I thought my mak was a superwoman. Certainly she is not of late. As much as I was thinking about my age that fast climbing uphill to be an old man, residing hair-line and greying at the same time…I was quick to forget that my parents are aging as well.
This raya, the usual spread for raya are getting less elaborate. The curtains and sofas are the same as last year. Even thought she still have the same vigor of a hardworking woman who could spring to the kitchen at any given time but her springing into action are now accompanied with a clutching of both hands on her knees.
The same woman who for all my life has been and still the pillar of my world and our family is starting to show her real age. She was tall to me but now she’s getting shorter, smaller and less heavier.
It broke my heart earlier when she said that once all her kids are leaving the nest, she would leave the house and would spend most of her time at the Pondok or religious school.I persuaded her that her grandchildren would need her constant watch and guidance but if that the noble cause that she wants to pursue, as a son…how would I then to say no?
Hari Raya for this year, I have learned to change the way I do a thing in my mak’s house. I don’t usually do the dishes or mopping the floor at home. It was either done by her or my sisters (the boys simply threw the soiled plates into the sink). My mak has taken a pleasant surprise when seeing me doing the dishes. As a typical kampung people like myself…I did not expressing my true feeling through words. I wanted to tell her that she is getting older and now it is my turn to help a little.I just brushed her softly to let me continue doing what seemed to be her duty.
My third sister was spending her time with her in-laws as this is her first year celebrating raya as a wife and the older one was seemingly unperturbed with mak’s deterioration of her agility. My younger sister has just given birth to my new niece. It left her, the only able woman to do all the women’s works. Seeing her pain in preparing raya’s dishes, I told myself…let me break the lazy tradition of boys in my family to do the dishes and cleaning the house.
Last night, she was riding pillion on a kapchai with me to my uncle’s house whose house situated deep inside the kampung, driving a car would be troublesome, so we decided to get there by a motorcycle. I used having trouble handling the machine due to her sheer body size and was rather heavy but it was a breeze yesterday and I thought…my mak is getting slimmer, getting slimmer that being associated with people who are aging..not the other slimming intention.
Deep within, I was in tears. She ain’t heavy no more…she is my mother.
This woman, my mak…like any mother is the world had done many things that I would forever be grateful.
Mak….selamat Hari Raya, maaf zahir batin. I love you.