Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Mother's Loss

I thought to write about how mothers feel when they lose their son(s).

Case 1
I was solo at first, then married, then a mother of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Something happened to #2 and #3; I almost lost my 2 sons. Why? Must be the Grand Plan roll-out. #2 survived his second month and first six months of life under the threat of an almost fatal bout of chickenpox which was contracted one month into maternal confinement. I also contracted chickenpox at the time, and so did #1. We all survived, Alhamdulillah. You wouldn't believe it if I told you that we were living in Perth at the time when we contracted chickenpox. I had never contracted nor seen chickenpox before. This was the first and last and very painful case of chickenpox. I almost went crazy the whole month fighting back to get my little baby boy to live and not die. I would be very devastated today if he had died. I would blame myself endlessly for his 'death'. But he survived. How #2 miraculously survived is a wonder. He still retains the scars of that almost fatal chickenpox (he will be 27 on 13 July 2012). It breaks my heart when he takes protraits and the poxes show up. It is unsightly but what can I do? His mere survival is my joy but the unsightly poxes gives him unhappiness. What can I do about the scars? They must be very deep scars. I have seen worst scars on other bodies.

Case 2
#3 above was born at the Subiaco Women's Hospital after a difficult bout of shoulder dystocia. When he was out he was breathing. Seconds after that, he wasn't, he was dying. Before I passed out, I cried out to the last person out the door to take a look at him cos he was dying. I passed out. The next thing I knew I was in the postnatal ward. My baby son was nowhere to be seen. I cried for I knew my baby son 'had died'. It was a bitter cry for this was the second time I 'had lost a baby son'. I couldn't and I didn't ask and I didn't wash myself. I laid in bed, unmoved by the world around me. 'I had lost my baby son'. I lived like a log for about 3 days, with no sight of my baby son. I didn't know where it was, where he was buried. On the thrird day, they brought a lovely baby to give to 'as a replacement'. I asked the nurse whose baby were they giving me. I asked them who were the baby's parents. I asked them when was the baby born. It took me awhile to accept their answers that that baby they had brought to me is my own baby son. He looks like a Mat Salleh son, so I wasn't too happy and I still thought my own baby son died and they replace that dead baby with this Mat Salleh baby which is not mine. I refused to accept this Mat Salleh baby son. I took a look at its baby hand-band and it had my name but I remember I didn't give birth to a Mat Salleh-looking baby. So I did my Sherlock-Holmes assignment - to find out the identity of the 'new' baby son that the nurses gave me. I asked my husband to follow the baby back to ICU and find out if there were other babies in the ICU, and if there was an Asian-looking baby that is mine. I wanted an Asian-looking baby, not a Mat Salleh-looking baby. I was angry that I was not allowed to wander down to the ICU to check out things for myself. My husband wasn't sure too whether the baby they gave us is truly our or not. We both didn't know what to do. Anyway, my husband still went on to do the Aqiqah for the 'unknown' baby and we took it home and looked after it. We both still have doubts that this may still not be our child. Where is my real son? Where is the real #3? I don't know.

Case 3

Case 4
I can't remember the story fully but I will write what I remember. In the days on Islam's rise to become an empire, many young adult males went to war. Some never came back. I can't remember their names off hand. But imagine, how the mothers must have felt when they received news of their deceased sons.

Case 5
Death of sons through air crash. This happened to a good friend of mine. When she wrote about her son's death, I felt like a hard marble stuck in my throat and that marble didn't budge. I could not breathe. She's Penang Chinese, I'm Malacca Peranakan. We both feel the loss, even today. I feel the loss of other mothers' sons, as I had felt such loss while struggling to bring back my 2 sons to life. Even though my 2 sons survived their ordeals, I still feel the loss of sons of other mothers. It must be very painful to lose a son. Now with stop at 5, 3, 2 and 1, I think the loss felt is greater as mothers today have less number of children, and they run a higher risk of losing their son(s). Losing a daughter is different from losing a son.

