…strength of mind can be stronger than you think

Through Nenek’s eyes

Posted by nuruliman45 on June 23, 2008

A few years back, looking at Nenek’s eyes, I would plainly see tiredness and age….

I was wrong.

Now I’ve come to realize the real meaning behind Nenek’s eyes: REAL FORTITUDE. I was too ignorant then to want to look beyond what lay behind her present life routine; too ignorant to see that Nenek had gone through SO much. Sure. I knew the basic history of her life; Nenek would tell me bits and pieces of her history now and then. But, unfortunately, I had never really put much thought into it all.

Spending time with her lately (taking advantage of semester break) had much revealed to me about her life. I took advantage of the time being with her – just the two of us – to strengthen our bond as Grandma and granddaughter. I’d listen with innate curiosity as she opened her ‘life book’ to me.

Everything seemed fresh in Nenek’s memory as she could narrate the events in her life in much detail. Little by little did Nenek describe to me… She told me of how she was obligated to take her older sister’s place in marriage, at 12 years old, after her sister had past away – revealing that she did so as to fulfill her parents’ (my great-grandparents) request. Nenek grinned as she recalled back how she only thought of schooling at that time and was all of a sudden obligated to get married.

I tried to imagine how it was like for Nenek to wake up at 3.00 every morning along with my late Tok Ayah, heading for the rubber plantation…doing so was to make sure that my Mum and my aunts and uncles then were able to go to school.. or how Nenek had to take care of late Tok Ayah when he was ill for two years, then watched him go. After late Tok Ayah past away, she took care of my late great-grandma as she couldn’t things herself anymore at that time. Nenek later watched as Great-grandma left her also. I could read the numbness in her face as if it all happened the day before. Uwa..My strong Nenek! How did you overcome it all, Nenek?

At 71, having gone through so much, you’d probably think Nenek’s slowed down living leisurely with her children in the city, right? … nope. That’s not Nenek. She currently lives on her own in her kampung home in which every memorable event took place. How could she leave home, as she still teaches al-Qur’an to school children every afternoon as she has done for the past decades. And you know what, she asks for nothing in return! *sob sob*… her children and grandchildren now comprises of doctors, lecturers, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, you name it.

And to think, it was those fatigued eyes, those worn-out palms which contributed to the change she helped bring today.  Looking at a narrow scope, it may not seem much change to contribute only in the family, in the kampung.  But you know what, without Nenek’s determination and triumph, there would be two less lawyers in Malaysia, a few less educators, and many many less contributors to the society. That is CHANGE to society.


What About Us?

It’s disappointing how our generation today have not proved to be able to contribute as much as generations before have to society. Determination to reach high goals and endurance to go through difficulty and life obstacles isn’t strong among the young generation today if compared to then. If we look at our grandparents or even some of our parents, they were able to fight poverty in developing themselves and their family. They did all this even though amenities and facilities weren’t as splendid then as they are now.

If we look at our generation today, hm! The young generation usually spends their leisure time at malls, endless hours loitering at every corner of the city, at home burning off valuable time in front of the TV; are indolent to keep up with current issues and know what’s going on outside their own realm. The outside world and opportunities available for the young aren’t explored. The young generation today do not take advantage of all this to its fullest!

In an era where almost everything is accessible, much could be done with a young, spirited mind. A highly motivated and knowledgeable young generation is needed. For instance, EDUCATION today is served on a silver platter (for students in universities, colleges, polytechnics, and the like). In a world with no boundaries, KNOWLEDGE is assessable at our fingertips! Adolescents are able to accomplish a great deal of things if determination, high spirit, and perseverance is inculcated within themselves.

Let’s reach for the sky, cuz only the sky’s our limit!!!

Gambette! 🙂


…. I want to be strong like Nenek 🙂


6 Responses to “Through Nenek’s eyes”

  1. T_T

  2. This is really “not only meets the eye”. Mok’s (mok = the way i call ur nenek) eye sangat mensayukan ata memandang.

    Last raya (raya that you spent with ur little sister at hospital), there was big family gathering, speeches from the olders – ayah lah, my ayah, ayah chik, my big bro (he is the oldest grandson of haji harun’s family). it was soooo nostalgic. old stories. tears. hopes. prayers.

    i have the videos and pics. but not for the whole session.

    u make me cry

  3. ain =) said

    kak iman…
    ain bc nenek eye (mata mok)
    kak iman
    sdh la…T_T
    wlaupn ain dh th ksh idp mok dr ma(cik wa)
    tp ain bc wak k.iman tls
    trs msk dlm ati..
    kak iman klu ada brite br..
    cmmt ain d fs deh..
    ain nk bc…

  4. To Awan… hrm, ur a grandchild of my Nenek too, huh 🙂

    if reading this makes u cry, try hearing it urself from Nenek. Ur eyes would be flooding in front of her.

    That’s life, we can take her life as a benchmark for us.


    To Ain… Hey! another grandchild of Nenek.huhu…tu la Ain, bnyak lagi kena tau pasal Nenek (Mok) sebenarnya… ada yang kak iman baru tau. Meh kita jadikan kisah idup Nenek sbg pedoman. Hargai Nenek while Nenek masih ada dgn kita…

  5. Ain? hmm…

  6. […] 1.  Through Nenek’s Eyes […]

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