Letter #52

Saudara kandung

Kind, strong, reliable

Poeti Gladyzka Emiria, Saudara kandung (anak ke-6)

Hello Abada.

It’s been more than a month since you came back to God’s side and I hope you’re resting peacefully. Sorry it took me so long to write to you, sometimes it still doesn’t feel real to know you’re not here anymore. Sometimes (most times) I feel like it’s better to think you’re still out there, working in your office, socializing with your friends, and coming back home late than rather to think you were actually six feet below the ground.

I actually tried to write out my feelings a couple times, especially on the day you finally Rested, to convey my feelings to the world but somehow I think it’s too… private. But I do want the world to know how amazing you were as a person and as my brother so, this is my attempt to share my thoughts about you.

Bang, two days before it happened, you already know what I truly thought of you, right? You asked mine, Kakak, and Ali’s opinions about you as a big brother and, since I was embarrassed to say it in our family group (heck, I was even embarrassed saying it to you), I texted you personally. Like I had said in our chatroom a month ago, I really feel you were The Big Brother figure for me. Ali and Abang Aidil are my brothers, yes, but they’re not like you. Your strong and reliable figure was always there ever since I was little and even until your last days. I especially remembered how you took me in for a whole year even though you could have said no, and how you looked out for me and made me feel comfortable in your home. I don’t think I can tell every single thing you had done for me in your lifetime but for every single one, I am grateful.

Aside from giving me a lot of things, you had help also our family even while you have your own problems to attend to. I had wish I could give you things in return but as it was, I was clueless on what to do to pay you back for all your doings. So in turn, I just try to make you laugh with our banters and jokes and make you feel light-hearted, even though it’s just for a moment.

Seeing how great you were since I was little, I always thought of you as the coolest sibling. The Golden Son. Handsome, smart, successful, kind, out-going, your talents in music, your sport activities, what don’t you have? I also think the fact that you were able to go out of your “slump” and became better and achieving your dream was really amazing. All those reasons and more, was the reason why you were my role model and why hope I can be like you one day. Why I admire you so much. It is also worth noting that whenever you give me an advice I always try to remember it and think of it as some “kata-kata mutiara”.

Speaking of admiring you, it really makes me happy if we share the same taste in things—such as music or tv shows. Somehow I feel validated, haha, like “oh Bang Ardha likes this which means it is cool! I’m glad I also liked it!”. It also makes me happy because it means I can talk about our interests together although sometimes I feel like I would be a hassle, I don’t know why. And so, while I thought of talking to you more, I ended up not doing it. I do feel regretful at times but what can I do now, right? [And oh, the fact that I share the same alma mater as you made me immensely proud. I still remember asking you about my soon-to-be uni back in 2015 and you, with Kak Dita, told me stories about it. That was the moment where I feel like I made you proud too.]

IMG_3247 - Gladyzka Emiria

That time you took our family to Singapore was one of the best moments in my life and no, it’s not because of Coldplay. But it is more because we get to spend our time as a family and having fun. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this must be like to have a family outing when I was still a toddler. No nephews or niece or step-siblings, but just our parents and the six of us.’ Although, Abang Aidil and Kakak didn’t go with us, I still thought of the trip like that.

IMG_5830 - Gladyzka Emiria

The fact that I get to experience watching a concert with you, Uni, and Ayah made it even more special because I truly think it was a once in a lifetime experience. I guess now it really is a once in a lifetime thing now that you’re gone…

IMG_5531 - Gladyzka Emiria

Nonetheless, I still remember what you said a few days before you Left. “Gw janji akan menjaga kalian selalu, sampai kalian tua nanti.” Maybe because of those words too I didn’t really feel that you were truly and really Gone, Bang. Maybe because of those words, I still feel you’re still here with me, protecting your younger siblings like how you usually did. And maybe you’re not here physically but as long as you are at peace and feel happier wherever you are now, that is enough for me. The fact that for this whole week you have been visiting my dreams also comforted me. Please do visit me a lot through the dream space Bang, for years and years and years.

18342619_10208243778362685_5676395811721643177_n - Gladyzka Emiria

I remember how you teased me for saying this to Kakak when she had her birthday earlier this year, and I already told you the same anyway back then but still, I really am glad that we were born in the same family Bang. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone out there to be my big brother. You are irreplaceable.

There are more stuff that I would like to talk about but I feel for now, this is enough. To be honest, I don’t think there will ever be an end to talk about how amazing and great you are and how much I looked up to you.

