You know 28 years ago, just days before Bapak passed away, he spent a couple of days in KL visiting his eldest brother who was going for Haj that year (1984).
He was naturally excited attending the doa selamat hosted by his brother in Ampang Jaya. He knew he could not afford to go to Makkah himself - not in his lifetime, anyway. He knew that; that's for sure. So that thanksgiving feast was perhaps the closest he would ever get to going there for Haj himself. I am sure he had been to many thanksgiving feasts given by those heading for Haj, but this one was different.
This was for his own big brother, his own flesh and blood; while he was not going himself, he was right in the middle of of the celebratory mood, and excitement generated by the Haj.
In all his excitement, during the days he was in KL, he didn't take his blood pressure medications. That is what we were told later.
So when he had to walk the 2.2 km journey from Taiping train station that fateful evening of 12 Aug 1984, after arriving back from Kuala Lumpur, something had to give the next day. He had a hypertensive attack that dawn, and he passed away in the afternoon on the 13 Aug 2012.
When I returned home from Melbourne, I managed to see his bro (my uncle Pak Long) on 15 Aug 2012, before taking the bus home to Taiping. Obviously with tears in his eyes, he would relate me the story of how bapak was so excited when he was in KL, noting that he would not be able to make that journey himself. I don't remember the details of this conversation anymore, nor the conversation I had at the end of the year 1984 when I returned (for the second time that year) other than that point.
I am sure there were stories told by Pak Lang about his haj trip immediately after the death of his own brother.
It is within this context that I told K Sham (at the ICU ward corridor) a day before Mak's eventual demise that her trip for Haj this year had its parallelism with that of Pak Long and bapak. Days before his eldest brother flew to Makkah, bapak passed away; twenty eight years later, days before her eldest daughter went for her haj, Mak passed away.
In my sister's case, three days later, to be precise (Mak passed away on the 16 Sept 2012, while she flew out to Makkah on 19 Sept 2012).
In a sense, I am not sure if there was anything to make from this two parallelism in our lives. I am not sure if it would be advantageous for the dead, if a close relative were to be in Makkah for haj, immediately after their death. Perhaps there was none. Perhaps there was. I don't know.
But I am sure the both of them would have benefited from having his eldest bro, and eldest daughter performing one of the pillars of Islam - the Haj. Being at the two holiest cities of Islam, and being a traveler (musafir), one can only think positively of one's ability to reach out to Him.
I am sure they would have had their prayers heard at Masjid Nabawi and right in front of the Kaaba. One can't get to holier sites than these two.
Last night, I went to greet the two hujjaj coming back from Mekah at the KLIA. I have not had the opportunity to talk at length with my sis and brother-in-law as yet. I am not sure if she had any story to tell of Mak (or bapak) during the past 1 1/2 months she was in Makkah/Madinah, and I can't wait for all kind of stories one would get from our hujjaj.
|KLIA 3 Nov 2012 at 2315 hours|
Especially that of Mak.