Quite recently, my aunty who I call Ibu was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 2. I had been visiting her daily since she's admitted at a hospital nearby. She's grown thinner, but not yet cachexic looking. Ayah Long, her husband, had been accompanying her through her cycles of chemotherapy, to a point of not geting enough rest himself and he fell ill. It's not good to have a person who is sick around if you're immunocompromised (immune system is lowered) like in my aunty's case. So he had to return to Johor Bharu and recover first. Even so, he repeatedly called his son telling he wants to come to the hospital and accompany Ibu and every single time his son questioned his health, he would avoid answering it. If he could lie, he would, but he's an honest man. The very day he recovered, he took a bus to Seremban where the hospital is located in.
Yesterday, I got to meet him while visiting Ibu. He looked pale himself and yet he acted cheerful as they both usually do. Many intravenous lines were set on Ibu's hands that most of them already got thrombosed, requiring new lines being set somewhere. When it got thrombosed, she would feel intense pain and Ayah Long's face would appear in agony. "Kalau aku boleh duduk bawah Ibu kau, lepas tu waktu doktor cucuk tangan dia aku hulur tangan aku supaya aku sendiri kena cucuk, dah lama aku buat dah", he sighed. I was busy answering questions related to Ibu's condition to my cousins and mother, but that statement made me stop abruptly and I kept silent. I wanted to cry, but it wouldn't help anything. I saw Ibu's tears welling up.
Decades of marriage, they really went on rocky roads for so long. So many tests which if I were in their shoes, I might've given up a long time ago. And yet, they stayed true and loving each other as if nothing is going wrong. That's a true love story.
On a completely different note, today I started to take up the task of baking breads in this house since Kak Jannah is no longer here as our maid. Anything to make my parents happy.