A Long Journey ~ Part 9 (Finale)


A Long Journey

By: Zaharah Nawawi

Translated by: Firuz Akhtar Mohamad Bohari

ALJ9

“Before you go, have a look at your body first, Rugayah.” The first voice was asking her to witness her body for the final time.

From her power, Rugayah followed the order. She saw her body on the stretcher, surrounded by the nurses and doctor, with their sad and disappointed faces. However, they were still trying hard to stabilize her breathing, while also completing their surgery duty.

Outside the operating room, Rugayah saw her husband performing the hajat[1] prayer. The younger kids were wailing, “Mummy, mummy.” The older child also performed the hajat prayer, asking Allah to save his mummy’s life. Rugayah’s mother was reciting prayers, while crying and hugging her grandchildren. Rugayah’s stuffed bag, which was full of the baby’s things, was thrown in front of the door. Mother told Sham, who had just finished praying, to throw away the bag.

“I told you not to make early preparations for the baby. You both were stubborn,” Mother cried sorrowfully. Sham took the bag and put it outside. Then, he recited the Yasin.[2]

Rugayah’s heart was grieving. When the grief urged her to stay with her children, mother, and husband who firmly loved her, Rugayah felt her soul rise like a light’s journey to the sky, so weightless and so fast. However, Rugayah still loved her baby and her children, and her mother and her husband. She did not want to leave them.

“Ya Allah, My Almighty God. Please give me another chance to live again. You also know, Ya Allah, that my children are still small. They need my love, caresses, and training as their biological mother. Give me a chance to have your trust to educate my children to be pious persons. My good practices are still not sufficient. My devotion is still weak. Ya Allah, give me another chance so that I can devote myself to you as fully as possible. My mother still has a false belief.” Rugayah said her prayers during the amazingly speedy journey.

Before arriving at her unknown destination, Rugayah suddenly felt that her journey to the sky had been halted, and as quickly as she flew up, down she plunged at full speed.

The weak voice of Doctor Ee, who called for Sham to meet him at the desk, was like an early message that Sham could predict.

“We have tried our best, Mr. Sham.”

“I understand, Doctor. Allah loves her more.” Calmly, Sham accepted Allah’s fate with willingness. “Can I manage my wife’s corpse now, Doctor?”

“Not yet. Wait another hour. After an hour, I will release a death certificate. Then, you can manage it from there, Mr. Sham.”

An hour was not a short time for those who were waiting, although it was not a long time for those who were busy.

During the waiting period, Sham recited the Quran and prayed for Allah to bless his wife’s soul. His mother-in-law and children did the same. Tears became heavier once the news of her death was announced.

Rugayah felt fingers touching her cheeks. “Rugayah. Rugayah. Rugayah.” Her name was called several times. Rugayah was startled. Slowly, she opened her eyes, which had been closed for a long time. Through her blurred and gloomy sight, Rugayah saw Doctor Ee and Nurse Ji, standing to her right and left.

The dark, damp, long, and narrow tunnel was gone. An ocean of light flowed prosperously in to her new world.

“Mother.” Rugayah called, looking around.

“Call her mother inside,” Doctor Ee ordered. Nurse El immediately obeyed, quickly rushing through the half-open door.

Mother, Sham, and the children entered with red and wet eyes, but joy conquered their feelings.

“Mother, don’t throw away my bag.”

Mother was surprised. She was puzzled. She whispered in her heart: How did Gai know that I asked Sham to throw away the bag?

Sham immediately went out. He entered again with the blue bag in his hands.

Mother, who had really despised the bag from the beginning, started to accept reality. The narrow, dark, and rotten tunnel that had imprisoned her mind for so long finally shattered into pieces.

“I’m now back from a very long journey.” Rugayah smiled, despite her fatigue.

[1] One of the optional prayers that is performed to make a special request of God.

[2] One of the suras in the Quran.