Case 6
I was reading the pages about the world wars. There was this man who went to war and was in charge of his platoon. When someone in his platoon died, he had to make a note and write home to inform the respective families. Writing down the notes were painful for the officer in-charge but imagine the mothers at home. How did they feel upon receipt of the death news of their young sons? They went away healthy and happy, they sent home a sad news without remains. All news returned as Loss in Action, no private grave, but a mass grave and an expansive graveyard, like at Flanders Field. That's the price we pay for war.

Case 7
Slavery. What is slavery? That is treating humans as animals and lower than animals. Slavery and extreme slavery are evil tools that we have chosen to let the super powers use to treat what we consider as lesser humans. Who is superior who is lesser human? You be the judge and explain yourself. When I watched Roots the movie, I felt disgusted. I stopped watching after the first few episodes. My late father enjoyed the movie and watched all episodes. Bless him. He only liked the main character, not the ill treatment of the slaves. The most notable of the slavery track record was the African slaves mass exodus to North America. When I took US history at California State University in my sophomore years, I got very annoyed about the fates of the African slaves. I hated the conditions mentioned in mu history book. I just hated the entire subject of slavery (all kinds). If you think prostitution is better than slavery, I tell you both are evil means of exploitation. Never give in to prostitution and slavery. Free people from all forms of slavery. When a Black mother loses a son through slavery, she never gets to see her son for good. Is that good or bad? You can ask Mr Obama.

Case 8
Convicts. There are many examples of how super powers traded the convicts as free foreign labour. Imagine you have a beautiful young healthy son, and while your son is happily at work, comes a super power officer and drags him to jail for a crime he did not commit. But super power people are like that. They lack a good mentality of being humane and caring. They use brute force. Then the super power people decide to use the young lad for their own gains. The super power people gathered and shipped the 'convicts' far out to far away lands, so foreign to the 'convicts'. What happens next and at home? Of course the mothers of these falsely wronged lads would be crying their hearts out for want of their only sons, their pride and joy. But do the super power bodies care? No, they are mindless and heartless, worse than a bull. Even a bul opens its 2 eyes to see where it will charge. So the 'convicts' are shipped out for months at sea, only arriving at a foreign port. Worst if they were chained. They were. I looked through some hardcover Orang Putih books, the 'convicts' were in chains. Why? Who's doing wrong actually? The Indian man in loins or the white man in his white uniform and pit hat? Dunia dah nak kiamat?! I think we all need to sit and re-think, about the values in life and how we treat others, those who differ from us, especially in skin colour. If we all had no skin, wouldn't we all have the same coloured flesh? Let's try that. Peel off our skins and dissolve all our body hairs and see if we are any different. Yes, one more thing, pull out our voice-boxes too as that would give away our ethnic type. So now, just bare flesh, no hair, no voice-box, aren't we the same? Yes, we are just the same underneath our skin. And that is what will happen in Akhirat during the Day of Judgement - Allah SWT will leave our body parts to speak for us, not our mouth. We humans are actually no different but yet we treat others like dogs, cats and frogs. So, don't mistreat another person or steal a son from a mother. A mother cries her heart out when she loses herself - she falls down and cries to Allah SWT to have her son back. Don't take anybody's son. Never take a son.

Case 9
The wars today. There are so many wars and battles today. Boys, young men and old men are taken away and made to fight or they are captured, imprisoned, interrogated and in the end terminated by the gunshot to the head or heart. They die a life that is innocent. If they die as innocent beings, who's the culprit? We have read about and heard about all the dirty treatment handed to POWs. Some of the cruels things unimaginable happen to them. Poor souls. Imagine the mothers at home - they cry day and night, wanting their sons back for other useful purposes - till the land, grow food for the family, carry water from the well, harvest the fruits, etc. Give them back their sons. Don't kill the sons for nothing. Their mothers gave birth to them for a reason. Stop killing sons (men for that matter). The best thing we all need to do and have to do is to stop the bulldogs and rotweilers from going to war. They create wars and take the sons while the mothers need the sons. It is wrong to create war today for any reason. Why aren't we stopping the dogs? You know the dogs and you respect the dogs? Dogs need masters, and the masters must be those with sound minds. So now you can decide whether you are a dog or a master. It is better to be a dog master and not a master dog.

