Tribute to Kak Za

Posted by mae on Sunday Apr 15, 2012 Under General

“Why is Za so special to us? She cooked well, she was fast, she was  smart, she taught all my kids to read and write, and also taught them to read the Al-Quran! But most important of all, she just loved and adored the children” – Mama

My childhood, as far as I’m concerned, was kinda great. I do remember how small and cramped the terraced house was for the whole family, the eight of us. And for some time before I really woke up into life, there was this lady who helped my mum with all the housework, the chores, the meals, the laundry, and obviously all of us, as Nubleh once put it, six little bumbling kids.

Her name is Kak Za. Well, that’s what we call her. In fact, I have never known her real name. That, or I’ve just simply forgotten. The former, perhaps. “Kak Za” is short, sweet and loving enough for her. 😀

She was our domestic helper or maid, and much more than that. She was a part of us, of the family. Honestly, being so young back then, I can’t remember much about her, especially not in detail, of all the things she did for us and all that we’ve done together – heck I can barely remember my childhood. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, you know. I’m not even sure how long she stayed with us, from when until when I have no idea. Maybe she left just before the new millennium. What a pity, not being able to remember those sweet memories. But what I know is that she meant (and still means!) a lot to each and everyone of us.

And for that I was rather teary-eyed when I saw her pic with NiBokYi (an abbreviation of the three eldest kids who, plus Kona, were visiting her in Kelantan) on Facebook yesterday. She looked weak and frail, and terminally ill from cancer, she apparently doesn’t have much time left. Now I’m wondering whether I will ever see her again in or not. The last time I met her was several months ago (I think) during which she stayed at our house for a few days. I knew she wasn’t well, but I’d never thought it would come to this. How ignorant of me. 🙁

In my whole life so far I’ve never really experienced the loss of someone dear to us. Not as dear as Kak Za that is. A spoilt child, yeah? The very thought of it was what made me teary, sad. But that’s life of course. It’s just a matter of time – sooner or later.

I’m pretty sure she was delighted and proud to know just how well all of us have been coping with life since the day she left us. Appropriately, I just want everyone to know how great of a person she is, and more than a way, an inspiration. A truly fantastic woman.

Let’s hope her departure will be smooth and as painless as possible. Thanks for everything, Kak Za!

She was there the moment I actually discovered the nice smell of cooked rice! 😀

Leave a Reply