Happy 48th Birthday Me

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Today marks the 48th year when a young woman with all her strength and might pushed as hard as she could during labour and successfully gave birth to a healthy baby boy. “Of all my children, you were the most difficult to deliver,” she once told me.

Apparently, she experienced a few hours of excruciating cramps and intense stabbing sensations, among other agonising encounters. Just hearing this makes me want to faint and I’m so sorry Mak that you had to go through the painful ordeal just to give life to me. And, as a baby she said I was the most challenging to care for as I was very fragile and delicate. Wait, is that why I am dainty now.

Jokes aside, I’m tough as nails on the inside thanks to you for always being there for me, inspiring me like no one else can and pushing me to be the very best. I’ll never know what it’s like to carry someone for 9 months but I do know that despite the constant backaches, sleepless nights, cramps and swollen feet, no one heard a single complain from you.

Mak took great care of me, sometimes even forgetting to take care of her own self. That’s how much she loved me when I was younger and she still showers me with all her love and spoils me silly even now.

That’s my mother, Hajjah Che Norian Mohd Din. I love her with all my heart and no matter how much I tell her that I love her, I will always love her more than that. Only my Mak could love me for me. I am thankful for all her love and care, patience, support and most of all her never-ending doa for me. For some of you who are aware of my life story you would know that I wasn’t really an exemplary son. I was difficult, playful, reckless and most of the time I made bad choices as being young and carefree (read: irresponsible), I wanted to do what my heart desired without a care in the world. I’m sorry Mak for making you mad, sad and worried. I think I would have been lost and out of control had you not lose hope and prayed for me incessantly. In fact, some of my acquaintances never fail to remind me that it was your doa that kept me away from going astray.

Although she didn’t quite understand me, Mak still puts up with all my crazy. You were very patient with me and tolerated all of my nonsense and foolishness. I remember after returning from our first Umrah trip back in 2012, she told me how happy she was to have her “son” back. I cried buckets as she poured her heart out to me. I felt so bad and guilty for letting her down all those years all because of my selfishness and stupidity to follow my heart and ignoring the consequences.

During my recent Umrah trip, I felt a supreme sense of calmness and serenity that was extraordinarily unusual when I was doing the tawaf ritual. I felt as if the Almighty was speaking to me. The meaning of the doa tawaf was instantly clear in my mind and I suddenly had goosebumps. My eyes welled up as I recalled all the things that I had done wrong and I was engulfed by a wave of fear and regret, feeling small and insignificant in the eyes of the Almighty.

“Ya Allah! Ya Tuhanku, sesungguhnya aku berlindung denganMu daripada kejahatan ragu-ragu (syak), syirik, permusuhan, munafik, perangai yang jahat, pandangan yang buruk dan dari perubahan yang tidak baik sama ada terhadap harta, isteri dan anak-anak.” I called my mum right after completing my 7th tawaf and asked her: “Mak, mak ralat tak ada anak macam saya?”, “Pernah tak sekali Mak rasa Mak menyesal ada anak macam saya?” (Do you feel disheartened for having a child like me?, Have you ever felt regret for having me?) She paused for a long time before replying: “Mak redha pada engkau….” (I accept you wholeheartedly.)

Her simple yet profound answer gave me the relief and assurance that I have done well in carrying out my duty as a son and I want to continue to make her happy for as long as I can in this life and the hereafter. Alhamdulillah, today I turn 48 and I get to celebrate my special day with you Mak. I am extremely lucky to be your son and I feel so blessed to have you as my mother. Mak, you are my miracle.

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