With all of that said, I love you Bang Ardha ♥

– Babria/Gaday/Your kid sister, Gladyz.

Letter #46

Saudara kandung

Three words about Ardha:

Pekerja keras, penyayang, tulus

Puti Ceniza Sapphira (Chica), kakak kandung (anak ke-2).

“Ibu kenapa? Masih sedih ya Om Ardha meninggal?”, tanya Azka/Khalif bergantian aja siapa yang duluan menemukan saya lagi diem merenung, berkaca-kaca, menerawang dua minggu terakhir. Kemudian saya dipeluk mereka. Keduanya udah melihat saya bolak-balik nangis, Azka di usianya yang 8 tahun lebih bisa memahami saya dan menghibur, kalimat pertama yang dia bilang saat saya mereda tangisnya di malam 24 Mei lalu adalah “Ibu, menurut aku, meskipun Om Ardha adalah adik Ibu dan lebih muda, Allah sudah mengatur tentang kematian. Ibu harus mengikhlaskan kematian Om Ardha. Aku doakan agar semua amal kebaikan Om Ardha cukup untuk bisa masuk surga, dan dosa-dosanya mendapat ampunan dari Allah”.

Aamiin Ya Allah.

====

Hallo Dha, this is not an ideal eulogy like Ali and Ozu wrote to you. I wish I could write an eloquent English as they write it to you. Tapi gak bisa (selain karena pasti grammar gw akan lo cela-cela “Salah nyeettt”), tapi belum bisa menulis seringkes itu, karena gw juga ga nyangka akan seberat ini melepas elo. Jadi gw curahkan aja yang ada di kepala ya…Ini asli berkecamuk, tiap gw ada waktu diem/bengong pasti keinget lo Dha.

Dua minggu terakhir rasanya masih surreal banget buat gw, ga pernah kebayang bakal mengalami ini – di waktu secepat ini. Beragam what-ifs berkecamuk di pikiran gw. Beragam penyesalan yang mungkin gw ga tau apa bisa memaafkan diri gw apa engga. Dari mulai ga pernah nyempetin pulang ke Jakarta, jarang berkontak via whatsapp (padahal Bunda selaluuuuu tiap hari ya bok mengupdate dan mengencourage anak-anaknya untuk terus cerita satu sama lain), sampe gw nyesel banget pas lo sakit trus gw ga jadi dateng ke Jakarta cuman karena lo bilang via telephone “Gak usah bok, gw udah baikan”. Padahal apa susahnya sih gw nyempetin datang. Dan pertengahan April lalu Bunda udah sempet negur juga “Cha, kata Ardha, Chica tuh ga care sama adik-adiknya”. Yang mana pas gw denger itu, gw malah cengengesan dan bilang bahwa “Lah, ke semua juga aku khan jarang berkontak… Bukan karena ga care Bun, tapi emang ga kepikiran aja karena kesibukan” (alasan yang nyebelin banget). Abis Bunda ngomong gitu tetep aja dong gw ga langsung kontak elo (penyesalan selalu datang belakangan ya).

img20180525081120.jpg

Lebaran tahun lalu terakhir kita ketemu ya Dha… Saking ga jelasnya acara lebaran tahun lalu (2017), gw bahkan ga inget apapun dari memory terakhir ketemu sama elo. Sedih. Yang gw inget di lebaran 2016 lo dan Dita minjemin rumah di BSD dan memastikan gw sekeluarga nyaman di rumah lo (yang gw suka banget tiap sudutnya).

Gw mau cerita dari kita kecil dulu… dari keterbatasan memory gw yang payah ini. Dari serpihan-serpihan memory, ada beberapa hal yang gue inget dari masa kecil kita: pertama, lo dipanggil “Pak Doto” yang mana artinya Pak Dokter. Entah istilah dari mana itu berasal, tapi that name suited you very well. Lo lucu banget pas kecil, putih, bule, chubby, kalem, dan lo langsung disukain sama semua orang di keluarga Akbar dan Hawadi.

29153_1418400534134_44309_n

Kedua, pas lo SD, kemampuan lo yang ga akan gw lupa dan banyak dipuji adalah dapat berkomunikasi dengan orang2x yang lebih tua. Ga heran banyak anak yang lebih gede yang mau main sama elo, padahal kalo diliat dari usia kadang anak gede tuh suka males ama anak kecil… tapi engga dengan elo.

