A Grieving Daughter

I got a phone call from my relatives. The voice on the other side of the phone told me that my dad’s blood pressure went high. He was hospitalized.

I was still working by the time he told me. Soon I asked permission from my direct supervisor and drove my car to the hospital. I, my mom, and my little brother were waiting anxiously. Praying to God asking for miracle. But fate said otherwise. My father’s life can’t be helped.

He died.

Don’t ask me how I felt. Obviously I was broken. I cried and yelled. I cried so hard. Tears just couldn’t stop running out. Even if I asked it to stop flowing, it couldn’t. I didn’t believe it came so sudden. My father left no goodbye, either to me, my mom, or my little brother.

He was so healthy the day before. He cooked me meal, prepared hot water to me, waiting for me in front of the door knowing that I was working overtime. He is a loving father. It feels so sad to know that God called him this fast. We never knew His plan.

Since then, I never stop crying. I cried to the point my eyes lost its water. It couldn’t flow anymore. My eyes stop shed the tear, but it became so puffy. My heart was super broken.

Some days after it, I remember I was sleeping. Suddenly I heard a super familiar sound, sound of my father’s motorbike! It woke me up happily.

I ran to the door excitedly, got ready to hug my father. It was ruining my heart so bad to see the fact that the one riding the motorbike was actually my father’s brother.

Joyful Great-Grandma

This is a story of someone I look up to. A great-grandmother of 3 great-grandsons, a grandmother of 8 grandsons, and a mother of 4 kids.

She is 80 something this year, but she has such a youthful spirit. Let’s call her HG.

Let me tell you how she looks like. Heels will be her choice of shoes, followed by black short pants and blue jeans shirt. Then at the corner of her collar, you can see white sparkling brooch. During this pandemic time, she always put her shocking-pink yet cheerful mask on her face. If she open her mask, you can see her reddish blush on. Look her in the eye, there is a sparkling light green eye shadow followed with eye liner and fake eyelashes.

Her style is beautiful, livelier than mine, the writer. I’m just 20 something but I had never found a grandma this unique.

She brings smiles anywhere.

She says thank you with love, a very sincere one, comes from the deepest part of her heart. She would look in the eye of the person and speak it from the bottom of her heart.

She is one of the most romantic lady. She would loyally accompany his husband, bring him walk, feed him food, serve him physically and mentally. She is a very good companion. Her act of kindness towards his husband and family shows her affection.

She has traveled almost all around the countries. She had a lot of fun and gratefulness. Sometimes she got lost too on her way back to toilet or hotel. She sometimes forget things easily, which I can really comprehend.

She is one of the loveliest human being. Her love to others is awesome.

Why could she be this happy, healthy, and long life? What is her secret of live?

God.

She is God’s disciple. She reads Bible every day, after and before bed. She speaks words of God, praise and worship Him. Her love comes from God, that’s why it flows naturally.

Investor Relations

I have a friend in funding division. She is tall and slim, a mixture of Chinese Indonesian, an investor relations.Let’s call her VR. Her job was my dream job. But I think it is one of the most wanted job by a Public Relations Officer.

How come it is not being wanted? Working as an Investor Relations of a start-up company in Indonesia, VR needs to meet investors from other countries. She can’t only rely on Indonesian’s investor.

Imagine her wearing beautiful earrings, classy necklace with smart casual outfit, with natural make up, blazer, a little perfume, pencil pants, high heels, elegant yet smart professional make up, meeting investors from other countries, mostly handsome. Isn’t it a dream job?

For an extrovert or those who love to scale up their negotiation skill, yes may be.

But sometimes it’s uneasy too. Sometimes there will be 50-year-old grandpa asking to go for karaoke together, then ask VR to sleep with him. Sometimes the handsome investor will ask VR to have wine together, then push her to sleep with him.

But VR isn’t that kind of cheap woman. She will reject. If the investor do so, then, “Good bye, Mr. Investor.”

That’s how VR find 2 tips now. The first one is called call and call. If the investor asks to meet at night, she will secretly invite her CEO, a man, then 3 of them will negotiate together. Or she will jump to the second tips, that is to meet the investor during afternoon somewhere in a coffee shop. These 2 tips work for years.

She has been doing this for years. She loves her job. She has ever fallen in love with one of the investors too. They were dating, but they are not anymore. It breaks her heart, but she still love her job.

