace the old ... but she is someone new who will keep your Pak Lang company from now on. I guess it is different for men than it is for women. At least in our society. Everybody expects the man to have someone to look after him .... kalau tak, nanti baju tak seterika, makan tak sempurna, etc etc. How true it is, tak tahu pulak.

10:45 PM  
Blogger torts said...

don't we all wish to grow old together with the very special someone who cares... Tuhan menentukan. Tumpang happy for your pak lang.

12:48 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

ah anedra,
came as a shock to me. A bit loyal too, a bit jealous (for mak lang's behalf) but i guess she would be glad for him too.

semoga berbahagia.

2:12 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

lifebloom: there's always hikmah behind everything that happens. yes?

bergen: roger.

Queen: well, in his case..for a while he was living out of his car. he had his clothes hung in his car, so tak payah balik rumah to change etc. now that he will soon have a wife, at least there is a reason to go home and live properly. :)

torts: thanks!

oody: shocker aye? Well, got to live widdit. it's for the best anyways.

10:00 PM  

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