About Me

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I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

Friday, 31 March 2006

In Loving Memory...

“Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” - Sarah Dessen

Quietly I'm remembering you
in the silence of my heart.
Each thought of you, a treasure
while we are now apart.
At times I'm filled with longing;
Your smile I'd love to see,
To feel your presence, to hear your voice,
to have you here with me.
But God has a plan;
He created you and numbered all your days.
May he hold you in His loving arms
and surround you with His grace.
With the hope of reunion in Heaven one day,
I entrust you in His care.
Cherished memories of you live on in our hearts.
Your life is a gift we share.

by Debbie Heydrick

Monday, 27 March 2006

Nilai kasih ibu...

“Grief does not change you. It reveals you...”- John Green


Kepada semua ibu-bapa dan bakal ibu-bapa,

Exactly a month before Mirza (Ja), my youngest son, passed away, I read a sad article dedicated to me by my eldest daughter, Sara. After reading the article I was heartbroken, as I have somehow offended her with my concerns or lack of them. As a typical mother, I’m overly worried for my children well being. And as always, I will want to provide the best for the three of them.

A few days after, I was hospitalized for my Angiogram. The three children came to visit. A really rare occasion to see Sara, Iwan and Ja together. Looking at their worried faces, I knew that they were concerned about my health. I felt so much loved. It was then, I told them how I feel. How much I love them and how much I care about them. I told the three of them that I love them the same - not more, not less. And I also told them that I never ask anything in return… just be anak-anak yang soleh dan solehah and sedekah al-fatihah for me when I’m no more around…

Then, I never thought that I would lose one of them...

To all parents. if you have the opportunity, hug your children and tell them that you love them so very much...

To All who came visiting, smsed, e-mailed and called, thank you very much for the kind words and support. I am still in so much grieve. But like some of you said, I have to take comfort in the thought that Ja is in the loving arms of Allah. Amin...

Just to share with you, the article written by my Sara.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My mother

I am here, alive, because of my mother.

Ever since I was small, I've always remembered people reveling about my mother - her petiteness, her fair skin, her smile. I remember her dressing me up in the prettiest of frocks she sewn herself, then combing and tying my hair up in ponytails with little ribbons. I remember her putting on just a little bit of lipstick on my pale lips ("Bagi nampak cantik sikit.") and making me wear skirts and pushing my legs together when I sit ("Duduk elok2 sikit. Awak kan perempuan."). I remember old, yellowing pictures, of just me and her, me on her lap, me standing by her side awkwardly in my denim miniskirt, me and her in matching baju kurung for hari raya, her always smiling and I with my brows furrowed (there were hardly any pictures of me smiling when I was younger). I didn't always smile, but I was often captured with her, photographs after photographs, just me and my mother.

When I was a child, I was an achiever. I would bring my report cards home, and my father would sign them, and my mother would read them aloud, all A's. I would be the best in everything - languages, mathematics, even arts. I would be the one going on stage during the award-giving ceremony to get my trophy, and then running around the back to give it to my mother, and then getting back into line, because soon it was my turn again. I would be the one on stage, dancing, or reciting a poem, or a speech, and I would see my parents in the audience, and I would be so proud.

Then, soon enough, things changed. I grew up, and got lost. From my mother, that is. All during my years in J.B., I would, once every fortnight or so, call home, and get my father on the line. Sometimes he would let me talk to my brothers, if they were around. But I could not recall, any one time, when I would speak with my mother on the phone. Sometimes she picked up, and said hello, and then she would hand the receiver over to my father. Sometimes I spent weeks, months, even, not speaking to her. That was when I was in school, and they were at home, and J.B. and K.L. had never seemed farther away.

When I came home, for the holidays, things were pretty much the same. My seat, in the car, is right behind the passenger's, where my mother sits, so I don't talk to her much in the car. There wasn't much to talk about anyway. My grades were really bad - I was flunking everything except English. I had my hair cut very short, and was determined to live in baggy jeans and t-shirts and baseball caps. I think my parents, in general, were disappointed with me, because of my studies, and also because the only daughter they had was turning into a dude. I don't really know, because I never did pay attention. The best years of my adolescent life was spent in a gated compound with friends who I felt were understanding enough to leave me the hell alone when they don't get me. I felt like I fit in, because no one really cares about what you did. No one gives a damn if you're fat, or lazy, or spend all day sleeping and all night eating. No one cares if you're weird, or strange, or smell - they just keep away. That was what I liked most about school. People left you alone.