Ketiga, yang banyak diingat orang (sepupu) adalah kita berdua suka berantem (kayak anjing ama kucing, dan segala sumpah serapah keluar ya Dha kalo lagi berantem x’). Gw lupa pertikaian macam apa yang sering terjadi di antara kita (semua kayaknya dipermasalahkan), kayaknya ga ada hari tanpa berantem sama elo (dan juga abang lo). Namun seringnya kita berdua yang saling membela satu sama lain ya Dha kalau udah mulai bersiteru sama anak #1….

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.17.17

Keempat, gw suka mengolok bahwa lo adalah anak emasnya Ayah Bunda… Walau kalau dipikir-pikir ya iyalah lo anak emas… Udah cakep, pinter, nurut, juara MTQ, jago main bola, jago basket, banyak temen… Gw sempet iri pada waktu itu (dan suka protes juga ke AyBun), dan sempet mempertanyakan WHY lo jadi anak emas. Zooming out to 2 decades later gw baru menyadarinya…terlalu sulit untuk ga menjadikan lo anak emas dengan segala kebaikan yang melekat di elo. Huhu.

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.33.30

Memasuki masa SMP, gw yang cupu banget ini tiba-tiba jadi sedikit “dikenal” di sekolah karena punya adik seorang Ardha. “Ohh, Chica kakaknya Ardha”. Dalam sekejap lo jadi salah satu anak populer di angkatan lo karena what’s not to like from Ardha. Bahkan temen-temen angkatan gw mengenal lo sebagai “everybody loves him”. Walau kejadian salah pergaulan  di SMP ini juga yang menjadi fase penting di kehidupan lo ya Dha. Sedih kalau inget masa-masa itu. Luar biasa buat elo yang dapat melaluinya – gw selalu bilang ini ke semua orang bahwa gw bangga dengan semua achievements lo, bahkan buat orang dengan latar belakang kehidupan normal aja (baca: gw) rasanya ga akan mungkin bisa sampai di titik kehidupan lo kemarin… You are gifted and talented, ditambah dengan determinasi tinggi lo lah yang menghantarkan ke titik ini.

IMG20180525155711.jpg

Tahun 2001 – 2006 kita tinggal berpencar, gw di Bandung, lo di Bogor untuk beberapa waktu (dan hanya setahun sesekali aja ketemu kalo pas lebaran atau liburan semester). Sekembalinya gw ke Jakarta di 2006 bertemu lagi dengan lo yang udah fresh dan jadi mahasiswa di FISIP, Kriminologi UI (Bunda cerita bahwa lo menduduki peringkat 1 Paket C se-Nasional). Karena kondisi rumah, lo jadi berbagi kamar dengan gw. Walau lo cuman datang kala weekend aja, karena sehari-hari ga tinggal di Pulomas. Kalo weekend lo datang, kadang lo suka sebel liat kamar yang berantakan, secara ya gw…selordeh berat, dan elo super rapih… sepatu-sepatu tertata, kaos2 terlipat rapi, dan semuanya deh organized banget. Gw suka dimarahin juga kalau pake baju lo tanpa izin (maaf ya Dha).

224669_9149218228_1988_n

Masa-masa 2006-2009 akan selalu gw kenang dan menjadi momen favorite kebersamaan kita. Kita lebih tepat seperti temen ketimbang kakak-adik dan lo seperti pengawal gw dengan postur lo yang tinggi tegap – jadi bikin gw merasa aman kalau kemana-mana sama lo. Di masa itu, dari mulai curhat perihal pasangan masing2x, pergi ke gigs bersama (ERK udah pasti jadi favorit kita ya bok), tukeran playlist, dan nyanyi-nyanyi di mobil pake iPod lo in between one gigs to another), dengerin lo main gitar dan compose lagu, trus kalo lo mau manggung Delay Monday milihin pake kaos mana. Ardha yang suka ga pedean dan pemalu harus tampil di umum.

Screenshot_2018-05-31-13-24-40-91

screenshot_2018-05-31-13-10-10-70.png

Ohya, kaos buatan gw sering banget lo pake waktu itu, bahkan kemarin pas beresin lemari pakaian lo, gw menemukan kaos Mew masih ada (udah 10 tahun dan dari koleksi kaos-kaos lo bisa aja lo sumbangin kaos ini, tapi ini masih ada tersimpan rapi). Terima kasih ya Dha, lo sangat menghargai barang-barang pemberian gw :”’

IMG_20180531_134420

Tahun 2009 jadi tahun penting kita berdua, karena wisuda dan menikah di tahun yang sama.

