THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Monday, 21 May 2007

International AIDS Memorial Day

When MAC sent us an invitation to attend last year's International AIDS Memorial Day (IAMD)gathering, we (my NGO) had already planned a trip to AIDS Village, in Hatyai, Thailand. So we were not represented at that gathering. So, when the invitation came this year, we tried our best to get at least a few representatives to attend.

We managed to get 3 PLWHAs to agree - Mimi, Jah and Shila; and Shila's 7 year old daughter, Laila. Another volunteer and myself were to accompany them. The initial plan was for them to go by bus on Saturday and spend the night at the hotel (fully sponsored by MAC) before attending the IAMD the next day. I couldn't go on Saturday, so I was supposed to drive down on Sunday, and they would follow me back in my car after the event. Jah, Shila and Laila were already all excited about the prospect of putting up at a hotel.

However, things didn't really work out as planned. My fellow volunteer had to back out due to family matters; Mimi pulled out as she was not well; and Jah was already in KL at her aunt's house. Shila would have to go on her own with little Laila. And since she's not familiar with KL, she dare not go on her own. So, we had to cancel the plan of letting them stay overnight at the hotel.

Came Sunday, I picked up Shila and Laila and off we went to KL in my car. Although the function was to start only at 2 pm, we purposely left early morning so we'd have time to ronda-ronda a bit. We reached the hotel at about 10.15 am, met up with Jah, whose aunt sent her to the hotel, and went for brunch at KFC. No doubt there'd be food provided at the IAMD event, but hi-tea would probably start at about 3 pm. Shila and Laila haven't had their breakfast (they don't usually eat before travelling); while Jah, although she had roti canai and tose for breakfast while waiting for us to reach KL, is a person who can really eat, yet stay as skinny as ever!

I shall not cover much about the event itself, you can read the report by MarinaM, whom I met for the first time yesterday. Jah and Shila got all excited when they got to shake hands with Marina Mahathir!

I'd just like to add that there was a separate event held in a another room specially for the children who attended. Laila was reluctant to go at first as she's seldom separated from her mother except at school. After some coaxing, she went... and boy, she sure seemed to have a good time!

I met up with some new and old friends at the gathering, including Dr Adeeba who came straight from KLIA.

It was a memorial day indeed... my PLWHA clients seemed to make sure I remembered them! Other than Jah and Shila, a few text messages came in on my handphone - from Rashid's wife saying her husband is too weak to get up to go for hospital appointments... also from Shah (eldest son of Mr and Mrs K) who told me that the money lender said they'd have to pay by end of this month if Mrs K wants to get back her bank book and ATM card.

Then Noni called. She was supposed to have met me earlier at the hotel to get the referral letter from Ipoh ID clinic to transfer her appointment to Sg Buloh Hospital as she's now staying in KL. However, it was raining and she didn't come when I was there at the hotel. Right after I sent Jah back to her aunt's house in Selayang, Noni called to say she was right in front of the hotel. Told her to go to PWTC and I'd meet her there... I didn't want to wander too far from Jalan Kuching.

By the time we made a move to leave KL it was already 6pm. I was hoping it wouldn't rain. But boy, it rained cats and dogs along the Bernam/Tg Malim/Behrang stretch, I could hardly see!! Thank goodness by the time we reached Slim River, it was dry.

After sending Shila and Laila home, I went straight home... had my bath... and suddenly at 10pm, i heard the James Bond ringtone from my handphone. That's my PLWHA assigned ringtone. After having a good time with Jah and Shila the whole day, I thought it was just one of them calling just to tease me. Jah especially, loves to tease me just as much as I love to tease her.

But as I got hold of my handphone, Lily's name appeared. OK, I thought she was calling to tell me she was discharged from the hospital... or maybe she needed a favour. To my surprise, when I answered the call, I heard a man's voice at the other end of the line...

"Kak, saya Roy, kawan Lily. Lily dah takde. Dia baru meninggal kejap ni tadi."

Yes folks, I just wrote about her last week. International AIDS Memorial Day 2007 marks the end of the complicated life of Lily.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

How sad to hear about Lily - was it the dengue? And what of the children now?

And what about Mr and Mrs K - did EPF come thru for them yet? Still no idea of how much they need to pay to retrieve their ATM card and book?

Mat Salo said...

Sad end indeed.. but life, as the children will endure will still be complicated. There is no closure, just endless cycle of mind-numbing misery. I am of course, crying, at the thought of the poor children. The man can go, but the family will remain intact. But if the mother goes.... Goes to show who is dispensible and who isn't right? Al-Fatihah to you Puan Lily..

