Saturday, May 2, 2009


Like every Saturday, my grandma dropped by this morning to write things on my notebook. Remember my grandma?

Yep that's her.

Over the years, I think my relationship with my grandma is the most fulfilling relationship I have with someone, in terms of me as an observer of life. I've watched my life and hers, developing from time to time.
I remember when I was in second grade, I was living in a rented house because mine was being renovated. That way my grandma had to go back and forth to visit me. She visited every other weekend. During that period of time, we had the worst relationship. I hated her guts. She nagged me about stupid little things all the time. About table manners, about my homework, the way I sleep, the way I talk. Yada yada yada. As a revenge, sometimes I break her things "unintentionally". And believe it or not, I even stole money from her. Not really to make her drop poor, but just to make a point. I never use the money I stole anyway. I sure saw that everytime she spent the weekend in our rented house, she was miserable yet she always managed to come back every so often. Until that day, when she caught me groping inside her purse. She sat me down and talked very softly :
"If you want to buy something you should just ask me, you know. I'll even take you to the place they sell it."
And just that. She didn't judge me, she didn't tell my parents about it, and after I told her the reason I did it she's stopped nagging me around. Our relationship turned upside down. I began to respect her, vice versa. The remaining weekend visits became more bearable.

In junior high, my passion to learn foreign language is in its highest place. I asked her to teach me, since she knew how to speak in, like, 6 six languages (Bahasa, Javanese, Francais, Deutsch, Dutch, English). She gratefully did so. Until I ruined it. I missed one or two sessions, then it grows to three, five, ten and finally I decided to stop the course. At the moment I didn't think I was doing anything to her. After all, she claimed she was ok with it.

Growing up, I became more and more observant of things around me. And the life of my grandmother turned out to be the most interesting subject for my observation. What I found out, age, the older you get, the simpler the things you want. Now you want a happy life, you want to pursue your dreams, a great husband (or wife, for that matter), save money for your future. When you're 90, all you want is a piece of "mendoan". Or to ride "kancil", or some medicine to ease your arthritis.

But Eyang, my. She still wants to learn how to type with my macbook, copying articles from The Jakarta Post she finds interesting. She still talks about Barrack Obama and truly understands the politics. She watches Friends. She's watched Kung Fu Panda, The Da Vinci Code and Golden Compass. Stepping into her bedroom, is like stepping into her heart. She's so proud of her children she put their photos everywhere on her wall. She has a photo album of her 90th birthday in which she insisted to have a photo of all of her grandchildren together. And there hung, a portrait of herself when she was 20 and I can say, she's still that vibrant, beautiful superwoman she was then. Sometimes I walked in on her, she was just lying on her back, silently gazing to the ceiling, exhaustion in her eyes. And my mind always wanders back to my second grade and my junior high school.

It's sad. She still has so many things to say, but so few of us would really listen. I just feel it must be lonely to be someone that old when everybody else is moving on but her pace is really slowing down. Her heart still have some room to understand the way things work beyond her time, but her body seems to be betraying her. I wish my body could contain such spirit--her spirit--someday, and carry on living hundreds of years, take her to see the world change.

Someday, I want the world to know about Eyang's life, everything she wants to share to our generation, and how she has touched my life.


restiii said...

i LOVE the way u describe it. every line counts, and that really matters. beautiful.

marissa j.bird said...

GO EYANG! YAY! hahaha :D aku inget dulu aku dicakar cingki sampe nangis2 di rumah sementara itu. ih haha.