Because life is a cycle: the repetition of many events yet different people…

Perhaps that is the simplest answer I could give to my aunt when last night we talked on the phone, when she helped my mom packed. Yes, I caught worry and sadness on her voice last night. Since my grandmom passed away years ago, my mom has practically becoming not only the oldest sister but also “mom” to her siblings. The bond between mom and her sisters is very strong, and since we live in the same neighbourhood, they get used to see and interact to each other on daily bases. It was a plus for us their kids, to be nurtured in such a solid, loving and caring environment. We have mothers: mom and her sisters. We have fathers: dad and mom’s in laws. When mom or dad was away, there were aunts and uncles took care of us. We never lack of attention and love, nor that being home alone.

party of four

Now mom is going to move out and stay with my sister in different city. Even though it would be temporarily stay for about 2 months or so, until my dear sister finally managed to get an assistant or baby sitter for our one yo beloved baby niece. Still, it bothers everybody’s mind in our big family. It’s not because my mom and sister are the only one who will move out but more. My dad, he is also going to move out back to his hometown. I remembered once mom said that perhaps they will enjoy their retirement days in dad’s hometown. Dad always accompanies mom from the day they tied the knot, that’s why they think to change the commitment: mom will follow dad to his hometown. I never thought about it seriously not until they told me that they have started pack dad’s belonging, a transition period before they finally retired in the next 2 years. My dad is coming back to his hometown.

Alas, my dad, mom, my sister and her family will depart on the same day, this Sunday! Now, what I have in mind is a picture of our home: gate closed, doors locked, windows locked, dry pond, no phone ringing, no tv turned on, no cars in the garage, no food in the fridge, no mom’s voice singing lullaby for the only granddaughter, no Keiko’s voice saying “No ! NO NO NO!!” everytime she refuses something she doesn’t like (it’s her favorite word right now. yes, she said it in English!). Nobody is home, empty…

Back in time when I was joining the field study program on my last year in the university in Bukittinggi, I lived in a neighbourhood were houses were remained vacant since everybody was working out of the city, far away from their hometown. Empty houses, wild plants were let grown in the terraces, so quiet, only dog barked sometimes. And it’s kinda sad and i dont like it, a bizarre tranquility if i could say.

my cousin, sister and i. in front of our late grandma's house, which is now also an empty nest...

That’s what my aunt feels when she had me on the phone last night. She said “Everything would come as it was, when we were young. Nobody’s home but your grandparents. Only on Idul Fitri would everybody come home, to be together again”. “So, when will you & your cousins come back for Idul Fitri?” she asked me. I said i have scheduled my flight by August the 2nd. “Then Keiko should be home  right before you all coming home, i guess?” she continued. Geez… August is still a few months away and she has started missing us and wanted us to be home altogether. “It will be sad to see your house empty” she sighed.

Had i known how the feeling was for my grandparents when their kids were away for starting their carreer, or pursuing their academic degrees. Had i known the feeling for my great grandmother to let her only daughter following her husband who served in the army to the island she herself never imagined. Had i known how the feeling was for my mom and dad when sometimes, during my childhood, they had to live separately because of the circumstances. Me, mom and my siblings in a city, and my dad and my second younger brother in another city. Had i known the feeling was for my parents when finally their kids one by one leave home…

I’ve been living far away from my parents for almost 9 years. I left home just one week after my graduation. Then for 4 years i lived with my aunt and uncle before i decided to move out and bought my own house. And i’ve also lived far away from my own nest sometimes: Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Rotterdam. But my nest, there is only me inside. So it doesnt really make a big different when i leave it. But when us leaved home, it made our home empty. Our decision to leave home has left our parents an emptyness, an empty nest…

Ask me how to pass day by day alone in my nest, my petite home, i will give you a bunch of great answer. But dont ask me how my parents feel seeing the home they built empty, no kids around, no laughter because of Keiko baby is no longer there. I have no idea how i could help my parents’ feeling on our empty nest, nor that i could help my aunts’ feeling seeing our home, next to her home, empty. Actually, mom and dad have already prepared a new house for us since the big flood hit our home on Ramadhan last year. It is still on the construction process. She said “the new house is more safe. It has more rooms even though they are smaller, but my grandchildren will have the second floor for theirs” well, she only has one grand daughter at this time 🙂 Then another time she said “Why dont you move back to this city ? You could pick one of these houses. It’s up to you and your sister to decide which one is yours and which one is hers”. I told her “No, mom. I have my own home here. Let it be for the grandchildren”. This guilty feeling sometimes crosses my mind. Had i considered to move back to my hometown but it was due to a “failed proposal”. Ahaha.. i cried writing this. Just a bit haha 🙂

A pretty lyric of my favorite song…

“So fake cool image should be over. ‘Cause I long for a feeling of home. Real life, depicted in song. A loving memory. After long, home is a place where I yearn to belong…”

To the home which is now an empty nest will i come back…

Hey, let’s put another bright color on this blueish note, a quotation written by my senior Heri:

Cepat atau lambat, kita pasti akan berpisah dgn anak2 kita. Entah krn kita mati duluan, si anak mesti merantau, dst. Tugas kita sbg orang tua bukan utk menjadi pelindung mereka sepanjang hayat, melainkan sbg pendidik yg mengajari mereka mengenai seni menghadapi hidup. Tugas kita adl memastikan jika saat perpisahan itu tiba, anak2 kita sdh siap. Mereka tau gmn bangkit jika terjatuh, tau gimana meminta maaf yg baik jika berbuat salah, tau berterima kasih jika ada org yg membaiki mereka, dan tau bagaimana googling yg efektif jika tdk tahu akan ini dan itu.

Hehe.. my parents are not an internet freak though they use skype sometimes to visit their kids far away from our home…

Advertisements