Sara walked into her older brother’s room while bringing a pile of neatly folded clothes on her hand. She was about to put those clothes into the closet when she saw the mess that happened in the room. It was a peaceful Sunday morning when her brother was working, so Sara decided to do some cleaning for the house including her brother’s room which was completely disorganized.
Well, she could not blame him entirely for that because her brother has been working long hours at the hospital for six days a week. To add the amount of on-calls that he had to spend his nights treating patients was even more tiring, let alone thinking whether he has plenty time to get some proper rest for himself.
‘Thank God he is still single. At least he only needs to deal with his stuffs.’ Sara thought to herself while looking at her brother’s stuffs scattered everywhere on the floor. She decided to just ignore it and let her brother clean up the mess later when he is back.
While arranging the clothes in the closet, her eyes caught a few formal, small-sized shirts hung up in it. Sara smiled to herself. She quickly knew that those did not belong to her brother since his size is bigger than the shirt’s size.
‘These were Abah’s shirts. I wonder why they are still here in the closet.’ Sara ran her hands through the shirts. She was a bit startled to see that the shirts did not get wrinkled although they have not been worn for a long time.
Sara sat in front of the closet, and she stared into the shirts while memories of her father came flooding through her mind.
Honestly, she has almost forgotten that Abah has left her and the family for nearly five years ago. She has forgotten about the feeling of having a man that would constantly support and motivate her, and most importantly, how does it feel to have a father.
Five years ago, Sara remembered how difficult it was for her to accept the news about her father being admitted to the hospital. She received a sudden call from her mother during the night. At that time, she was pursuing her engineering study at Moscow. Sara thought it would be just a normal phone call, but it was not. The news told by her mother nearly passed her out.
Sara remembered how her mother could not stop crying while on the phone. Her mother said, “Sara darling, please stay strong will you? I know this is too sudden for you, but do make lots of prayers for your Abah okay, dear? I love you.” Sara’s mother immediately hung up the phone. Maybe she could not hold her tears any longer.
After hearing the news, Sara just cried her heart out. She was extremely sad for the fact that she could not be there to see her beloved father because she was miles away far from him. If she could, she wanted to take a flight back to Malaysia immediately but she could not do that as she needed to complete her examination papers first. Even so, Sara could not give full attention to her studies. She kept thinking about her father’s condition.
She had always thought to herself, ‘Ya Allah, why do I feel that this test is too heavy for me? I know that You would not burden a soul beyond what it can bear, but I felt like I am not ready for any consequence from this situation. that can arise from Abah’s illness.’
Sara would constantly doubt herself for not being strong to face the situation. But, Sara knew that she had to seek strengths from Allah so that she can accept whatever fate that Allah has destined for her Abah.
However, it was not easy for Sara to hold herself up all the time. It was the third week after Abah was admitted into ICU. Sara has also finally finished her examination, and she was waiting to board the flight back to Malaysia to visit her father.
While she was scrolling Facebook on her phone, suddenly she saw her brother has posted a status that said, ‘Abah has passed away this morning, Al-Fatihah to him.’ Sara was startled, because it happened on the same day she was going to go back and see Abah. To add up more of her grievance, none of her family members informed her about the news. She quickly asked her family about it, and it was confirmed. They were shocked to know that Sara has found out about this because they planned to hide the news from Sara and would only tell Sara when she has arrived home.
Sara boarded the flight with a heavy heart knowing that she would not be able to see Abah anymore when she got home.
‘Knock, knock.’ Sara was surprised to hear the knock on the door. Her mind raced back quickly to the present. She wiped her tears that came out while inviting the person to come in.
“Ah there you are. I thought you went out to the city.” Sara’s mother, Julia entered the room, feeling relieved to see her daughter was there.
“Did I manage to freak you out? Luckily you found me here. And of course, I would have informed if I were to go out, Mom.” Sara giggled when looking at her mother’s expression. Julia smiled, and went to kiss Sara’s forehead before she took a seat beside her.
Sara continued arranging the clothes, and after that she even helped making up her brother’s bed.
“Are you helping your brother to manage his stuff? You know you do not need to! He is a grown man, he can do this by himself.” Julia seemed a bit shocked to see Sara doing the chores.
Sara laughed to hear her mother’s rant. “It is okay, Mom. I know he has been workaholic nowadays, so he did not have time to clean up his mess. While I am in the mood of doing spring cleaning, I just thought maybe I could help him with this. At least it will help ease his burden.” Sara explained to her mother. Julia felt content by hearing Sara’s reply.
‘Alhamdulillah, I am so blessed to have such a kind and hardworking daughter like you. You are such a sweet sister, honey. You better ask your brother to give something to you in return!” Julia said. She hugged Sara tightly, while they both laughed together.
Sara continued hugging her mother, feeling proud and grateful for having a strong woman able to endure the life journey alone without her husband by her side. Five years have passed since Abah has left them but Sara has never seen her mother feeling tired for managing the whole family by herself. Sara believes that Allah is the one that Provides the strengths for her family to continue living.
Sara also had a few moments in her life when she would cry remembering her father. But she had always told herself not to spend too much time grieving on what has gone, and focus on her present life. Through the years, she became much better in holding herself up whenever the memories about her father came across her mind.
Because she knew her Abah would not want to see her sad. And she would always pray to Allah to grant the highest Jannah for her Abah, also for the chance to see each other again with His will.