When Imran met with an accident just a few days before our Family Day in early July, he had problems walking. His left foot was swollen, and even with the aid of a walking stick, he couldn’t walk without feeling excruciating pain. So he texted me to ask if I had any wheelchairs.
Coincidentally, earlier in April, Sofie needed a wheelchair, and a donor graciously gave some cash for me to buy a wheelchair for Sofie. But Sofie died before I could pass the wheelchair to her, and so the wheelchair was kept at our centre. It was initially bought for Sofie’s use, but turned out Imran became the first to use it.
When I checked on him last week by phone, at the same time to order some putu kacang from his wife who made them herself to earn extra income for the family, I was told he no longer needed the wheelchair. So when I went to visit them on Tuesday, my visit was not only to get my putu kacang orders, but also to get the wheelchair and send it to back to our centre.
The house was full of boxes of cookies and kerepeks when I got there. The wife was enterprising enough to rent a space at a supermarket to sell all those stuff. Imran looked a whole lot better, but still couldn’t walk too far without the use of a walking stick. If he walked around too much, the swelling would start again. But at least his condition wasn’t as bad as when I went to visit them to send the wheelchair earlier.
After visiting Imran’s family, I figured I might as well go visit Lin, since she stays in the same town. I had not gone to visit her for quite some time already. This time it had to be a “surprise” visit. Remember my handphone’s screen had a slight crack when I went to Kinabalu? Because of that I wasn’t able to read anything on my phone screen… which meant I couldn’t see whatever info was stored in the phone. I couldn’t get Lin’s number from the first contact report we have at the centre because she had changed her phone number since then. And so I couldn’t call Lin prior to the visit. Guess I just had to try my luck and hope that somebody would be home.
When I got to her house, her daughter’s car was outside, the glass door was open, just the grill door locked. And I could hear the TV was on. Yes, somebody was home! The moment I gave the salam, it was Lin who answered. She didn’t hear my car, neither did she hear me opening the gate. And yes, she was surprised to see me because I didn’t call prior to my visit.
“Alamak, rumah tengah semak, kak!”
Lin does tailoring work at home to earn an income. With Raya coming soon, she needed to complete her work as soon as possible. And her youngest daughter was already making noise that Lin hadn’t even started anything on the daughter’s baju kurung.
When I first handled Lin’s case, all Lin’s children were still studying and Lin was without any job. Life was tough. Her ex-hubby (Mr Darling, if you can recall) was never on time with the alimony determined by the court, and Lin couldn’t depend on him to support the children. She resorted to selling fried bananas at a friend’s stall, until one day that friend decided to sell fried bananas himself and came up with all sorts of excuses not to let her continue selling there.
Lin then attended a short sewing course at Giat Mara. Immediately after completing the course, she started taking orders for baju kurung and curtains. And that was how she survived until now. While we Buddies do come in to assist in her children’s educational needs, life was still tough for the family.
Now 2 of her children, her 1st & 3rd, both girls, have obtained their diplomas, and are already working. Yes, they even have a car now so easier for them if they needed to go anywhere. Her second daughter has another year to go before she completes her degree. God willing, by next year they will have a doctor in the family. Lin still has 2 schooling children, in form 3 and form 5 this year, but life has already improved for the family, financially. I used to visit them on a monthly basis. But now that their lives have improved, I concentrate on other needy families. Of course, a visit to Lin’s home from time to time is good to boost up my spirit to help others. A real life example of how the little help given could make a huge difference in their lives. Provided of course, that the recipients of the help given, work hard themselves.
After visiting Lin, I decided to check on 2 new clients I had just recently been assigned to. Nope, no visits, yet. We never visit without their permission, and so the first step would be to call them first. One of them, a single mother with 2 schooling children, seemed very receptive, and emotionally stable. The other, a single woman about my age, sounded rather depressed. It had never been easy gaining the trust of newly assigned clients, but somehow, after a few minutes, this lady asked if she could meet up with me. I guess she really needs someone to talk to.
So yes, we promised to meet up next week when she goes for her next appointment at the hospital. Visiting her at home is a NO because she’s renting a room at a house together with a few other ladies.