NR graduated from the shelter home today. She's been there for a year. She's the first trainee I interviewed as the acting manager of the home.
I 'll never forget that day....
I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I just couldnt believe my ears and my eyes too. She's so pretty and bright, a student from a local U.....but she ended here.....I have heard, read and watched these kind of stories on tv but nothing prepared me for it. I just couldnt believe my ears when she said she felt proud that all those mat rempits are willing to die to get her. Yes, she was a 'trophy girl'. I was the one crying in the interview....it was a good thing Dr Zaharah (Aunty Joy to you) was with me and she was actually the one handling it .
But that was then...
Today I cried again looking at her.
Her eyes are full of purposes as opposed to blank stares when she first came. She told me that she is afraid to go out there and face the world again...and at the same time, so full of determination to do something especially on her own family. Apart from redeeming herself, she has done much good for the Home. With her religious background, she has taught a few trainees, who came in not even able to recite Aliff,Ba' and Ta', until they khatam the whole qur'an. I'm so proud of her........This is what make my work here meaningful to me.
Do you still remember adik,when you first started in kindy,you kept asking me to work, become a DOCTOR to be specific!! Why? because most of your friends's mothers are doctors, meaning they would stay at the kindy till the evening.You would sulk when I came to pick you up at 12 o'clock.You hated the idea that your friends would continue having fun at the kindy when you left.You would want to experience taking a shower and then a nap at the kindy with them, though you hated the food.
When I started filling in as the manager at the shelter home, you were ecstatic eventhough you didnt get to stay at any nursery anymore.(you were in year 2 by that time) Nevertheless, i t only lasted for ONE week!!The second week, you started questioning me ,"Mama,didnt you say this job is a temporary?" And the next week and everyday after that,"When are you going to quit?"
You started to miss having me welcomed you home at the door and smothered you and Abang with kisses. You hated to see me hurrying you up in the morning as I have to go out too. No more leisurely breakfast, memorising couple of new ayats from your tahfiz syllabus and no more bekal as I wouldnt have time to prepare anything.
As for Abah, much as he didnt like it, he still gave supports to me. Such a darling. But he would call me 10 minutes before zuhr, reminding me to be prepared for prayer, not to let my work disrupt my habit of preparing for solat before the azan.
I started there as a volunteer, teaching handcraft first, then was asked to teach English. I never thought that I would end up managing it for 6 months . It was a hectic 6 months, an eye opener.
Now, Alhamdulillah, a permanent manager is working full time at the Home and thus releasing me from the responsibilities. I will continue as volunteer as long as my service is needed. And I know all three of you are fine with it......You just dont want me to work full time.Your Aunty Joy asked me to take up Akhlaq classes and at the same time become some sort of counsellor for the trainees and adviser to the staff. And I am not qualified for any of it.....but I guess qualification is not really important in this line of work. Those kids just need someone they can talk to, someone that listens without judging and someone to give them a hug when they need one. I think I can do that........