And then there was university, where I stayed close to home and decided that I do want to make something out of my life. I started giving, and I started caring, about myself, about people around me. I guess that was when the trouble started. I started getting A's again - one or two of them, scattered here and there. Not immediately, though, but I picked myself up. I made new friends, went to the library once in a while, and studied at night. I lost my baby fat (some of it anyway), ditched my sport sandals and made sure that my thighs are together when I sit down. I allowed the hair on my head to grow (and removed others), stopped swearing (out loud anyway) and got myself a man. When I figured I was good enough, I presented myself to my mother.
The thing is, with my mother, there is no such thing as 'good enough'.It's either you're the best, or you're not. If you're not number one then you're not the winner, and can never be. I would present to her my results, my new hairstyle, my new firmer body, my handsome suitor, and from the look on her face, I can tell that it's not enough. Sometimes she would say something - "A minus je? Kenapa tak boleh dapat A?" or "Memang la tak muat. Awak tu gemuk." or "Kenapa dapat biomedical science je? Kenapa bukan medic?" or "Memang la takkan dapat, dah kerja awak duduk macam ni je." but other times, she doesn't. It's they way she looks at me. When I showed her my results slip, and there was my GPA - 3.5 - she looked at it, silently put in down on the table, and went away, and I know she was thinking that I should have done better, maybe get 4.0 - the subjects could not have been really that difficult, could they? Or when I told her that yet another relationship was over, she'd be quiet, and I know she was thinking that I had it coming all along, that she knew he was too good for me. Today, when I told her that some my friends had gotten interviews, that I didn't, because my application didn't go through and I had to apply a second time, she got verbal, and told me "Awak tu memang selalu lambat. Sampai bila2 la takkan dapat apa2.".

Being thought of as a failure by my mother - I think that is the worst thing in the world. When she had be, she probably imagined a pretty little girl, someone who is smart and thin and lovely and successful, someone high-ambitioned like her, who could keep a home and have a soaring career at the same time, someone who would charm all her friends, someone she could be proud of to be seen with, someone just like her. Well, I'm not. I'm not rich, or successful, or beautiful. I don't have a beau, and I sure am not going to get married before my brother does (if ever). I can't cook without burning myself, or sew to save my life, or crochet, or do all the tiny handicrafts she does. I'm not popular, or easy with words like she is, or even likeable. I'm not impeccably organized, or sparklingly clean, or chicly fashionable. I can't fit into her pants, and I can never fit into her shoes. I'm not perfect, I'm not her, and I will never be. I just wish she'd understand.

I am here, alive, because of my mother.
I am also here, broken, because of my mother.

Posted by sareque @ 16:26

Sunday, 26 March 2006

Selamat Bertunang...

“If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am…”- Stephen Chbosky

(Iwan & Ella...)
(5 dulang hantaran)

Monday, 20 March 2006


“Ya Allah, if pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible..."

Today I lost my beloved youngest son, Mirza Ashran bin Mustafa (24 Dec 1985 - 19 Mar 2006). He was involved in a motor accident. He died in his sleep, under general anesthetic, during a 5-hour operation. I am in so much grieve now. But I have to take comfort in the thought that he is cradled in the loving arms of Allah the Almighty. Amin...

His sister Sara has written a little bit about Ja in her blog.

Tuesday, 14 March 2006

Stakeholders Management...

“The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see...” - Ayn Rand

I left the apartment very early and arrived at the Human Resource Development Centre at Jalan University at 8.00 a.m. Went straight to the nasi Lemak Warung and joined Zul from Internal Audit Department for a plate of nasi lemak sotong and a big glass of teh tarik. Haji Zainal and Boniar joined us later.

Today, five officers from my department attended a workshop on Stakeholders Management. The resource person was Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow from Toronto International Leadership Associates Inc. The session was interesting with a lot of interactions, presentations and role-plays. None of us escaped the drills and it was fun. The workshop stimulates thought that drives action on dealing with interests, needs and concerns.

At the end of the day all of us were all exhausted.

