i'd like to tell you about my nenek (grandmother). one of the reasons why my mother had such a successful career was because my nenek was there to help take care of us while my brother and i were growing up. our school-bus would drop us off at her house after school if we were in the morning session or pick us up from her house if we were in the afternoon session.
i don't remember but she bathed and washed me up, powdered me white when i was a very naughty chatty little girl. i remember, when i was bigger that she'd make sure we had our lunch, washed our uniforms and ironed them too. she'd make sure we went for our quran reading class and that we didn't play too long with the children in the neighbourhood after school. she'd also give us butter sugar toast as an afternoon snack or made kuih dadar while we played with my late-grandfather or watched malay-dubbed japanese series on rtm.she'd also pack food for our family dinner and enough leftovers for mum to freeze to bring home with us, when mum and dad pick us up.
she also taught me how to roll the pineapple filling just round enough for her tarts, and how i should slice and dice the carrots for the hari raya lodeh, a particular length and width. And i still cut up long beans just the way she taught me, at an angle, so that it looks pretty all cooked up. I also learnt that asam pedas fish should go with stir fried green beans and lauk lemak always went with sambal tumis telur. And that durian was best eaten with nasi pulut, a healthy dose of santan (coconut milk) and gula melaka.
she's 86 now. if i visit her in the mornings, i'd find her in the kitchen for she still insists on supervising the cooking at home despite her old age. she still wants to peel and cut the vegetables just the way she's been doing it for as long as i remember. but if i visit her in the afternoons, she'd be resting in her room. taking long naps or reciting the quran for her old age is taking a toll on her. in fact, when i look back to my childhood, i never had a memory of my nenek resting. she was always, always doing something.
now that i've grown up and living my own busy, hectic life. i always seem to find more important things to do than to visit my grandmother. i forget how much of her time and of her life that she had given so that my childhood years were so comfortable and easy. sometimes, like today, i remember and i cherish all that she's done for me. and tell myself- the way i feel today, i should feel everyday.
Labels: eveel ramblings