Wednesday, March 07, 2012

how did he make do?

While in the car on the way back from the bus terminal last night, me and the aunt started talking about the 'wang bantuan' BR1M. Conversation went on to pension earned by the older people and finally how much my step-grandma was getting every month. She gets RM340 a month, and this is from my late grandfather. I asked her how come they never increase the amount with all the periodic increments. This was when she told me that it has indeed been increased multiple times. My Tok Nana started of with a pension of RM140 at full retirement! His last drawn pay must have been less than RM300!

Memories of him flashes through my mind, the honest-straight-by-the-book and yet generous man that always welcome us  grandchildren into the house with a table laden with foods. Of the occasional gifts he got me and my mom. One that especially stuck to my mind was this lovely piece of cloth that he got my mom that she made into a dress for me. It was in shades of grey with patterns of feathers all over. That was the beginning of my love affair with 'old people' dull color as my mom put it. 

But the million dollar question is... how could he afford it all? Putting my aunts through college and saving enough to perform the haj? Making sure no one goes to bed hungry at night (perhaps everyone but him?)and there's always a feast for all of us every Eid. 

The more I think about it, the more it makes the waterwork flows, imagining the sacrifices he made over the years, it's almost impossible to this 'spoiled' state of mind of mine. And yet he did it. 

Yes, I admit he led a simple live, but still, how did he do it? How did he made do and yet live happily sated?

Alfatihah to my Tok Nana. I miss you greatly.
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