Thursday, February 25, 2010

The power of prayers

Greetings from Singapore!

For those who were with me in the last few days, I wish to thank you for your support and prayer.My mother is now discharged from HUKM after a week's trauma.As is so common with renal failure patients, she suffered delirium and we were so tried.Some bad relatives said she got hantu rayalah, this and that.We called ustaz from so many places esp from Darul Shifa' and I am most grateful to my brother in law's friend, tak ingat pun nama dia but my colleague from IIUM, Dr Samsudin is the kindest to us.He came all the way from Gombak to 'scan' my mother and assured us takda hantu atau jin atau setan.It's just effect of her illness and perasaan (mother merajuk dgn busy anak2 who seldom visit her.She has all daughters.Malangnya we are the types who take our career seriously and are always busy.My sisters yang kerja kat SUHAKAM and Sal,a school teacher, je yang consistently sacrificing their working hours for mom.I datang before and after work sahaja.Alasan: backpain)

Anyway, we are relieved she's OK now.I think the week's lesson was for us.Now everyone is making time for her.I'm in Spore cos' Spore Management Uni jemput as speaker (slot is tomorrow afternoon) and on Sunday (I just found out) I'm sitting with CEOs in a panel discussion.Aiyoo..Must ask Prof Kirp apa ke benda I have to talk on in that panel.

My charger kena curi kat airport (tak tau in KL or Spore) so I had to naik bus pi Bugis Village to buy charger.Sporeans memang macam I, tau pi balik kerja je.When asked for directions, ramai blur.But Bugis Village is nice to shop (ni yang my mak marah ni.In her delirium, she asked if I were going to Spore to makan angin dan bersukaria shopping.How alert! Even di bawah sedar)

Anyway, I am convinced in the power of prayers.Masjid UIA buat, budak2 anak angkat mak I masa raya pun prayed for her, my facebook and blog friends, even Kirp pun prayed for my mom.I'm sure Francis did too.I am so fortunate to have good and sincere friends/students.I ain't rich but I have good friends/students.Syukur and thank you all.

Now wish me luck at SMU.I'm sure orang nak tau pasal pompuan kena rotan kat Msia.Looks like I sorang je Muslim participant at the conference.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I witnessed how my mom continued to slip away.They said it might just be a phase but at 77? I think it's a natural process.But there's been so much guilt in me.Why wasn't I fast enough to act when her bp hit 200? Why took her to a private clinic? To a wrong hospital? Just so because it was the most convenient for me.

I witnessed the extent of damage of bad judgment today as I spent 5 hours with my mom at the hospital.Most of the time, she failed to recognise any of us.She knew what she wanted but she could not speak.When she did, she was not making coherent train of thoughts.When she's herself, she expressed her fear of losing her sense of connectedness, still sharp and aware of the many possibilities of her ailment.

This is not the woman I know.She's too helpless, too dependent (we have to move her leg up and down cos' she has no energy to move it herself).I feel devastated to see her like this.I hope it is just a phase.But it's so true of what the Quran describes.She has started to behave like Che'ah (my 2 year old niece): when she refused food, medication.

Such is life.I pray that she does not suffer too much.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiger roared

Yesterday was my family's turn to wait at the emergency ward on my mom.Her bp was touching 200.I feared stroke.Bawak dia pi private clinic yang 24 hours.The doc advised kita bawak ke hospital (after giving her Adalat).We took her to Sg Buloh Hospital sebab yang paling dekat.Nasib Nik was cooperative.I bawak Z sekali (despite her protest but I had spine prob.Sapa pulak nak pegang my mom nanti?) Bless my gal.She's a good child.May Alah give her all As in her SPM. :))

Lama nunggu at the emergency.I had to nego with the counter guys suruh bagi my mom masuk dulu as she looked so doped.We thot dia dah kena stroke, staring into the air tak bercakap2, her body shivering.The staff at the hospital memang very friendly.Tak pernah jumpa hospital this friendly and kind.

We didn't go back till almost 2 am (dari pukul 10 pm!) We tried sleeping in the car at the carpark.Takut pulak kena rompak.Nik bawak BMW dia.Then we decided to balik rumah dulu.While on the high way, the ward rang to say my mom was ready to be discharged.Pusing balik.I must tabik my hubby and my gal for being so sabar.

I masuk kerja lambat sikit.Penat satu macam.I had to be on painkiller.Dah sms si Bob pasal spine I sakit balik.At the same time I made an appointment with a new chiropractor (sementara nunggu Alicia balik cuti from India).Kali ni benggali.Aida yang kata bagus.

And petang got interbiu some more.Nasib the panelists were not nasty to me.Kata orang kalau kita buat baik dgn ibubapa, Allah bayar cash.Mudah2an.

Balik from interbiu, I spent all afternoon writing my Spore paper.Tak siap2 juga.50% siap.Nanti kena prune lagi.Just throw in thoughts dulu.Prune kemudian.

