Last weekend on Saturday I took time off. I signed up for a women-only Islamic conference, asked my married best friend (cum ex-room mate for six years) to come along. And women-only conference means there’s a bazaar selling lots and lots of nice outfits and scarves…and opportunities for pampering too. But that’s not my point here.
My husband looked after Isa for the whole day literally, as the event began at 10 am and ended at 10 pm. I could not be more grateful for this, really. I’d be dead tired if I have to do so.
I listened to many of the good speakers and felt enlighten. Re-energised at some points. I made a resolution – I want to be a better daughter, a better wife, a better mom, a better in-law, a better career person. I know that won’t come easily.
And you see, my resoluteness and determination were put on test almost immediately.
1. I had terrible headache during the conference, having been in a room crammed with hundreds of girls for one of the workshops there. I could stand that – some shopping I did did cure it a bit.
2. When the event ended, it was already 10 pm, and I went into the car realising that the gas was running really low. I remember my husband telling me that it would last another 100km I should not worry, but the trip to the event was already 50 km approximately, and I didn’t know if the reserve could last for the whole trip back. I should have fill up the tank before I leave Putrajaya, but it was not a place I was familiar with, and finding a gas station will mean a chance of going round and round for at least 30 minutes. It’s pretty dark, and yes, to a certain extent I am quite paranoid being a lone woman driver.
3. So I took the chance. I will stop at the gas station once I exit the highway, I resolved. It would be another 30km but it was not impossible. Except that the highway to the city centre (where I was heading to) was hilly. And soon I found the gas indicator blinking. I was nervous beyond imagination. It was 10:20 pm, and it was a pretty dark highway, you know.Luckily, the nearest exit was one I am familiar with. So I took that one with the intention of going back onto the highway as soon as possible. And yes, it might not be the best option, since the exit was where our National Stadium located, and they were having the final round of National League final match – hence loads of cars parking on the roadside, and yeah, I did take a wrong turn and had to go to the further route to back to the city.
4. My Iphone’s battery ran out. Somewhere during the journey, though I tried saving as much as possible it just went off. And that spelled trouble. How do I contact my husband? He was off with Isa to his mother’s, and would only be back home once I do. But he mentioned that Isa was already asleep, and that I might need to drive straight to my MIL’s place. No confirmation yet. and the phone was out of battery.
5. After all the troubles, I thought I’d reach home in less than 30 minutes. No, I did not eventually. There was an accident on the road leading home and hence massive traffic jam.
6. I got home only to find out that my husband wasn’t there yet, and he used a padlock that I didn’t have the key for! I think this was the ultimate test of the night. The usual me will come out with many terrible thoughts about my husband – how could he do this? I was out for a good cause and all he gave me is this? You know, stuff like that. Devil was at work for sure – but I managed to keep calm. I wanted to be a better person, remember? So I drove to the nearest commercial shops and tried to find a public phone. It was already 11pm, and yes, public phones are rare these days. I didn’t find one. I went back home, came across my neighbours who were just entering their unit. They lent me their mobile phone – I got to call my husband and his first word was ‘I am so sorry.’ Apparently he was about to arrive, and his car was blocked earlier at his parents’ place that he could not go out sooner. I could not imagine how terrible it would feel if I was mad at him at that time when that was his first words to me.
I wanted to be better, and then tests come. My patience, gratitude, determination were put on test on the spot – and would that make me feel frustrated?
Because God the Almighty says:
Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).
I won’t fail myself this time, in God’s Grace.