Cancer Fighter

Hello reader, can you imagine there is somebody who can tell their amputation experience while laughing happily? I got a special friend like this.

Ten years ago when the doctor said that her leg needed to be amputated, she cried and shut herself in her room above the hospital’s bed, not wanting to be visited by anyone. Even she was reluctant to lift the blanket to glance at half of her feet.

Today she sits by the pool, a little bit jealous to see other people can swim, but at least she is laughing while telling me this story and we are even drinking premium ice chocolate!

Let’s call her VN, a-quarter-century-old woman, independent, design expert, and of course beautiful.

The first time I met VN was in a small group gathering held by our church. We were both new comer. I was curious of her way of walking, looks like she was having strain wit her leg. Then I asked her. Apparently my guess was wrong. She told me that was because of an accident years ago back when she was studying in Russia.

It took her years of becoming my best friend to finally admit that it was not because of an accident, but rather occurred due to a bone cancer.

At the very first time there was a small bump on her knee. She told her mom. It was assumed as a common bump, so VN was taken to a massage therapist. The massage was so painful, she was screaming out loud. Days after it, it didn’t get better. At the end, they decided to brought VN to hospital.

The bump got a radiology diagnosis (X-Ray). They can’t get the result immediately, needed to wait for several time. VN and her family were waiting anxiously. At the end, the result said that it was a malignant cancer, stage 2 bone cancer.

It was a very terrifying announcement for a junior high school student. VN took a package of chemotherapy. Slow but sure, her hair began to fall out. Once she run her fingers through her hair, it caused hair loss on her scalp.

Keep this brief, the chemo worked. After attending several sets of chemo-therapies, VN was stated cancer free. Finally, she could be free from chemotherapy. Sadly, this good news wasn’t last long. The next year, the bone cancer re-attack VN’s knee.

The treatment for her second episode of bone cancer wasn’t enough by only conducting chemotherapy. This time, VN needed to get a bone removal surgery. Luckily, it was not her big bones which needed to be removed, only the small one below her knee area. After this operation, she could walk was usual again. Praise the Lord.

Another 1 year passed again. Episode 2 was not the end of the story, there were still the third episode. This time, coincidentally, the cancer was returned again when her father was about to be transferred to Russia. After considering here and there, they finally decided to brought VN to Russia, with the main consideration was Russia’s advanced technology.

There in Russia, VN’s medication was repeated again. VN needed to re-drink the medicine she had took in Indonesia, same with the chemotherapy, it was needed to be re-conducted. Pity on her. Something that was obviously inconvenient. But since she believed that she would be healed, she retook the treatment.

The doctor in Russia scanned her feet and found out that apparently the small bone below her knee had been removed. According to them, it was a wrong decision by Indonesia’s doctor. It was an inappropriate action because they took off the small bone without substitute it with any other bones. There were body weights which needed to be lifted, sooner or later would gave a bad impact to the remained bones.

In Russia, after reviewing the best treatments, it was lastly decided to put in an artificial bone. In short, after they put in this artificial bone, VN didn’t feel comfortable with her way of walking. By the doctors, it was thought as something okay, VN was asked to get used to of it. Her parents also asked her to keep being patient, but one who was able to feel her feet was her own self. Another year passed again and there was no meaningful change.

At that time, another bump re-appear on VN’s knee. In this episode of bone cancer, the doctor hardly decided that an amputation is needed. The first person to cry wasn’t VN, it was her dad.

When did VN cry? It was right before and after the operation was carried out. Woefully, the operation was carried out on her birthday. It might be one of the worst birthday she could ever had.

Since then, VN was unwilling to be visited by anyone. Let alone be visited, just looking at her own feet she did not want to. If a nurse came to check on her wound, she always asked the nurse to cover her scar. Do not stop there, VN was also unwilling to obey doctor’s and or nurse’s order to learn to walk on crutches. She kept refusing till the doctor get mad on her.

It took her approximately a week for her to accept her amputated leg condition. Times passed. Years after it, today, VN comes to the day she is finally able to move on, reminisce and recount the story you read above, is retold funnily, with a lot of laugh.

Lawyer

Let’s talk about lawyer’s profession today.

I just finished a conversation with a Lawyer, let’s name him Jack.