I told you kalau kita buat baik dgn ibubapa, Allah bayar cash.Around 4 pm I terima panggilan saying nanti I dijemput jadi judge to one prestigious international writing competition.Yippee, syukur! This will allow me to get free literary books and chance to listen to readings.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chinese new year long weekends

We decided to hold a kenduri khatam quran for Hafiz and Amzar at my place but later I found out, Amzar baru juz 1, nak khatam ke hapa.I don't know who fed me the wrong info.I think my mom (maklumlah dia dah mula senile, made worse by her ailment).So in the end, Hafiz sorang je khatam.Dia ni blur pulak (tak biasa Quran emas we loaned him).Akhirnya ustaz tu yang bacakan after Hafiz baca 3-4 ayat.Kelakar betul.

Macam zombie nak plan itu ini for the unplanned kenduri.Z said 70 people on both sides.I ordered 100 thinking of neighbours and orang surau.Then so many could not come so I cut the number to 80.Even then ramai family members cannot come.Haiyo..sure berlambak food.Macam zombie nak agih2kan makanan but alhamdulillah we managed to distribute.

Malam tu Z and I took Che'ah and Erfi out to the Curve (Nik pi surau to distribute food yang melambak2 tu).Can you imagine taking two below 3 years old kids out on Valentine's Day? Hahaha.I never celebrated but amidst young couples, people looked at us strangely (or becos' both were so cute esp. Che'ah? She's so adorable.I put Z's old clothes on her.Nampak comel sangat and so urbane.Hahaha)

We went shopping, ate ice cream at Baskin Robbins.The two got new clothes.I liked.Kalau ada anak besar ni, I think seronok juga but apa nak buat.Kilang dah nak tutup.Tunggu cucu je le in 10 years' time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tiger Year

I was in PD visiting SHELL Refining smart partners today with my team.Dr. Khairil and En. Khairuddin met up with us and they took us to meet their MD, Tuan Haji Rozano.Latino name but very Chinese looking.Very helpful as well.We may invite him to speak on branding later this year.

Dr K and K had a lot of things lined up for our kids and I hope they will benefit much.

Last nite Kak Ngah and Sal took our mom to HUKM emergency.They went at 6 pm.Came back at almost 4 am! Kesian.Bihah also got admitted cos' she was too hungry, too tired.Kesian betul.I hope Allah will reward my two sisters for their care and love for our mom.

I had to rush to PD at 7 am so tak sempat tengok my mom (but I received her at 4 am when she returned).

What a tiger year this year.My spine problem is back.I don't know what to say of Bob.Betul la kata my will only delay things but without surgery, you cannot fully recover.Alicia says to wait till she sees me in April.She also told me to think twice about surgery.Byk buruk dari baik.But it can get to be so bad that I feel like going crazy with pain.Alicia suruh I pi Brunei see her guru.Ummi (my niece doctor) says I'd go for this kinda stuff to avoid OT!

I hope I'll get some rest over the long weekend (Spore paper needs to be written)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Intellectual freedom

I was invited along with 2 other former Fulbright Scholars to be in a panel discussion at a digital video conference with famous African American poet who is also Prof of English in North Carolina, Prof Brenda Flanagan. We met at a dinner hosted by the US Embassy last year.

A remarkable poet.
A fantastic scholar.

We had fun and I got educated far more than I expected.I went in quite skeptical since it was hosted by the US State Dept, US Embassy.I thought Brenda would be so politically correct that she would only be in praise of how far the US had achieved when Obama moved into the White House.

I was so wrong.Brenda was genuine.She tibai habis, pukul mati.A true scholar who's not afraid to speak the truth.What amazed me more was the openness of the US Embassy people...Kaufman who enjoyed the session as much as us, Prof Kelly (Brenda's friend who came online to assist her in addressing some of the sociological issues to do with AA ~ African American)

Brenda addressed my questions (sent earlier via emails) decently.I asked about american black muslim writers.She said they were also responsible for enlightening AAs to things just and equal esp in the 60s and that the largest Muslim population in the US is AAs.Sonia Sanchez converted to Islam cos' of Elijah Muhammad.Malcolm X was held in high regard by most AAs.Nice kan? She paid tribute to these writers and read Sanchez's poem)

She said despite the many names which had made it to international fame (one nobel laureate win)..there's still much racism and discrimination towards AAs.Studies on AA is not extensive to all unis/colleges.If you have one or two token writers, the slave history is NEVER discussed, etc etc.

Ben was saying Prof Gates (the Harvard Prof who was arrested for trying to get into his own home and whose neighbour thought was a burglar) wrote how aids/privileges given to the so called blacks were actually not given to TRUE african americans born and bred in the USA but to first generation black immigrants from Africa, the caribbean, etc.Becos' they were former Brit subjects, they were better articulated, better they'd 'qualify' to receive grants, opportunities created for AAs.

I think AA is an interesting field to study and as we found out, is not only about America but humanity (or humanity gone wrong) at large.

By the way, the dvc was held in conjunction with Black History Month which is celebrated every February.

Alas, I finally had a nice taste of intellectual freedom in KL.