Monday, August 31, 2020

A Letter to My Daughter (Surat untuk Anakku (4))

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

My dearest daughter who is still in the heaven,

How are things there? 

Everything is much better there than here on Earth, I supposed…

Ibu* knows you must be mad because you have been waiting for my letter (“Ibu, I want ONE letter every two years is that too much to ask for?” — Yes, yes I can hear you would say that), but still I had a wish that I don’t need to write you a letter, so I waited until the last day of August…

…and as I — we — only have four months left in this year, we can be sure that we will not meet this year. 

When someone broke Ibu’ heart early last year, Aunty Kiki wondering, “On your wedding day, I will tell it to your husband’ face: “Where have you been? Prima has been waiting for you along her life.”” But I told her, even myself has no clue who he is, where he is right now, and what he is doing until it takes him so much time to pick me up.

Oh, Allah must have whispered to you his name? Can you whisper it to Ibu as well? I promise we will keep it as our secret until the day is coming. ;)

My lovely daughter, the reason I still wake up in the morning and do the things I am doing…

Two years have passed since my last letter, thus I have sent you three letters, and some days are truly hard. 

Ibu wouldn’t lie that sometimes Ibu feels like we will not meet at all. I know my time is limited to have you. I thought I will have you when I was… 24 years old? And this year I will be 32… but I don’t want to give up. Yet. 

You might see me hitting the rock bottom last year, but eventually I rise up, and you might also see… I turned the table in just five months. 

When the world seems like stopped because of the deadly virus called Corona, Ibu signed deals with some parties for Ibu’ second book; started the writing consultancy services with two clients: an exciting book project about traveling, and one of the Fast Company’ Most Innovative Companies 2020; also planning three social projects; all while maintaining performance at the office. On some nights, Ibu cried because Ibu is so exhausted — but in the next morning, Ibu wakes up too early because Ibu is very excited to start the day. 

Yes, you gotta be ready that you will inherit this endless energy from Ibu. :))

However, in the other nights when Ibu has ticked some boxed in the daily to-do list, Ibu also experiences a severe loneliness. Ibu wants to share the bad and good news, the annoying and silly stories, the failures and achievements… but who will listen? 

You know Ibu has stopped talking with Nenek*, and everytime Ibu calls Kakek*, Ibu wants him to think Ibu is all fine. One short sentence said in a sad tone, in these challenging times, can make him worry too much and Ibu doesn’t want that.

And you know since Aunty Rizka passed away in February, Ibu only has Aunty Fanny, Aunty Sheila, and Aunty Fira who are busy with their kids… Surely they will be ready to be called whenever Ibu needs them, but Ibu just doesn’t want to disturb them…

The other Aunties? Ibu is sure they also have their own life challenges… Duh, you cannot imagine how awful life is currently. Even your biological aunty lost her job although she was one of the brightest employee. 

So in the night of 17 August, after Aunty Ety came to Ibu’ place and shared her happy news, Ibu sobbed. Ibu asked Allah, “Will I ever get married? If yes, what kind of a man he is? Can I ‘order’ some specific requirements? But, do I deserve to get this wonderful man? If I would not get married as ever, what sins have I performed that makes You bring this man further from me?”

The answer came in Surah Luqman (31: 22), “And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good - then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of [all] matters.”

After that day, I “let you go”.

I surrendered. 

If Allah still has a will to bring you to me, He will ease the way. 

If… not, He knows best. 

He knows best. 

He knows best. 

For you. For Ibu. For your father, if he will — or will not — show up. 

My beautiful daughter, 

Usually, it was when Ibu surrendered completely, Ibu gets what Ibu wants the most. 

It was when Ibu became grateful that something did not happen as Ibu wishes, Ibu became happiest. 

So if this is the only way for us to meet on Earth, Ibu wholeheartedly trusts in Allah. 

One day, we will look at each other and all the tears Ibu shedded, will turned into joyful tears. 

Sleep tight, My Baby. 

Now Ibu has to study for the test of governmental employee selection (Ibu will tell you about this soon!).

Hug tight and a gazillion of kisses,



Ibu = Mommy

Nenek = Grandma

Kakek = Grandpa

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