Nenek Khadijah

It was 14th June 2015. Sunday morning while we were still all cozy tucked up in bed, in this Malay village, Janda Baik, Nenek Khadijah was sitting on her wheelchair right by the front door for the whole morning with her son Pak Jamil, looking forward for the Global Peace Volunteers to visit them.

The noise from the car getting closer and closer to Nenek’s place, they could see Nenek waiting. As the volunteers stepped out from the car, Nenek Khadijah showed this big smile on her face. The warm welcome from Nenek made the volunteers felt like home. With one leg paralyzed, Nenek never requested to have all the attention from the world, instead to Nenek, she has no different from the others. For us however, Nenek is braver and kinder than anyone of us.

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“Ada biskut dan teh di atas meja, pergilah makan.’’

What Nenek meant was that there are biscuits and tea on the table, and she asked us to help ourselves to the food and drink. Nenek kept asking us, the volunteers to eat and drink again and again since we arrived. Meanwhile Nenek was trying to turn on the lights and television by herself. It’s nice to see how she always put others before herself. Nenek helped us understand that we shall always behave well and be good to others. She kept reminding us of this every now and then.

“Selalu percaya bahawa ada alam kehidupan lain yang menanti, awak layak untuk kehidupan yang lebih baik lepas ini.”

To Nenek, our life would not just end here, but there is always another life waiting. She explained that we have to make sure that we deserve to have a better life in our afterlife by being a good person now in the current life. She also mentioned about how we should always treat other people well and not talk bad about others at all cost.

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We then brought Nenek out to the local Mamak restaurant nearby. The way to the restaurant was not that long but for Nenek, this was not quite easy. It is not always that she can come out due to living her life on a wheelchair with her son taking care of her. The son on the other hand is not quite physically and mentally well himself.

There are just the two of them- Nenek Khadijah and Pak Jamil looking after each other, struggling for their life. The fact is however, Nenek has more than one child. The other child would only come to visit her once in a month to bring her money. Nenek is very proud of her child. “… my son is a police.” To this old grandmother, family means everything to her even though to our assumption is that her child might not feel the same way as her.

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This was the first time I came with my group mates to visit Nenek, yet Nenek was so happy that people come to visit her. Sometimes people just need to feel the care and love from others instead of money or any other form of worldly pleasures.

Do you remember when was the last time you had a deep chat with your parents and your grandparents? Love is simple, is unconditional and it is never about money or burden. What are you waiting for? Make a call to your parents right now.

Written by Amy Tam Man Wai.