Friday, 4 May 2007

Happy Belated Birthday Umi!



My *Umi and me...



Oh Dear...Two weeks of holidays and I have gained weight...My face is always the one thing which gives me away...Mum has been painstakingly feeding me because she says I eat 'rubbish' when I am away from home...And if I don't clear my plate properly, she gets upset, and dad keeps saying, "It's ok, you're not fat. Don't eat so little"...But then again, I could eat a cow, and he would still say I'm eating too little...


Anyway, I digress...


My Umi (Sharifah Nor) recently celebrated her 50th birthday. I was away in college, so I could only manage a short 'Happy Birthday!' over the phone...

When I came home, my family and I went over to her place to celebrate a belated one for her...She sure didn't expect it; She just thought we were going over as usual so I could kacau her at her place...=)



Umi's family and my family are very close...In fact, she often introduces me as her, ahem, menantu (yes, daughter-in-law) or to people we are not so familiar with, as her daughter...

I used to have frequent bouts of serious tonsillitis, and spent quite a while in the hospital being hooked to the IV-line when they got too bad, and Umi and her husband, Tuan Syed (who is blind) never failed to come visit...And even when I was drenched in sweat from the fever (and stinking, I might add!), she would always give me her famous French-kisses on both cheeks and hug me till I lose my breath!



When Umi had surgery to repair some damage to her organs, I will return the favour...I remember tiptoeing into her room in the wee hours of the morning to keep her company while she complained she couldn't go to the loo and grumbled about the "horrible hospital food"...And if the nurses gave her one look, she'll quell all 'menyibuk' questions with a stern: "Anak I"...





From left: My darling mum, brother Nick, Umi, Pakcik (Tuan Syed), and me enjoying tea (from this angle, her birthday cake which took eternity to eat (so much!) seems barely visible!)...My dad's taking the picture...




My family will sibuk beraya every Hari Raya with Umi and her family...Hmmm...They're the ones who has fasted for a month, and I'm the one who is sibuk with all the rendang and cookies...

Come Chinese New Year, they will in turn sibuk with us, sharing red packets and oranges and peanuts...

We're (me, mum and Umi) always the odd threesome: Blowing kisses out of cars like a bunch of high-school kids, hugging each other when we see each other after a long time, teasing each other...


Dear Umi: Have a wonderful Happy Belated 50th Birthday! I'm so grateful to have you in my life...




*Note: 'Umi' means 'mother' in (I believe) Arabic.

12 comments:

Lady Patsy said...

Hi Daphne,

Sharings like this is a true reflection of how Malaysians should interact with one another - regardless of race or religion. You can certainly become a role model for youngsters out there. Way to go girl!

Kak Teh said...

daphne,
when i went home recently, i was discussing with my childhood friends, chinese,indians and malay,where did it allgo- all those times when chinese indians malays all live like brothers and sisters. We certainly did. And this story certainly now made me believe that that spirit is still there - thank God.Also,this story reminds me of my relationship with Aunty Lucy,Uncle Boey and Freda - i stayed with aunty lucy during my stint in Penang - waited for gire when she prayed in her temple,enjoyed evenings out with them,like a part of their family.
no question of race or religion. we were like family.

Pi Bani said...

Daphne... any chances of REALLY becoming her... ahem... menantu? ;)

J.T. said...

Daphne, lovely sharing about the Malaysia I remember. No boundaries about race or religion. We are all one. I miss that.
As Lady Patsy said you can certainly become a role model for youngsters out there.
Just love this story.

Daphne Ling said...

Lady Patsy, thanks for visiting. I've heard so much about you from JT...=)

You know, Kak Teh, I believe that the one way we can all 'continue' this camaraderie between the races is if we all change our mindset. If we see each other as human beings, than race no longer becomes an issue, no? Mixing with one another is one of the greatest lessons we can learn in life: To appreciate each other but still respect each other's culture (Like my mum and I cover our heads if we go for a Malay funeral) and beliefs...

Kak Pi: Aiyo, her son is in UK doing his degree in Medicine, and I have barely said 20 lines to him since we met and him spending 5 years in UK doesnt help us to build a friendship! So no...; )

Arif a.k.a Idham said...

hai Daphne...:) so heart warming to read...
my best friend in malaysia is one called Keng Hooi - i was honoured to drive his car for his wedding, and we never miss visiting each others home for teh smallest excuse we have.
my wife is his wife good friend and his dad just love to massage my shoulder whenever i visit.

so proud to be malaysian whenever i hear stories like this one.

arif

jimi said...

Daphne, rasa sebak dan terharu pabila membaca entri ini. Tentu Daphnee, bangga mempunyai dua ibu yang saling menyayangi.

U.Lee said...

Hi Daphne, nice heart warming post. The world could do with more people like you.
Lead the way, Daphne. UL.

Julian Teoh said...

Daphne,
I found your blog while visiting the ones you wrote about in the papers. What it funny is that I like yours more than the other four blogs you wrote about!
It is because of relationships like this that Malaysia can become better. You are an exellent example of someone who has learned and is living the leesson many have not learned and that is that we are all equals no matter our race.
I'm proud to have met someone like you. It is clear you really believe in this and is not just for show. I can say this because you have gone all out to help someone like Siti Aisyah and that is really special. Take care dear.

Julian

sanjeev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sanjeev said...

Dear Daphne,

For someone who is young and matured for your age , you sure been blessed with a beautiful heart and soul. It's so hard to find people like you nowadays. Your parents must be so proud of you and having you as a child is every parents dream - that is to me.
Btw, I was one of them who called you regarding about this beautiful child 'siti aisyah'and how to go about banking in the money. I felt so overwhelmed after reading about her. I decided together with my collegues help to go around collect some fund. Not much though, really feel sad about it. It never ceaze to amaze me , people would spends hundreds of dollars for themselves but a small donation for a child is so hard to contribute. I can only ask 'why'.What you've done for this child is simply amazing and sincerely you're deserve to be in my wall of fame.
God bless.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Sanjeev,

Sorry for the late reply. Thank you for the very wonderful words...they mean a lot to me =)

With regards to what you were saying about your experience with fundraising, I guess one motto I always remember is that we cannot expect everyone to feel the way we do, and act the way we do...

I remember one lady once told me: Daphne, if you expect everyone to have the same work ethics as you, you'd be very discouraged and be very heartbroken...

So yeah, just because we want to help Aisya, and because we feel deeply for her, doesn't mean everyone else will...

But at the end of the day, it's us and our Creator...Wasn't 'us' and 'them' anyway, huh?

Oh, and thanks for being part of the Siti Aisya campaign...The family is most thankful...