1934386_122027188228_835720_n

Saat gw merantau di 2010-2015 kita paling sering kontak perihal menerima paket-paket sneakers lo dari eBay untuk kemudian gw kirimkan ke Indonesia. Ada masa di mana gw sebel, kok lo beli sepatu second mahal-mahal amat (harganya sampe bikin gw ga rela karena bisa jadi ongkos beli groceries gw sebulan)… Buat apa?? Bahkan gw sempet menceritakan ini ke beberapa temen yang punya sifat frugal yang sama dengan gw (asli gw rese banget ya), tapi ketika gw liat dan baca bahwa lo membentuk sebuah komunitas pecinta sneakers dan ketelatenan lo terhadap sepatu-sepatu lo (those are collectible items anyway), gw nyesellllll banget Dha pernah usil berpikir tentang hobi lo ini. Padahal lo sama sekali ga pernah usil satu kali pun sama apa yang gw jalani…. Maaf ya Dha…

IMG_20180606_123324-2.jpg

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.13.59

Yang paling gw syukuri mungkin selama 3 tahun gw kembali ke Indonesia, kita sempet pergi bareng sekeluarga tiga kali. Yang pertama pas wisudaan Ali dan kedua pas nonton coldplay (konser impian kita berdua). Pas di Jogja November 2016, momen yang kerekam banget adalah interaksi lo dengan Reya (she’s lucky to have you) dan lo bawa laptop untuk kerja. “Bok, lo kerja??”, “Iya, gw ada deadline report nih”. Di antara memprioritaskan waktu bersama keluarga, lo juga ga melepaskan tanggung jawab lo untuk urusan pekerjaan.

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.45.44WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.46.41

Kemudian pas Februari 2017 di Bandung, lo traktir kita semua stay di AirBnb untuk bisa bonding time adik-kakak aja minus Ozu (dan inisiatif ini datangnya dari lo, yang paling care sama kebersamaan keluarga). Mengingat momen itu gw sedih, karena acara saling ngobrol-ngobrol mendalam yang mungkin jadi tujuan utama kita nginep bersama akhirnya ga terjadi karena semua tepar dan ga kondusif. I still remember the scene all of us sleeping in mattresses that night, reminded me much of our childhood tidur sekamar sekeluarga.

img20180525081225.jpg

Terakhir, pas coldplay Maret 2018. Yang bikin gw sedih kalo inget2 coldplay adalah…. Dan ini gw bener2 baru gw sadari pas kemarin2 :'((((((( Bahwa lo udah berkorban untuk bisa nonton bareng sama gw, Ayah dan Gladyz… yang tadinya lo udah beli untuk tiket di depan (dan tiket itu udah sold out) kemudian lo jual tiketnya dan instead beli 4 tiket biar bisa nonton bersama kita. Dan posisinya JAUHHHHHHHHH banget ya bok karena tinggal itu sisanya – setelah lo antre 2 jam pula.

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 14.13.17

Plus lagi pengorbanan lo ngikutin gw (demi irit) untuk naek pesawat muter2x  –_____– *kesalahan gw banget, harusnya gw urus pesawat, tapi sampe akhir tetep lo yang ngurus sehingga flight ke Singapore harganya udah gila2an waktu itu.  Ga sekali pun lo complain selama nunggu transit di KL, bahkan pas pulang sampe nunggu berapa belas jam (yang harusnya cuman dua jam ke Singapore PP ini bisa 15 jam)…. Konyol banget, tapi lo dengan sabarnya “menikmati” semua proses. Walau kalo diinget-inger di perjalanan itu kita ga banyak ngobrol ya Dha…. Gw baru segitu menyadarinya at that moment, apa lo emang pengen diem sama gw…. apa gw ga seru diajak ngobrol… Dan di akhir perjalanan malah kita berantem karena gw ngomong hal yang bikin lo kesel (padahal mungkin selama perjalanan lo udah banyak berkorban nahan-nahan diri). DHA, MAAF YA DHA…

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.54.04

Lagu “everglow” akan selalu gw kenang, lo bilang itu track favorite lo… Sedih pas tau liriknya (biasalah gw suka ga ngeh lirik lagu -___-):

