Well Pup, it’s sunny today. Just like last year on the same day. I remember the detail of that day. One of the days in Belgium (which is rare) that we can sit outside to have lunch and have a beer right after.
The difference is that I was about to finish my study last year. I was preparing my exam when mom told me that she brought you to the hospital. I remember how the professor was acting like a jerk during the oral exam. But I passed! Not only that, I wrote my thesis well, I graduated, Mom and Ade came to Belgium to see my ‘new home’ in Antwerp and we traveled together. I knew everything was so hard for ade even though she never share her feeling openly with us. We went to Sacré-Cœur in Paris then she went away alone to pray then I know that just like me, she was still struggling in fixing her heart.
For today I do wish to tell you that I have a job. The job that I really like.. I’ve been working for nine months now and last month they offered me to do a PhD. Can you imagine that? Yeah, exactly… I do feel like I’m winning a lottery.
Time to think
A friend of mine told me that he likes doing the ironing because during that time, he can shut down his mind and do nothing. It’s been a long time that I didn’t iron my clothes simply because I was too lazy. After I washed them I would just stack them in the wardrobe and only iron them when I wanted to wear them. But last week during the weekend I thought, “Hey, let’s give a try…”
I washed my clothes then the day after I ironed them. It feels good! Instead of shutting down my mind, I felt that I was so close to you. I still remember that you like to iron, Mom said that she wouldn’t iron your clothes because you like to iron your shirts delicately. And you really really did a good job in ironing! My school uniform was always sleek and tidy. Even if I had a dress, I would ask your help to handle it because your job was the best!
That’s what I always remember from you. You always do your job in the right way, no matter how long it takes. Mom really likes cooking and we all know that her foods are always amazing, but you didn’t let her making business of her cooks because of two reasons. First, we don’t take more than what we need. Other people have that business already and for now we could earn our living the way we had, so why we should take someone else’s “rice field”. Second you think that mom’s foods are sooo amazing, and if she does it for business it won’t be as good because maybe she wouldn’t make it out of love anymore.
It’s a simple thing, I know. And maybe you don’t remember it anymore. But I do… There were lots of lessons you taught about life — like being honest, caring, the way you should treat people, “Your word means everything”, “Want something only that you can afford”, and also “Don’t ask anyone else to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself”.
We had a lot of fun, too! Do you remember that day when we first went for rafting? I think I was only 8 or 9. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so afraid that I would die while doing it. But it went really well. We spent 6 hours and I got addicted to it. Just like you made me addicted to hiking, cycling, climbing.
I also remember how you were willing to give a try to my little projects without doubting them. I googled and found this way that works as wi-fi amplifier. I told you about this and what you did? You prepared all the tools that we needed and we made it together with ade. We tested it together to see how much it improves the wi-fi signal and we sat down in the kitchen feeling satisfy with the result we saw.
Once during my high school period, I went home from school and I told you, “My friend told me that I should have a boyfriend too. But why, Pup? I don’t need a boyfriend. My friend has their boyfriend to pick them up at school, going to the movie, having dinner. But I have you! You drop me off and sometimes pick me up at school, we go to see movies together, you treat me for dinner, you never miss any of my concerts. Why do I need one?”.
In 2008, I was told by mom that you fell at the office and was unconscious. At that time, I was not as far away as last year. I could catch the next morning train to be back home and be with you. On the trip back to Jakarta, I prayed so hard for God to not take you from me. I wasn’t ready yet. I remember what broke my heart was when I saw you on the hospital bed, I greeted you and tried my best not to cry, and you looked so weak. You never looked so weak in front of us. I went back and forth between Jakarta and Bogor so that I could still attend my class and at the same time stayed with you and mom.
A month later God granted my prayer. You were released from the hospital. Even though slowly, you showed progress. You started working again, you started writing again, you started driving again. And we started hiking again. Even the last summer we spent a night camping and travelling abroad together. So this time, when I heard you were in the hospital, I changed my prayer. I didn’t ask God to keep you with me anymore. I know God has granted me additional 7 years to be with you. This time I only asked God to not give you the pain, and if you were, you could leave us in peace because I knew I have had nothing to regret.
You know what, Pup? I am so glad I was able to be part of your life. I always respected the way you were willing to try new ideas, you didn’t doubt us even though most of the time both of us sound like drunken kids. You also taught me to never forget what got us where we are now — good hard work and honesty.
Loosing you was hard. Really hard. I still learn to live without you day by day. Most of the times it seems like it works, but from time to time I just miss you greatly. I still haven’t found the courage to go home after a year passed because I know at the time I don’t see you at the arrival hall, I will be forced to accept the truth. This time, it’s not me who leave without you.
I want to celebrate today as the reminder of two important things in life: love and life itself. The pain from loosing you teaches me how greatly I’ve ever loved and been loved. Thanks for giving me a life that worth living.
And I will learn to remember you in a joyful heart.