I told him that before I got to work in a law firm, what I know about lawyer’s profession is only by what I saw in television and or Korean drama. The image of a man wearing a black cloak in a courthouse, pulling his suitcase or cart filled with hundred pages of civil documents is the only thing I know about lawyer’s world. It’s the only scope of work a lawyer have to do in an eye of an innocent junior high school student like me.

A lawyer is someone who will often say, “Objection, Your Excellency, based on proof XX, the suspect YY and any other lalalayeyeye.” And in my childhood image, a lawyer is a man job only.

Probably you who are reading this writing is also thinking the same way or were also thinking this way?

It it appropriate to blame the television for this stereotype created towards this issue?

Okay, keep calm, dear TV, I won’t blame you. Surprisingly in fact, Jack, this friend of mine, an ex-Senior-Associate in one of Top 10 Law Firm in Indonesia, even just knew deeper about Lawyer’s world after he has graduated from his law faculty and worked in a law firm.

Funny, isn’t it?

So, I just knew that scope of work of a lawyer is wide since I worked at a law firm and or a company. Lawyer isn’t only someone who work to win a case in a court.

To make it short, there are 2 kinds of lawyer, a corporate lawyer and a litigation lawyer. A litigation lawyer’s job description is something similar like what I have explained above. But what I explained is just a very tiny part of it.

In this writing I’m going to share a story of lawyer which you seldom watch in TV, another point of view of lawyer which I get by months of working with some lawyers. So, this is it, a story of Jack, a corporate lawyer.

A corporate lawyer has so many things to do. What are their scope of works?

Reviewing documents, drafting agreements, drafting SOP, learning the legal aspect of a company, analyzing and interpreting regulations, conducting due diligence, acquiring a company, managing right issue, and many more.

We haven’t talked about compliance yet. Sometimes, a corporate lawyer’s scope of work is also including compliance. Wow, there is even more checklist to be fulfilled if we talked about compliance.

Last but not least, I’d like to end this article with another fun fact which you might not have the privilege to know if you don’t work in a law firm or if you don’t work intensively with a lawyer.

Most of Indonesian lawyer dislike using Micosoft Excel in managing data, they will 100 times prefer Microsoft Word.

That’s all. Wasalam.

Data Analyst

Who doesn’t know Excel? A green application to tabulate data, quite popular in any working industries, right?

I used to think being able to manage Excel has already been great. But, it is not really. Talking about Excel, we are only controlling around 1 million rows of data.

Did you know? There is a tool to tabulate number with infinity numbers of rows, one of them is… A friend of mine, MI, is an expert in this tool. He is a data analyst. Excel? I think it is just a piece of cake for him.

Then I wonder, why would a data analyst need a tool with infinity limits of rows? What do they need to cound?  What kind of information do they need to analyze that they need this kind of tool? Why does Excel is not enough for them? There are millions of rows there.

Then his story impressed me. He needs to analyze financial report, comparing company A to other companies in the same industries. He would check on the total amount of loan for example, has 12 zeroes, checking how many active accounts at that bank, 3 million for example, then apply ‘one to one’ and or ‘one to many’s rule, listing it one by one, checking the due date, date of payment, interest rate, rest of payment to be deposited and so on. If he or the other data analyst have to use excel to process the data, that one with only around 1 million rows. He can’t imagine how inefficient it will be because they are going to Copy Paste the date to different tab. Possible but it gonna takes a lot of time.

Now that I usually only use not more than 100 rows of Excel, I am amazed there are people in this world need to use the one with infinity rows.

Confident Walker

It took me several years to admit that my amputated leg is because of a bone cancer, not an accident.”

VA


New Normal just started at Jakarta, Indonesia. Parks begin to open. I and VA, a 25-year-old multi-talented yet beautiful woman, a used-to-stranger and now-sister made an appointment to leisurely strolling in the morning. 


Firstly we stop to eat instant noodle, then walk for 5 minutes, then sitting and talking for the whole day. So that is our kind of leisurely strolling after being caged in our own house for around 3 months of quarantine. 


“I met a new boy in a dating app. We talk about so many things. I think I like him,” told her to me. 


That’s how we started our love updates this morning. Since then, everything flows naturally. 


“The first man matched with me was a Chinese Indonesian, handsome for me. I am attracted to him. We texted intensely. Then he asked to meet me after the quarantine has been over. I told him that I am someone with disability. It doesn’t take long for him to went ghosting after I told him about my fact. It’s like he couldn’t accept my physical deficiency.