Like brothers in blood, or sisters who ride
Yeah we swore on that night we’d be friends ’til we die
But the changing of winds, and the way waters flow
Life is short as the falling of snow
And I’m gonna miss you, I know

Ya pada intinya gw banyak penyesalan banget Dha…. Dan di WA terakhir kita juga ga enak banget. Bahkan pas sore itu dapat telepon dari nomor lo, gw cuman mikir “Ngapain nih Ardha nelpon, males angkat ah”. YA ALLAH berita yang gw dapatkan ga akan pernah gw lupa sampe kapan pun, rasanya dunia terbalik , dan gw ga peduli orang liat gw teriak-teriak histeris :'((((( Ga percaya, dan nyesekkkkk banget.

Kalau gw berusaha menghibur diri…. Gw cuman sangat bersyukur banget Dha. Malam di mana lo dimakamkan, lo disholatin oleh ratusan orang di masjid (habis pada selesai taraweh dan sedikit banget yang beranjak dari masjid – sisanya ikut sholat jenazah), kemudian disholatin lagi di musholla Jeruk Purut (sampai 3 gelombang kata Ayah dan Ali), meninggal di bulan Ramadhan, dan langit cerah banget Dha (bulan bersinar terang dan banyak bintang), Ayah juga bilang wajah lo tenang dan bagus banget…. Bunda bilang lo wangi. Sayang gw ga dapat kesempatan ketemu elo, karena gw baru tiba di Jeruk Purut jam 2.30 pagi. InsyaAllah Husnul Khatimah ya Dha. Aamiin ya Rabbal Alamiin. Sampe Ustadznya bertanya: “Saya iri sama anak ini. Belum pernah sekali pun saya liat pemakaman di malam hari sebanyak ini orang yang hadir. Apa amalan anak ini?”.

screenshot_2018-05-25-04-09-47-49.png

Dan membaca sekian #letterforardha (yang mungkin cuman sedikit tapi bisa menggambarkan bagaimana elo di mata temen-temen sobat dan kolega lo), amalan utama lo adalah bahwa lo orang baik (“a rare kind heart” seseorang menyebutnya), lo disayang karena lo sangat peduli dan menghargai orang lain, lo dijadikan role model karena orang yang tau elo di fase 1 kehidupan dan lo bisa sampe di titik kemarin sebelum ajal menjemput, tau bahwa itu hal yang sangatttt luar biasa. Dan utamanya lo selalu pengen orang lain mendapat keberuntungan dari apa yang lo kerjakan, lo kasih referal ke orang, lo sabar ngajarin dan dampingi orang, lo peduli sama orang, dan lo berusaha mengerti orang lain. Ohya, dan lo adalah Apap yang luar biasa sayang dan care – Reya pasti akan sangat kehilangan waktu-waktu video call (setiap sore) dan date sama ya lo ya Dha. She looked just like you, setidaknya kalau gw kangen elo gw bisa lihat dari matanya dan idungnya yang lo banget (kita banget, idung Bunda).

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 14.08.37

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-05 at 13.43.08

Dha, sebagai orang beriman pastilah gw percaya bahwa ada kehidupan abadi setelah kematian, gw selalu berdoa untuk lo, dan semua amal jariyah lo tak terputus dari kebaikan-kebaikan yang telah lo lakukan semasa lo hidup.

Gw janji akan jadi kakak yang lebih baik  – walau ga akan mungkin gantiin sosok elo  yang mengemban ini selama bertahun-tahun, tapi makasih udah mengingatkan poin yang gw lupakan 9 tahun terakhir (masih nyesek Dha kalau baca percakapan terakhir kita). I will routinely ketemu Reya dan ajak playdate bareng Azka Khalif. Dan yang pasti gw akan selalu menceritakan tentang lo ke Azka Khalif sampai mereka besar, bahwa kalian punya sosok Om Ardha yang sangat care, yang pekerja keras, yang sangat pinter, sabar, dan humble. Dan gw pengen Azka Khalif bisa meneladani hal-hal itu dari sosok lo, adik gw.

Dha, lo pernah bilang, bahwa percakapan kita di malam takbiran tahun 2006 adalah Delta Moment buat elo, gw sangat bersyukur pernah hadir dan menjadi bagian terpenting dalam perjalanan hidup lo. Dan kali ini, this is my Delta Moment yang lo kasih ke gw. Tapi kenapa harus begini caranya Dha…

Terima kasih banyak Dha, untuk semua yang udah lo kasih ke gw. I will cherish all the memories with you, bok. Mampir-mampir ke mimpi gw ya Dha…

I love you Ardha Renzulli. Anak Ramadhan kebanggaan keluarga AyBun.

