If you have been following my twitter and my blog closely, you'd know that I have this love-hate relationship when it comes to family. But when it comes to the matter of my grandmother on my mum's side, it's a whole different story altogether.
She's definitely not the most pleasant person for most people to be sitting with, but I love her to death, even when I refuse to admit it. She's the one that took care of me since I was born, bathed, fed and told me stories. And she never got tired of it even when I've asked for the hundredth time.
Life wasn't easy for her, until in the recent years. She had a tough life, so did everyone else in the era where war dawned upon third-world countries. She migrated to Malaysia from Indonesia at a very young age, and most importantly, alone. When she arrived on Malaysian soil, she wished for a better life, and swore that she'd serve the government and be loyal to them, and of course she did. She was one of the most active UMNO supporters I've seen.
So when she came here, she met my late grandfather and two of them got married. My grandmother was his 3rd or 4th wife, and my mother was among many of his children that was neglected. My late grandfather wasn't the best husband a woman could have. With his good looks and his post as a policeman, many young ladies at that time would swoon over him, and his charms worked on other 3 or 4 wives he had after that. All that knew him knows what suffering it is to have a husband that would go out and have fun "clubbing" with other women. He brought one back and asked my grandmother, who at that time was his wife, to prepare tea for the other lady. My grandma, a stubborn woman (from which I inherit that trait from) refused to and she got a one tight kick that night. She knew she had to leave for the sake of her child, my mother.
My grandmother packed and left, sought refuge in my late grandfather's friend and his wife, left my mother to be taken care with them in Johor while she traveled to Kuala Lumpur and try to make a living before she can bring my mother there. After a few years, she managed to collect enough money and find a place so that my mother can stay with her. Being a single mother wasn't an easy thing back then, what more with the public's perception of divorce which was a taboo thing to talk about. My grandmother is a VERY strong person, the strongest I've known in my whole life.
Recently, I was still in a daze when everyone in the house was in total chaos. Apparently my grandmother had called my mum and she was slurring, complaining that she had a headache and she needed Panadol. My mum panicked at her state of speech and went over to her house to find her in the weakest state ever, with pills all on the floor. Everything was in a mess, pots, pans, clothes strewn, water tap still running and she kept falling down after attempting to walk after my mother cleaned her up. She tried to eat and everything would just fall out of her mouth and she won't even realize it. I can't imagine being in my mother's shoes right then and there. My mother brought her back to our house and my brother helped her walk into her room. Everyone teared up as she started to talk and we couldn't understand a single thing. She was foaming and drooling and we had to wipe her mouth almost every 10 seconds. She seemed to be stuck in a confused state and repeated things many times. I may have not shown any emotion, being the strongest and most stubborn among all, but only God knew how my heart broke to see her like that.
I stayed on with her, watching her sleep. Doing my work while everyone else is upstairs watching the telly. I felt like I can't leave her side, in case she wanted to go to the toilet or pray. She'd wake me up, asking me to bring her upstairs cause she wanted to watch her drama series. I had to carry her. She said she wanted to pee, I carried her. She said she wanted to sit outside for fresh air, I carried her. She said she wanted to pray, I carried her and put her on the chair. I tied her hair for her, prepared chairs for her to sit and prepare her meal, with the help of others occasionally. I knew that somehow not everyone in the house would be able to stand this, and i tried to make it easier for them by settling it on my own (with help here and there). Even when she was choking on her food, I tried to clean it up and when she asked for my bread, I sacrificed dinner. And somehow it reminds me remarks from my own blood that said I'm either useless or hopeless, that I'll never put family first and and so on.
I hope I'll continue on being this strong, and hoping God will continue granting me the patience as she gets senile now and being very demanding. It's tiring and frustrating at the same time very rewarding to know that she knows I'm there.
I told my mother the other day that no matter how stubborn and rebellious I am, I will NEVER abandon my family if they need me. I might not be at home most of the time, and it frustrates everyone that I seem to not be present at most times. And no matter how emotional my father is, and refuses to acknowledge my presence at home, I still love him dearly. All I need from him is to support what I'm doing, even when he doesn't like it, cause for the first time in my life, I'm doing something that I like. I just want you to be happy to see me happy, not condemn every single shit I do.