Moving Pictures (Rush)

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It was through my random browsing of blogs that I saw a particular picture that tugged at my heartstrings. Even more so when it’s that of my late paternal uncle, located on one of my cousin’s blog. Just by looking at it brought out memories of the man, his character and mannerisms, together with the little encounters we had. Far in between but memorable nonetheless.

Perhaps it was the guilt of not having felt a certain closure upon his passing. That maybe along the way, there were some issues that were not addressed and eventually led to a more distant relationship. I remember him as the first person to come to our house every year during Hari Raya, followed by the rather light conversations between him and my dad, his only younger brother. The whole thing would last less than an hour before he bade farewell and left some money for me. The thing is I always looked forward to his visits, not for the money that I was going to receive, but to be able to see the only pious man I’ve ever known and deeply respect.

As with most families, they are bound to be some idiosyncrasies. My paternal side being Javanese, loud and brash conversations were not normal. Every single relative seemed soft-spoken that I felt intimidated and simply offered a nod or a smile when spoken to, for fear of being seen as garrulous. These actions contributed little to me knowing them even better. I guess that’s where the problem lies, when little was said and feelings hurt left unpacified.

There was a few years gap between our last meeting and the day I saw him lying on the hospital bed, close to losing a leg due to diabetes. To think that I only found out about his condition after asking my parents why he didn’t turn up for my wedding. The reason given was difficult to understand.

Eventually, he died a few days after the visit.

Going through the customary rituals before his body was sent for burial was heartwrenching; not knowing whether I deserved to be there. The least I can do right now is remember him in my prayers … and not let some people drift apart. Blood is still thicker than water.


~ by blackcadillac73 on February 14, 2008.

4 Responses to “Moving Pictures (Rush)”

  1. Great post. Old B&W photos like those tell a great story, don’t they?

  2. Indeed they do. The ones that leave lasting impressions are the black and white ones. Nostalgic enough to transport you back in time, not that I’ve lived that long. The only one I remember is the fourth picture showing the old house in Jalan Ambo Soloh, where I spent the early part of my life running around.

  3. That is touching…

    I love the vintage look of old photos. If you notice, 90% of the people captured in old photos *do not* smile. I wonder what it is… the hard lives they live that reflect in the pictures, or smiling was not a fashion at that time. Or maybe even, the word ‘cheese’ wasn’t invented yet. *hahaa* Either way, those pictures speak a thousand words. I wished my late grandma had salvaged some of their old pix, which were unfortunately destroyed/lost during the floods back in the 60s.

  4. I love looking at these old pictures. Tangkap feeling P. Ramlee gitu. Hehehe …

    The oldest one I have in my album is that of my great-great-grandparents I think, dating more than a century ago. Now that’s old school! 😛

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