Monday, 13 March 2006

Appointment with a nurse...

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others...” - Brandon Mull

Last week I went to Maybank to collect my Zing card and my cheque book.

While waiting, I was briefed about their new products and ended up investing in Premier Value Saver and in the Property Plus Capital Guarantee. Besides providing protection to the capital outlay, certain minimum percentage is guaranteed on the return. They also provide insurance coverage for the investors. And for this investment-linked insurance, they need to have my latest medical record.

A nurse from Medi-Plus was sent to check on me today. She came during lunch time. Because I was busy with meetings and discussions the whole day, that’s the only available time I have for her. She probed on my medical history, took my urine sample and blood pressure. To make her work easier, I showed her my recent medical record from Pantai Medical Centre.

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Plan for engagement...

“Things never happen the same way twice...” -  C.S. Lewis

Last week I received an sms from my sister to inform me that Mak is not well. There’s a swelling at her shoulder and she could not lift her hand. When I called Mak, I could hear her voice very faintly and she sounded tired. I promised that we’ll go back to melaka this weekend.

Yesterday, Sara went to Klang to fetch her grandma from Ros’ house. We thought of inviting his adik beradik for dinner at our apartment last night but the plan was cancelled, as only Noh would be able to come. So last night Ja came all the way from our Bidara house to have dinner with everyone, only to find out that the makan-makan is cancelled. He had a hearty dinner and by midnight he went back to our Taman Bidara house.

This morning after a late breakfast we drove to Melaka and my mother-in-law followed us. Sara, Iwan and Ja didn’t come with us as they have work to do.

When we reached Melaka, Zai and kids were already there and she cooked lots of dishes for lunch. Amah and family came later. Mak and Abah were happy to see us. Although Mak was not feeling well, we managed to make her smile and laugh. Both our Maks have not seen each other since last Raya so they have a good time sembang-sembang. I have a lot to catch-up with the sisters too. We informed them of our plan to merisik and bertunang for Iwan at end of March and asked them to make themselves free.

We headed back to KL after tea. Stopped at dengkil for dinner and reached our apartment at 10.30 p.m.

Friday, 10 March 2006

Sail through life...

“If at first you don't succeed then skydiving definitely isn't for you...” -  Steven Wright

Thursday, 9 March 2006

Planning for retirement...

“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility...” - Stieg Larsson

Recently, I find time and make an effort to check on my investment portfolio, see whether any of them harbor hidden risks. I have not been managing and tracking them. After reviewing and with a little help from close friends, I decided to withdraw a sum of money from the EPF and invest in Islamic Dividend Fund. The issue offered was attractive and for investor like me, I will leave it to the fund managers to manage. The last 2 weeks my e-mail is updated with a comprehensive market review and outlook from DY Wealth Management Agency. I really have to find time to read the report and understand the charts.

In fact it is time to review my entire portfolio in planning for my retirement, which is not very long from now. In reality, it's difficult enough for me to plan anything just a few months ahead, like a vacation. So how on earth am I supposed to deal with something in the distant future - like retirement?

And last week, I made an appointment with Amanah Raya Berhad. I have decided to write a will…

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Hello Mona Lisa...

 “There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose…” - Garth Stein

Last weekend, recuperating at home was the best break I have ever had. I am not really that sick but I need the rest. With free time at hand, I could go on a spree, well deserved or otherwise but I prefer to stay at home and finish reading the Da Vinci Code. The story is about a murder in the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

What intrigued me is not so much of the story but the locations and scenes in Paris where the drama revolves. It triggers the excitement in me as it brought back sweet memories of our holiday in Paris in year 1999. It was our 20th Anniversary. We sat during sunset watching the huge billboard at the top of the Eiffel Tower showing the count down to the new Millennium.

And people, this May, I am going back to Paris for the Mint Directors Conference and would have the opportunity to visit those unforgettable famous places again. The post-conference agenda is even more exciting as the participants will spend 4 days in Bordeaux, South-west of France, famous for its vineyard and endless beaches. Vienna and Slovak will be next on my itinerary after the conference. Roger P is finalizing details of my visit to the two Mints. But over there, it will be work, work, work and work.

Argh… talk about slowing down my pace and avoid stressed activities…

My Travelogue: munmus.blogspot.com