I went to visit my Tokmi yesterday. I haven't seen her in a while actually. I really need to make more effort to come and see her because she's getting older and I dont have much time with her left. I'm such a bad granddaughter! I hate myself for that.
My tokmi is my mum's mother. I have a very special bond with her because I am her first granddaughter and I was the only granddaughter for more than 10 years because her next granddaughter (my cousin) only came later. For the longest time, she took care of me because my mum was busy working. I remember I lived with her (instead of with my parents) during weekdays and my parents would only come to pick me up for the weekend because that's the only time they can take care of me. Every Friday night when they come to pick me up, my Tokmi will run to the kitchen and cry. I remember that very clearly. Friday nights were the hardest for her because I was not there. So ya, we are very close. She's the only grandma I know because my dad's mum passed away when he was still a kid and plus, I dont really know my dad's side of the family. So to me, my grandma, my tokmi is the love of my life. (Yet I dont spend enough time with her! Argh. I am so bad!)
Anyway, we always joke amongst our family that I am the "cucu kesayangan". I am proud to claim that title. My cousins live with her now but yet, she still favours me.
Tokmi is a cancer survivor, twice! Beat that. She is 87 years old this year and alhmadulillah she is sihat walafiat. Despite getting cancer twice, she beat both cancer easy. Allah made it easy for her, alhamdulillah. She doesn't have any other illnesses, thank god. Other than that cancer (cervical and skin cancer), she is healthy. But the past few years, due to her old age, she started developing Dementia. For a year or so after she was diagnosed, she couldn't remember information here and there but she could always remember me. Sometimes she can't even remember her roommate (my cousin)'s name but when I come to visit her that random once or twice in a year, she will always remember me. That's why my aunts and cousins will always tease and say I'm her favourite. The last 2 times I came to visit her, she recognise my face but she can't remember my name and that made me really sad. She remembers that I am her granddaughter but she doesn't remember my name. Yesterday was the same if not worse. I was so sad.
The thing that really touched me was although she can't remember me, when she saw me she was so happy. Like her face started to light up and she kept saying thank you for remembering her. I felt so sad because I should be the one to thank her for remembering me. Although she doesn't remember my name, she knows that this person in front of her is someone special to her. I could feel it. I felt special and although talking to her is not the same anymore, I feel happy knowing that I made her happy. She felt so happy while I was there. Yet, each time I ask her if she knows who I am…she will say she dont remember. Sometimes she will say "of course I remember you" but actually she doesn't. Sometimes she will say "You are my cucu" and that's the most I'll get. She doesn't even remember her children's names. She doesn't remember my mum too but she can remember all her siblings. They're all not around anymore and passed away long time ago. When I asked her to name all her children, she gave me all the names of her siblings. Things like that.
Yesterday's conversation with her was different. She kept telling me about how hard it was for her to take care of all her children when her husband passed away. Luckily for her, he had a pension and using that money, she took care of all her young kids and brought them up all by herself. Over and over and over again she kept telling me that I should take care of my kids. Educate them. Give them the best education and just be there for them.
My few hours with Tokmi yesterday was really precious. We kept asking her questions and she kept giving us wrong answers. She's strong that woman, she doesn't want to admit that she doesn't remember anymore so she will throw back the questions to us…. it was quite funny…..
My uncle (my aunt's husband) asked her…..
Uncle: Umi (Tokmi), siapa tu? (Pointing at me)
Tokmi: (Trying to remember my name but really cannot remember)….hmmm…….. umi kenal…… cucu umi lah…..
Uncle: Iya…cucu umi…tapi nama dia siapa???
Tokmi: Nama dia……..awak tanya lah isteri awak!
Uncle: Isteri saya siapa????
Tokmi: Hai….takan lah isteri sendiri pun awak tak tau? Suami apa mcm ni?!
(At this point I was already laughing cuz she said what kind of husband doesn't know his own wife!)
Anyway… I loved my time with Tokmi yesterday. I left feeling happy because God gave me more time with her but at the same time, I feel sad because I know she's not her usual self anymore. I mean, she is..but she's not, you know what I mean. She's healthy and well, alhamdulillah but I know at 87, we dont have much time with her. That makes me really sad. Someday, I might have to live without her. I pray that Allah will continue to protect her. I just want her to have everything easy from now on. Love her with all my heart. She's a blessing in my life.