Monday, June 08, 2009

Of Being a Friend

Friendship requires maintenance. I think it does.

By maintenance, I don’t exactly mean, you have to go call each other every day or see each other every weekend. We all have our own lives to lead and may not exactly have the opportunity to spare that much time for anyone in particular. In my case, I am lucky if I get to sit down with my kids after a Maghrib together to teach them the Muqaddam. That happens very very rarely. See? Barely have time for my own kids. For friends? Worse. I have been robbed of of time.

Not daily maintenance. There’s Facebook for maintenance of friendship and that’s better than nothing.

More than 10 years ago, when I was still single, most of my friends (ex-schoolmate) were single too, or at least they were newly weds, we met quite often. We would hang out at Pokka of Sogo after office. Had dinner together almost once a week. That was fun. Lambok, a friend would bring his newly wedded wife, Fida. We got along very easily, she was as fun as Lambok was funny. They were both working at Public Bank in KL. Soon, they moved to Seremban. One by one, my friends got married and we got busier with our lives. Kids started to arrive and we got even more busier. Pokka closed too. I called this group of friends maybe once or twice in the last ten years. Too busy to maintain the friendship. Not even a single sms of Selamat Hari Raya or the sort. Nothing.

About a month ago, news reached me that Fida has brain tumor. Advanced stage. Scheduled for operation on 17 June.

Some other friend gave me Lambok's number. I called him and he gave me Fida’s number. But I was too chicken to call her. I didn’t know what to say to her and so I only send her text messages, once after a few days, just checking on her.

This morning though, Lambok called me. Said, Fida has been transferred to the ICU. As much as I dreaded going to the hospital, I couldn’t stay being a chicken this time. She was the one sick, but I was the one scared.

I went with Yamtuan. Hating the smell and sight of the hospital every step of the way. I hated what hospitals reminded me of. I clutched Yamtuan’s hand tightly and let him lead the way. When I finally stood in front of Fida’s bed, I couldn’t even recognise her. But then, that shouldn’t surprise me because I haven’t seen her in 10 years. She couldn’t exactly see me though; her eyes couldn’t be stilled so she couldn’t focus. She was too tired and in pain. When she wanted to vomit, I looked away, but Yamtuan asked me to go help rub her back. I did. And that made me feel better somewhat, knowing that I could help her, even in that little way. And I stopped being afraid of her. Despite the ten years of vacuum, despite not being able to recognise that person lying sick in bed, she was still Fida, my friend.

I stayed with her for a while, helped her when she vomited again, sponge-wash her a bit, tie her hair up tight, all the while hoping that I would be forgiven for being too wrapped up in my own little world.

I haven’t been much of a friend. Not just of Fida’s, but all my other friends too.

I will try to be better.

And whoever reads this, please do join me in the doa that Fida will be better again soon.


Blogger Ina said...

Salam OOD,

I pray that your friend will get better soon. It's not easy seeing our loved ones in pain, so I hope you'll be strong too...

10:22 AM  
Blogger ligo said...


sedih ye, dah lama tak jumpa dan bila bertemu, sakit.

dont be too hard on yourself for not keeping in touch

moga Fida tabah dalam ujian dariNya

5:58 PM  
Anonymous en_me said...

salamm akak itteww.. moga selamat semuanyerr..

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fida had my prayer and you too received th prayer for well-being of everyone close to you.

As ur boss wannabe, I hv to compliment ur effort. Though its a personal value, you will one day implement the CSR.

I am trying not to reveal my true colour before u will be able to recognise who is ur boss wannabe.

But the reason me being here could be understated as maintenance of a relationship. Boss can be buddies.

I am may be him or I am not him. Good if u can make a guess, and it will be better if we retain boss wannabe relationship. At least u will more berhati hati di jalan raya. Berbudi bahasa amalan kita.

Selamat maju jaya dan selamat dunia akhirat.


7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Semoga Allah membalas segala kebaikanmu di dunia ini, Mayo. (hugs). **Che Tool.**

6:01 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

hey oody - my prayers for your friend. You've done such a great job helping her out too judging from what I've been seeing on FB. and hey - you are a good friend!! Mine, at least - although we are really bad at meeting up! Bilo laie niii? ese dah dapek bonus ni! (tapi tak naik your car yang pintu dah nak tercabut tu k!) hehe!

10:42 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

Dear Ina,
the operation went successfully so i was told by her doctor. Thanks for the doa!

yes, funny thing is when i left school at 17, my mother warned me that it would happen. I just left boarding school and everyday i would receive at least 20 letters from friends. You grow up you grow apart, she said. And one day, the only news of your ex-schoolmate friends that reach you will be news of their death. bad news travel faster than good news.

Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for the doa.

she's okay now. Bald. Tumor removed, said to be the size of tennis ball, age estimated to be at least 10 years, and it is benign. Alhamdulillah.

thanks for the niat to keep me on my toes. But havent i always behave well here?
I think CSR is overrated. Companies gotta do more than just doing it for the sake of doing it. But hey what do i know, i havent been doing much for her. Just visits at the hospital. Buying her some lipgloss and mouth wouldnt exactly qualify as CSR, no?
Many many thanks for the doas..

che tool,
amin. tapi bukan buat apa pon!

we really must try harder. The door to my bumpetr car isnt the problem, babe! hehehe.. one day, i will get me a proper car okay?
In the meantime, we should meet. Bonus masuk? makan besar makan besar! carlos? Bodega boleka?

8:28 AM  

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