It took me over a week to have finally come out and written this here. Even so, it is very, very difficult for me to write this whole thing down.
She’s just an old lady, probably about my mother’s age or more. She is indeed a mother and a grandmother too. She understands nothing of politics, only family, friendship, love, and forgiveness. Very simple and unpretentious to me.
She has already lost a son. She was always the best listener when I talked to her about my father’s condition back then. When he passed away last year, I told her about it too. She’d held my hand and said she’d always pray for my father’s soul, eventhough she’d never met and / or known him personally.
Somehow, she ended up talking about her son’s past life. He used to do drugs and get addicted a lot. It had taken a while before he finally got into a rehab and recovered after that.
“Then what happened?” I asked patiently. She gave me a sad smile.
“He picked himself up and started his life over. He succeded.” She sounded proud and relieved at the same time. “He got a job and supported me. We were close again, much closer than before.”
I smiled. However, her expression darkened. She told me that her joy didn’t last long. One day her son collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital. It was a serious illness, they’d told her. Possibly meningitis.
He’d only lasted for a few months after that, she said, her lips quivering.
“He was my baby,” she said, her grief sharpening. “I thought…I thought we’d always be together. He’d taken care of me.”
Something warm and heavy weightened my eyelids. My throat felt clogged. I took her hand and she held mine. Her tears started.
“Maybe God loves him so much,” I assured her. I felt my own start rolling down my cheeks already. “That was why He took him home.”
“Maybe that’s the case.” That sad smile of hers again. “Now I understand how you’ve felt…and probably still do.”
I nodded. We wiped our own tears. Then somehow, our conversation turned to the recent news. I held my breath, not liking the topic at all.
“I know it’s never easy for everybody,” she went on. “I don’t understand politics. I’m just glad that it wasn’t my son – that he didn’t have to end up that way.”
I shook my head in agreement.
“I understand people’s angers from both sides,” she was still saying. “It’s not easy. I know my son had made mistakes and terrible decisions in the past, but haven’t we all?” I nodded again, letting her talk. “There’s a much bigger picture here. There are always other factors. I may have deserted my son in his time of need. We never know.”
“Indeed.” God, this is so hard…
“It’s not easy when we talk about taking lives,” she said again. “It’s not easy when you’re a leader and have to make tough, quick decisions. However, I’m just like every mother. If it were my son, I’d like him to be forgiven too.”
“I know.” She started crying again, so I hugged her briefly. “We all want to be forgiven, but…it’s the law.”
She nodded. “Please, pray for my son,” she asked me as she held my hand again. “Just like I will always pray for your father’s soul too. I know that I’ve never really got to know him, only from your stories.”
I nodded too. Then I didn’t know why, but I felt like asking her this:
“Do you think it’s still possible for them all to be forgiven? I mean, you know…if we pray for them too?”
She smiled. “Who knows? With God, nothing is impossible – as long as He is willing.”
I returned to my rented room with a heavy heart that night. I was crying and choking through all my prayers.
When Hazel Eyes called me downstairs for dinner, I hesitated. I looked at my puffy eyes in the mirror.
He’s known me too well. I was afraid that he could tell…
Indeed. By the time we met up at the kitchen, he picked it up instantly. Stirring something in the cooking pot, he looked at me and just frowned.
“Are you okay?”
“It’s an allergy.” I sat nervously, watching him cook. I’d washed my face as much as possible, but I guess it was useless.
“No, it isn’t.” See? He knows me too damn well. He looked so serious now. “Come on, tell me. What’s up?”
I sighed. “Can we talk about it later, like after dinner?”
“That’s okay. We can talk about it now.” Hazel Eyes turned off the stove before he turned to me. “So, what’s the matter? Come on, let it all out.”
That did it. Even before I finished what he’d wanted me to tell him, I burst in tears again. He stood up and put his warm, gentle hands on my shoulders.
“Does this have something to do with the recent news?” he asked me. When I only nodded, he said, “Sit down. I’ll be back.”
I sat, sniffing. Hazel Eyes rushed into his room and returned with white tissues.
We ended up talking for quite a while. I knew it wasn’t a pleasant topic for dinner. We’d agreed on several things, though:
There’s a bigger picture in all of this media bitch-fest. It’s not easy for anybody, whether you are any country’s leader, the family of the convicted, the family of the drug addicts, the cops who find corpses from OD way too often…everybody. It’s not easy.
And I’ve heard from both sides more than enough already. It’s true that we’re all entitled to our own opinions. We all have different experiences and exposures to things. It’s bound to happen that we agree / disagree with things.
However, I am done hearing people endlessly bitch about my country and how we’re supposed to run it, as if it would magically solve the drug problems overnight. As if we were the only country practising it, as if all of us agreed / disagreed with it. As if it would do us any good and as if they knew best what to do and how to do it, or where they’ve done it and how successful it’s all been.
As if they didn’t care how much it hurt everybody, cutting the same old wounds open again and again…
In other words, enough is enough. All I want to hear now is a solution. None of this will ever make me automatically hate all Australians. (My best friend is one, by the way.) I don’t care if you all think that all Indonesians are just the same after this. Good luck in staying oh-so-shallow. Let all the hatred consume you as you may let it.
Just please, do me a favour: don’t ever try to drag me down with you. Pointing fingers at each other and playing the blame game are useless. Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’re not living a fairy tale life, so I’m just going to leave it at that.
“You people feel so much,” a foreign friend once told me. “In my country, there are too many things happening – like a bomb or something, sometimes all at once. It has reached the point where we just stop feeling.”
I looked at him sadly and gave a rueful smile.
“Honestly, sometimes I wish I could just stop feeling so much,” I told him. “But at the same time, I’m afraid that I might become less human.”
It’s just reality and how life works, I guess. The thing is, I no longer wish to speak of or hear any of the bitching. There are things in this life that we just can’t control or have no control of. It’s not our part to do so, but we can always do something more about it instead of insulting each other – acting as if we’re more human and not as hypocritical. Hypocrisy exists everywhere. Open your eyes. It might exist much closer to where you are. Look inside yourself. You might find the answer there.
But then again, it’s been high time for dark emotions lately. Of course, it’s also a feast for internet trolls…
What am I going to do? My part. I’m sure you have yours too and hopefully it does involve more than just bitching and whining. Thank you.