Then I try again. Now I’m texting the second man. He is a Korean. He asked me out too after the quarantine has been over. Do you think I should tell him about my amputated leg or just let him find out by himself later when we meet?”


It took me several seconds to think of the answer. “It’s a difficult question, sister. If I were you, I will… “


Then I stop again, thinking but still couldn’t find the answer. 

Then she interrupted, “It’s hard to think of the answer. What if every one whom I tell suddenly walk back? They even don’t see me personality. But what if I let them find it out when we met, then that person can’t accept it and feel that they have been trapped? It’s so normal, out of so many normal people like you, why should they consider to have a disability person like me?”


Suddenly I feel like I got a whisper from my mind,  “Dear VA, you don’t have the obligation to tell him before you met him, even after you guys met, if you are asked of your condition, you have the right too to refuse to answer.”

“I think there is no such a totally correct answer to answer your question. There are so many factors, every case is different. Different man different result. But if I were you, because I have tried to tell about my condition prior to my condition, then I will do it differently for the second man. I will just let him find out right at the time when we meet and let him value myself based on my personality, not of my physical condition.”

Donor Fighter

COVID-19 outbreak is still on air in Indonesia. The number of positive patient keep increasing day by day. Not only airplane industry get the impact, it works too for travel, hospitality, transportation, and many other industries. Without exception, thalassemia’s patient as well .

In this session, where so many people choose to stay at home, a patient with thalassemia major unfortunately still need the same amount of blood transfusion once in every two weeks.

So here I present, a story of SN, mother of a patient with Thalassemia major, a stranger who soon become a friend of mine.

An old friend of mine contacted me for a need of O+ blood. I was hesitated at first. It is quite a brave decision to go out these days. But as I rethink of the consequences, finally I dare myself to go out of my house and donor my blood.

That’s how I meet SN, a mother yet a donor fighter. Why do I say that she is a donor fighter?

Well, during this outbreak as well as holy month of Ramadhan, it gets more difficult to get a blood donor. And SN needs to collect at least 3 bags of blood once in every 2 weeks. I wonder how she is able to get this. This outbreak drives her depressed. Absolutely people tend to stay at home. Why would they bet their own life just to donor their blood to a total stranger?

“It is quiet stressful. This pandemic drives me crazy,” told her to me.

“So, how old is your daughter?” asked me to her curiously.

“She is turning 17-year-old this May.”

“And you have been doing this for 17 years?” startling me a bit, amazed as well.

She was nodding and smiling. “Wow, I am impressed. But, it’s not always like this, right? How do you usually get the blood?”

“Yes, it is usually not this difficult. I only need to go to PMI (Indonesian Red Cross Society) routinely, go to hospital and then get transfusion. It is usually become a bit difficult during Ramadhan, yes this session. But right now is the hardest because it is a double event. I’m so grateful God send me some angels to donor their blood. Like you,” smiled her to me.

I think it is one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen lately, a very sincere one, spoken from the bottom of her heart. Makes me feel more human in this huge world.

“My very pleasure, glad to help, SN.”

Deep inside I compare what I’ve done with what she has done. I only do something very small. I wonder how she can live this kind of life every single day. Such a fighter.

“Have you ever lack of blood? I mean, you need minimum 3 bags of blood twice a week, how if you only get 2? Or even lesser? How if unfortunately my blood doesn’t pass the examination, how if there is just not enough donor? Will something bad happen to your daughter?”

“Well, it happens many times, especially during this pandemic. If so, I will need to borrow the blood from hospital, then find a donor and return it to hospital the next time.”

“Ah I see. I wonder how much you need to pay for blood transfusion every week? And anyway, is the blood for sale? I mean, I donor it freely to PMI, but do you buy it from hospital? Or they give it to you freely?”

“I used to buy it, before government issue BPJS. It costs around 400k a bag (around 28 USD). But if it is without BPJS, it could cost 15 million (around 1.035 USD) and need to be paid twice a month.”

When I hear it, I was like, “Wow, not a small amount of money.”

She went through it all, going through it now, and will keep going to it. As a stranger, the best thing I can do is keep donor my blood and if possible, help her to find another donor.

“Hey, friend,” she called me.