Letter #41

Saudara kandung

Poeti Nazura Gulfira (Ozu), Adik Ardha (anak ke-4)

I never thought that it would be Bang Ardha, my older brother who was just above me, to be the first one who left our family. The one who has been well-known and adored by his family and friends for his “perfection”.

nazuragulfira--1528041768723
Even when I was a kid, I was jealous of him because he was indeed the “golden kid” of the family. Very intelligent (both academic and non-academic), athletic, and the only one in the family who played music. Basically he’s the gifted one who was good at everything he did. And yet, he stayed humble and never like to brag himself upon all his perfection. .

In addition to my admiration towards him in general, I was especially in awe of his perseverance. I can safely say that next to my parents, he was the strongest person I had ever known. He was a real fighter who tried his best to fight the battles that not everyone, including myself, could face, let alone won.

In the end, though, he proved that while it might be his perfection that made him admired, it was his kindness that had earned him the love of many people and it was his strength that defined him for those who knew him well. And I think even God loves him so much that he was taken at the right time and also in the holy month (which is also ‘his month’; Ardha means Anak Ramadhan). .

No words can describe how much I regret that the last time we met I didn’t hug you so tight nor directly say to you that I really really really love you, Bang. I never thought I would experience a loss so deeply to the point that I almost felt like I was going back to the days when I was inside the black hole. But I know this isn’t what you would want to see from there nor what you taught me. Besides, I’m an avid believer that God’s plan is always better than our plans (I have already seen that, anyway during our road trip back in 2017 😜). .

nazuragulfira--1528041766729nazuragulfira--1528041766565nazuragulfira--1528041766970nazuragulfira--1528041767408

Well, see you on the other side, big bro! In the meantime, I’ll see you in my dreams yaaa, Bang Ardha ❤ #letterforardha

Letter #40

Saudara kandung

Three words about Ardha:

Gaul, pinter, baik

Ali Araafi Akbar, Adik Ardha (anak ke-5).

“Can’t believe he’s gone” I mutter to myself time and time again.

Bang Ardha and I could not be more different, and I think that is readily apparent to anyone who has ever gotten to know us both: he’s cool and I’m wimpy. It is frustrating, then, that we were only similar in our shyness, which made having lasting casual conversations with him difficult (how I wish even a fraction of his wit/style/confidence/selflessness had rubbed off on me instead).

Yet I knew Bang Ardha cared. I had always known, because he displayed it in his own way: by giving away a lot of his belongings. Usually it would be his old, but very stylish and barely-worn clothes.

IMG-20180603-WA0019

There was a point during junior high where my wardrobe consisted of nothing but his shirts and band tees (I particularly liked wearing the Radiohead and Incubus ones). I think a number of cool kids at school were also surprised at how “secretly hip” I was with my taste in fashion and music (copied wholesale from Bang Ardha, of course).

The most memorable gift for me, however, was a Playstation Portable he bought for me in 2006 with his earning as a part-time salesman. Prior to his passing, this would be the one memory to cause my eyes to well up. To think he was still a 20-year old college student at the time, trying his best to get an extra income, and still left enough to get what was at the time a pricey item for someone else…

IMG-20180603-WA0020

If determination was a human, Bang Ardha would have been it. As a teen, I told myself I would repay his kindness once I have a steady income of my own. I told myself while I could never fully return the favor, I would at least try to do so slowly over time. That this was the only way I know how of proving what a good influence he had been as a big brother.

IMG-20180603-WA0022

IMG_4970

I never got to tell him any of this. I never got to be the little brother he could hang around with, nor one who could even reciprocate his altruistic gestures. And despite probably being fully aware of me and my “muka datar”, I think he might had even been frustrated at my mild reactions to any and all of his efforts (“Li, lo suka nggak sama yang itu? Kok muka lo kayak kurang sreg gitu?” Or something to that effect).

Nevertheless, I am relieved knowing that he had shared a brotherly bond with his (many) friends, as can be seen in the other letters. That he attracted many similarly loyal and compassionate individuals to his side.

I am sorry Bang, I really am. Thank you for being a role in most things you do. I love you.