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)

Thursday, 18 October 2007

And then came Rina's turn...

Yesterday was my planned “rest day”. I was planning to visit some PLWHA clients for Raya the next 2 or 3 days, so one rest day would be good for me to recharge my batteries after working overtime in the kitchen during the first few days of Raya when my family members got together. I was thinking maybe today I could visit Hana before proceeding to Mrs. K’s house to fulfill their Raya invitation.

But as early as 9 am yesterday, my hand phone rang with the James Bond ring tone. Yep, that’s my PLWHA assigned ring tone. Rina’s name appeared. It was her mother.

Remember Rina? If you missed her earlier story, you can read it here.

Apparently after more than a month being hospitalized, Rina was discharged from the hospital on the 9th day of Ramadhan. She was supposed to come back for her appointment on the 24th of October – that’s next week. But Rina’s mom said Rina was not able to get up and had also lost her appetite. She’s worried how she’s supposed to bring Rina to the hospital for her appointment next week. I told Rina’s mom I should be able to help her out and that I’d call her back to confirm.

Since Rina is staying in Ipoh, I thought maybe I’d visit her at home these next few days to see her condition. There was no sound of urgency when her mother called. She just wanted to avoid a last minute call for help as what happened the last time.

Later last night, around 10.30 pm, I received the following text message from Rina’s older brother:

“Sorry ganggu puan. Adik saya Rina baru sebentar tadi masuk ke Hospital Ipoh. Dia mengetap gigi. Mungkin pasal sejuk kipas. Dia rasa nak makan tapi terima sudu sahaja. Ribuan terima kasih kepada puan dan sahabat yang membantu hingga sekarang.”

I replied the message to ask which ward Rina was in. Since she’s already warded I might as well just visit her at the hospital.

The reply came from her brother only at 12.30 am as he was on night shift and only read my SMS later. Only thing was, the reply came with additional unpleasant news. Besides telling me which ward Rina was in, the message also read, “Doktor beritahu emak dan adik saya di hospital, Rina tiada harapan.”

OK I thought, I’d better visit Rina as soon as visiting hours start today.

Then later at about 3.50 am while I was fast asleep, my hand phone’s SMS tone woke me up. The message read, “Adik saya Rina telah kembali ke rahmatullah.”

Oh dear, I haven’t even visited Hana since Rashid died on Monday. Now Rina?

I did plan to visit Rina today, but I was hoping to see her alive and wish her Selamat Hari Raya. But we can only plan…

Just as I was getting ready to leave my house this morning, Rina’s younger brother called from the hospital mortuary to inform me of Rina’s demise. He didn’t know his older brother had already informed me earlier. Anyway, at that time I was told that once ready, they’d bring her body back home for prayers before her funeral.

When I got to Rina’s house, the doors were closed. Nobody seemed to be there. I was thinking that if her body was to be brought home, surely there’d be someone at home for the preparations. As far as I know that was her family home as Rina had been staying with her mother since she got separated from her husband.

I called Rina’s younger brother to find out. They were all still at the mortuary. So I headed straight to the mortuary.

There were many unfamiliar faces when I reached the mortuary. Finally I saw a familiar face… Rina’s mom. It was then that I learnt that there was a change of plan. Instead of bringing her body home, due to transportation problems, they’d bring her straight to the Muslim cemetery from the mortuary.

Anyway, I managed to have a chat with Rina’s mom. When her mom called me earlier, Rina was already bed-ridden but still conscious. She had lost her appetite but she was still talking. As I mentioned earlier, there was no urgency then. Apparently later at night around 9 pm, Rina was found to be clenching her teeth and soon after she became unconscious. Her younger brother who stayed together with them, immediately called for an ambulance to bring her to the hospital.

The rest was as per the story above.

I don’t know if Rina’s estranged husband was told about Rina’s death. I didn’t dare ask Rina’s mom. After all that he had done to Rina, I don’t think her mom would appreciate any mention of his name.

Rina’s mom will be taking care of Rina’s 8 year old son. But the family is not a well to do family and so I may just drop by for a visit some time to assess if they need any help for him.

2 of my PLWHA’s death within the first week of Raya. That was totally unexpected. I can only plan to sit back and relax, but if that was not what God had planned for me, then it was not meant to be.


kina said...

Dari Allah kita datang, kepada Allah kita pulang

Hope the family will have the courage to weather the days ahead

Al Fatihah

winniethepooh said...

sorry to hear about Rina n condolences to the family ..its true that as much as we planned, sometimes things just doesnt go with wat we hope it will turn out to be.

Pi Bani said...

InsyaAllah, Rina's mom looks the tabah kind. She was all there for Rina when Rina herself had given up hope. I'm sure she'll do her best for her grandson.

Pi Bani said...

Yeah... I was kinda hoping I could give some encouragement to Rina when I visit her for raya, but what to do, when her time is up, her time is up...

Raden Galoh said...

Sedihnya Kak tapi ketentuan Ilahi mengatasi segalanya...dan yang berlaku ini pastinya menguji ketabahan hambaNya yang masih hidup...


Nightwing said...

Helo Kak Pi,

Condolences to Rina's family. Ya, we can only plan but time is not ours to control.

I am sure Rina's mom will take good care of the grandchild.

Try to have a good weekend.

Pi Bani said...

Ya, we must always berpegang pada ketentuan Ilahi. Ajal maut bukan hak kita nak tentukan.

Semoga roh Rina dirahmati Allah.

Pi Bani said...

Yes, I'm sure Rina's mom will take care of the grandson. I just hope the boy's father will not kacau.

Thanks and have a good weekend yourself!

PrincessJournals said...

Pi, al-fatehah to both your clients and their families. I have to tabik u for doing wht u do. i kno i memang cannot do it.

Pi Bani said...

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do... to me it is an obligation since not many Muslims are into this kind of voluntary work - what more working with HIV infected/affected people.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

oh boy...and now rina's left. i was abit shocked as i found out through reading your latest post. at first i mistook her as arwah rashid's wife. i mean, rina/ deepest condolence to rina's family.

Pi Bani said...

I was shocked too. I mean... her mom just called me in the morning to ask for help to bring her for her next appointment. Even her mom did not suspect anything then.

waterlily said...

Kak Bani,
Rina's turn just came - Allah lebih menyayanginya...kita juga akan menyusul..cerita pasal kematian di musim Syawal ni buat saya begitu nostalgic..bagaimanapun hidup perlu diteruskan


The Pisces Man said...

Kak Pi, what's PLWHA?

Condolences to Rina and her family, thought I wasn't sure what had lead to her clenching her teeth and unconsciousness? Did it have something to do with HIV.

Kak Pi - the scope where u see people and the world is far wider than most of us... and I am (or we are) proud of you..

Pi Bani said...

Hidup ni memang perlu diteruskan bagi yang hidup walaupun kita semua akan tetap mati juga satu hari nanti.

Pi Bani said...

Pisces man,
PLWHA stands for Person Living With HIV/AIDS.

I don't know what caused her to clench her teeth etc. But what I know is that by the time Rina found out about her HIV infection, she was already in bad shape. The doctors couldn't do much for her during the more than one month that she was hospitalised.