“You are still young. If it is possible, before you get married, check to doctor first whether you and your-husband-to-be has the the blood of thalassemia carrier. If it is just one of you, it is safe then. But if two of you are, be careful.”

Commuter

Hi, reader! Are you a commuter? If yes, which level are you? One who spends minimum 1 hour on the street? 2 hours? 3 hours or even more?

Well, no matter how many hours or minutes you spend on the road, I hope you enjoy the whole commuting time of yours. Please find below my personal point of view of commuting. If you have any other perspective, please feel free to leave your comment.

I was amazed by commuter’s way of mobilize. How could they spend hours on the road, standing up, waiting to reach their destination? How could they willingly waste their time doing nothing?

I might have lived at Jakarta, a-busy-metropolitan-city for more than 5 years, but up until today I am still learning to enjoy traffic jam and polution. I hesitate I can really love them.

Currently I get not better option than commuting for minimum 1.5 hours from and to my working place. This is something I used to avoid, but currently I have to deal with this.


It took me several days to finally like my new status. Instead of only walking or standing up or sitting in a bus, I choose to study while commuting. You are might be wondering how I do it not, let me tell you.


Podcast is my new best friend.

Thank you Google Podcast. Thank you Spotify. I would lying on my bed and scrolling at them the previous night, exploring which episode of podcast I’d like to have the next day. What kind of food I’m going to feed my brain the next day?

Sometimes, Ted Talk or Korean Class got me a bit overwhelmed, so I choose to listening to a podcast which doesn’t require many focus, such as funny short stories. Sometimes I would prefer music too.

Thank you to my Bluetooth headset too! I don’t need to deal with messy cable. Listening becomes so much fun.

The reason why I can enjoy commuting is, funnily, the activities I plan to do which makes me forget that I’m actually commuting. And some people were doing it too!

As I listening to my podcast, I notice that some people are listening to music, talking to their parents or friends in a phone, liking Instagram pictures, watching Korean drama, and any other actions which could distract their attention, which is great.

If you can do two or three things at once, why not?

Smiler

I had that kind of roommate who made people laugh till their jaw getting stiff, but then every night go to bed crying.

She is lovely, having beautiful eyes yet funny unique voice. She is overweight as well. Let’s call her GB, a 30-year-old woman.

Once I asked her, “Hey, friend, what’s your most favorite thing to do in this world?”

While everyone in the room was in silence because of thinking, she spontaneously answer me, “Eating,” with full of smile in her face.

I asked her why, then she told me because only when she is eating she could forget about everything. I din’t really buy this word until I share the same bed and night with her.

We shared the same tears but not the same pain.

When we were about to sleep, I could notice that she was crying. That’s how everything started. I just knew that she is a widow. During her 3 years of marriage, she has aborted 3 babies. By the way this is allowed in her country. It means one baby every year. Then it simply means she got pregnant every year and every time she got pregnant she aborted their babies. Nope, it supposed to be her babies.

“If I could turn back time, I won’t marry this man. I was so specious and stubborn. No one agreed on my choice. My parents to my best friend, they didn’t allow me to marry this man. My ex-husband was previously a divorcee before we get married. May be that was the reason why my people didn’t allow me to marry him.

But because I was persistent, they got no choice except to let me do what I wanted, marry him. That’s how everything started. He was a lazy man, unwilling to work. It was my mistake to spoil him too.

I earned money. Let him stay at home. Prepared his clothes. Cooked him food. Served him all the best I could do. Did all the things the best wife could do. At that time I was a working wife as well. There was also a day I was pregnant and I still cooked him food while all the things he could do was only sitting and playing.

I remember in a cold winter day, I was pregnant and I cooked him food. Getting off from my work, walked a long way to cook then delivered him the meal. I was late. I felt like almost dying. The first thing came out from his lip wasn’t asking how I was doing, he was mad at me being late.

I was full of anger and disappointment, speechless as well.

At that time, I just remembered why all the people around me didn’t allow me to marry him. May be because they already knew this would happen. I regretted I didn’t listen to them and just follow my personal instinct.

Not long after saying this, GY cried. I could’t do anything. She regretted everything.

That’s how she went to bed crying everyday. She regretted her life and couldn’t turn back time. The only thing she could do to forget her regret was eating, only eating. But she felt sad for being fat too.