Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Shifting Sands

Oh boy, seems like it's back to the city for everyone after Mak's demise. For sure, my sister Zaridah who lives in Kuala Terengganu will be shifting to Kuala Lumpur mid-July.

The move makes sense actually, because 90 per cent of her business is in KL, and she had been travelling up and down almost on a weekly basis for a few years now.

Her only son, Zack, is going to be a father soon and she wants to be closer to her first grandchild. Also, Zack is a pilot and is away a lot, so having Idah around would be helpful to his pretty young wife, Zetty, who is going to be a mother in August.

On my part, I like to see the excitement on Idah's face at her impending grandmotherhood. She is a good six years younger than me and she is already going to be a grandma!

In a way I feel somewhat sympathetic towards Idah. Her only daughter Amy whom she is very close to, is married to a foreigner and lives in the US. I think Amy's departure took its toll on her. She seems lost in thoughts most times.

Idah is the most hardworking among us; she built her unit trust business almost singlehandedly 15 years ago and is now successfully managing a few big portfolios.

I heard from Idah that my immediate sister Zahana (Ani) is also contemplating moving to KL now that Mak is no longer with us.

What more, Ani's two elder married daughters are working and living in Klang Valley while her son is finishing his flying course very soon and would start work, presumably based in KL.

Ani is one of those home and hearth kind totally dedicated to her family. She is well grounded and solidly dependable, the kind you can trust your deepest secret with.

Ani and family relocated to Dungun many years ago when her ex-army pilot husband Mohd Som (Atan), began flying for Malaysian Helicopter Services.

His job was ferrying petroleum crew to and from offshore platforms off Kerteh. He left MHS for a brief stint in Rwanda but has since returned and is now flying for MHS in East Malaysia.

Ani has been talking about moving to KL for years. I hope it will become a reality soon because it means the family will be closer to Atan's ailing mother in Tanjung Malim.

Already deeply entrenched in Klang Valley are my sisters Hanizah (Izah) in Subang Jaya and Zanariah (Ana) in Bukit Jelutong, while brother Yusoff lives in Taman Melawati and another brother, Fauzi, resides in Shah Alam.

Mother-of-two Izah is a trained drug rehabilitation counsellor who is currently enjoying her stint as a lady of leisure. I hope she returns to work soon - too much of a good life isn't good for you, sis!

Ana is the bookish, academic type who lectures business and entrepreneurship in a local university. Married with four children and with an absolute gem for a husband, Ana looks settled with life.

Our two brothers, Yusoff and Fauzi, run their own small enterprises and seem to be doing okay. Both are now grandfathers, with Yusoff leading the pack with 7 cucus (grandchildren).

The only one far away is our youngest sister Liza who lives and works in Minnesota. I have not seen her in years (she last returned for a visit 5 years ago).

As her eldest kakak (sister), I want her to come home and find work here in Malaysia. I know she holds a very senior position and earns big bucks in the US, and that she's uncertain of her career prospects here. But you will never know if you don't even try.

For the rest of us siblings, it makes a lot of sense to regroup. We are not getting any younger, our parents are gone and our children are maturing and leaving home one by one.

Like siblings everywhere, we have had our differences and have bickered about everything under the sun over the years. But at the end of the day, we are brothers and sisters sharing blood ties and that's a good enough reason to stay close together.

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