Case 10
Drugs, prisons and death row. I often thought about men sent to death row and the final hanging. I lived close to the Henry Gurney School in Banda Hilir when I was a little girl. I was reading about Pudu Jail and some the other jails and when they do hanging - usually after Subuh prayer. It made me sad thinking that after every Subuh prayer, someone was going to be hanged. It is painful to come to terms and know someone was going to be hanged that morning. When I was enjoying my life in San Francisco, I could see Alcatrez prison island from the tram that rolled down at Hyde Park. It felt uneasy thinking of prisoners there but it was defunct at the time, just a tourist stop, but the ugly stories linger. I visited the Tower of London and some other unplaesant prison places during the holidays while waiting to enter graduate school in southern California. I visited some of the prison cells and tried to imagine myself being locked away as the prisoners were in human history. It was nauseating. I went down from the castle to the courtyard where they beheaded prisoners. I had no second thoughts. I told my dad I wanted to return to California. I was out of Britain and flying home to California within days, never wanting to return to Britain. I hate the thought of prisoners being imprisoned in the tower and the final head-chopping thing. Now when they Britons watch Hudud at its best in YouTube, they snarl. Why don't they do the same to British history? Chopping heads is barbaric, isn't it? Hudud is Hukum Allah SWT, so we have to uphold that. I also watched on TV, the beheading of a queen (can't remember which one). It was sad watching a queen being beheaded (reenactment only). When I was doing my PhD in UWA, Perth, I often went to Fremantle for weekend shopping, just to bring the family out and keep boredom under control. We passed by Fremantle prison. The ugly thick mossy walls were enough to turn me off from going nearer to have a close look at what was going on inside. People may be proud of being descendants of prisoners pr POWs but I am sad about prisoners being imprisoned. Nobody should ever be imprisoned. Life and living should always be free, untied and not involving any form of imprisonment.






Watch this video

Maxwell Manuscript 24

It is always a 'Jones' or a 'Doctor Jones' when it comes to historical digs and fact-finding. Why does it always have to be a 'Jones'? Why can't it ever be a 'Mat' or even an 'Awe'? Let's see, someone brought up something interesting from a dull place. Someone went to a place up latitude north and unearthed some unexpected treasures near the GMT line. Guess where that place is?

Back in the last century, there were hardly universities in the British Isles. So where did the British get all the information that they amass today? You guess it right. They went out to find information - they wandered south into Asia and South Asia, and Southeast Asia. We Asians always want to go north!

What did our whiteman brothers discover and keep? They obtained useful information which even our own grannies and grandpas never knew. The British 'knowledge explorers' got a lot information about us that we never knew. But we are lucky that someone went north to find our history. So we have almost solved the origins of one doctor's family - that of Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin bin Raja Shahbuddin bin Raja Dagang bin ??? ..... (this bit is still a mystery). 

The place that stores his families' information is up north but was started in the south. The Royal Asiatic Society was founded by Sir William Jones (I told you it is always a Jones in history) in Calcutta, India on 15 January 1784. Here's the link: 

Royal Asiatic Society
60 Queens Gardens, Bayswater, London
Go to Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

Maxwell Manuscript 24

The family information is contained in Maxwell Manuscript 24. Who was Maxwell? He was Sir George E. Maxwell. How many manuscripts did he write in a lifetime? And why Manuscript 24? Does that mean there are manuscripts 1-23 that contain the stories before #24? Does that mean there are more manuscripts after #24? When will we have time to complete searching for information? It seems endless, endless, endless,....

Maxwell Manuscript 24 at the Royal Asiatic Society


A nephew of the late Tan Sri Dr Raja Ahmad Noordin, Raja Adley Paris Ishkandar Shah wrote in Facebook to inform that the number for the Maxwell Manuscript should be 24 and not 25 as printed in the book Biography of TEMD. Please make the necessary correction in the book. TQ - 15 January 2013, FAR

Maxwell Manuscript 25 should be corrected to Maxwell Manuscript 24.