Apandi said...

Innalillah...

Kesian bebudak tu Pi...

loveujordan said...

Al Fatihah .

It's indeed a very sad ending ... I hope the children will be well taken off , InsyaAllah.

You are really one of a kind... I can't stop thinking how strong and determine you are dealing with these kinds of sorrow and tears dropping situations ....

May Allah grants you with paradise, Amin.

J.T. said...

May her soul rest in peace.
What about her children now? So sad without their mak. oh dear.. :(

Pi Bani said...

Anonymous, Mr and Mrs K's EPF has not been approved yet. But I've already asked Mrs K about the amount. Actually she borrowed just bit by bit and at the end of it the total came out to RM1,500. And for that amount, the interest charged is RM150 a month.

As for Lily, there seemed to be other complications in addition to the dengue fever she had. But nothing to do with HIV.

Pi Bani said...

To anonymous, mat salo, apandi, loveujordan and jt,

I actually just came back from Lily's funeral. They brought her body to her father's hometown. And the poor children? Oh dear, I really don't know... panjaaaang cerita.

Got to go now... nanti I come back I cerita some more...

Raden Galoh said...

Innalillah....

Another heart-wrenching news, I heard. Takleh elak dari mikirkan anak-anak Lily...kesiannya Pi...aduhai...

Al-Fatihah untuk arwah.

Pi Bani said...

Yes Raden Galoh... memang tak boleh elak memikirkan anak-anak Lily.

And to those who wanted to know why I said earlier that I really don't know what would become of them... here's why:

* As we know their paternal family had always wanted to take custody even when Lily was alive

* Lily's father never liked his son-in-law (Lily's late husband) and his family. So he is against letting any of the children go to them

* Lily's brother who stays nearby but never helped her out financially because he himself cukup2 makan, now is willing to take care of the children but would need financial help

* Roy, Lily's possessive friend still acts as though he has the authority even now that Lily is gone. He too insists that the children must NOT go to the other side of the family. He said they only want the children because they need at least one of the children in order to claim Lily's late husband's EPF which has not been released to anyone as yet.

Oooohhh boy... the complicated life of Lily may have ended, but looks like the lives of her children may be just as complicated as hers!

rad said...

Al-Fatihah utk Lily.Allah lagi sayang kat dia. InsyaAllah, saya cuma boleh berdoa semoga anak2 Lily takkan terbiar - anak yatim piatu.

Pi Bani said...

Rad, the way I see it, budak-budak tu insyaAllah takkan terbiar. Problem now is, dah jadi rebutan pulak dah.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Pi,

Al-Fatihah.

Sedih nya, just like that. Baru kenal dia thru your account. Now she's gone. Sedih nya. I hope whatever they decide, they will not split the kids. That is tragic for them now.

I was at TKC, came back at maghrib. Adik2 need a lot of help even now. Masa I on my trip, no one could help...sigh! Macam2. You, your patients, we our adik2. Macam2. Masing2 ada calling masing2 kan?

Pi Bani said...

K.Ruby,
Hopefully they won't split the kids... pleaselah.

Sorry I can't help you out with the TKC adik-adik. Got too many families and children to handle already...

kc said...

Assalamualaikum Pi!

been reading yr stories but never leave my footsteps here. but this time, i just want to offer my doa to Lily and her bereaved children. Al-Fatihah to her. May her soul rest in peace. i symphatise with her children. who will take care of them? keep us posted on their story please.

thank you.

Pi Bani said...

kc, wa'alaikum salaam!
InsyaAllah will update whatever that I can update on the children. Look out for my next posting. I intend to write on the happenings during the day of Lily's funeral.

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Pi,

One thing I like about you is that you are genuine.

You tak ambil kesempatan nak glamourise yourself even though you have the opportunity to. You were at this function with some vips and yet, you held your own. Some people would say they are humble lah (he he) and some would say they are for the simple folks (he he), the moment they are let loose to some glamour...habis!! Ha ha.

I like 'me' too Pi...here I go (LOL), I have always said I like the glamour world and you know that, and I am an exhibitionist and you know that too. My point is, mean what you say, kan?

Keep being you. Not many around.

Pi Bani said...

Yes K.Ruby, I know you and you know me. You love the glamour world while I prefer a low profile. If (for example) we stage a show, I believe you love being on stage while I prefer to be backstage... that's why I guess we get along well, we need both types to get things done! The important thing is, just be true to ourselves!