My father passed away around 5 years ago, 2 years after my mum. As the saying goes, "You will not appreciate what you have until you lose them". I feel the same nowadays everytime I go back to Kota Bharu. I feel more like a visitor now rather than a boy who was brought up in the town.
We finally sold off the family house in Taman Guru. While naturally we would like to keep it, circumstances made it difficult for us to keep it further. Some of us went back to clear stuff which are meaningful and useful, before the new owner takes over. Going over the many things that were still there brought back the memories of my late parents, the times when we were together and the many things that happened there. They had lived their lives the fullest, making whatever differences that they could to the world had done their best to ensure we, their children, would be able to live our own lives and continue to give back to the society.
We took the opportunity to visit Machang, where my parents lived in the early 60's until the end of 70's. Things had certainly changed. The quarters which was allocated to my mother when she served as a dental staff nurse had been turned into an office facility. When she was transferred to Pasir Puteh, we moved to the quarters belonging to my father who was the headmaster of Sekolah Kebangsaan Hamzah. That quarters had been replaced by a building housing the pre-school facility of that school. The little stream near the quarters is still there though.
I suppose letting go what we love is never easy. What more when what we have placed us in the position of power, make us respected by the society and provided us with the worldly comforts which many others don't have. I suppose these are the challenge people in leadership positions have when their times are up, because of circumstances or even when they do not longer have the credentials to remain in those positions.
A wise man once told me before I accepted my present responsibilities, "Remember what comes with the chair and what goes with it. As long as you can live without them, you should be alright". This reminder is very important especially when the right things that we are suppose to do are not necessarily popular with many people who we are serving. We must be prepared to let go, the position and power, when the alternative requires us to compromise on what is right.
We may not be able to adopt such stance unless we were brought up by people who have such principles as well. While the houses and memories may no longer be around, the principles and values which I inherit from my parents would certainly continue to live within me and provided me with the foundations and strengths to do what is right for the society.
May Allah accords my parents with His forgiveness and Blessings and places them together with those who He is pleased.