"I believe that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them."
I've read and liked those words since long time ago but never really took time to think about it until an incident 8 years ago.
That day, I was talking on the phone with Dad. It was just a casual conversation. Dad was planning to come to Bandung at weekend so he asked me did I want him to bring something for me and such. Things were usual until when we were gonna ended our conversation. Usually at the end of our phone call, I'd like to say : Love you, Dad
. That time, I didn't know why but I hesitated to say it. So I just said: "Okay take care, Pi"
to which he said : "You too, kiddo. Be good. Love you."
That was our last phone call. Two hours after that, my mom called to inform that Dad got a very bad headache and they were on the way to hospital. Turns out it was a first symptom of stroke. When I came to Jakarta, he was in comatose state and he never woke up again.
To this day, I still regret for not saying the i-love-you words at our last conversation.
And that's when the words dawned on me. I promise myself that whenever I part with someone I love, I'll leave them with loving words.
Usually I try to keep that promise. But sometimes I forget and parted after the heated argument with my loved ones.
The second incident happened around January 2009.
At that time, I had someone that I consider as my significant-other. We've been together since the 1st grade at Elementary School. Yep...almost 21 years together at that time. We're a childhood sweetheart, the same with Holly & Gerry from this book.
Unlike many other stories about childhood sweetheart, we started as a couple turn to best friend while still considered ourselves a s couple, then being a true best friend, and finally a true couple (kok ribet yaa).
Of course, like Holly & Gerry, we could finish each other's sentences. We too could read other's mind. I know him more than I know myself and vice versa. That's what 20-years-of-relationship did to us.
We were also a cool couple. Cool in terms of : we rarely argue because of jealousy. As an example, when I saw a pretty lady, I'm gonna tell him like this: "Eh liat deh arah jam sekian. Cakep ya."
. And after looking for some seconds (just seconds. Longer than that then he's in a deep shit. LOL), he's gonna say : "Yep. Nice booty. Very sexy boobs."
. Things also happened the other way around.
See? How cool are we? (kok jadi pamer ya?)
We're one of those couples that have thing you called as a comfortable silence. We could sit together for hours, saying nothing and just enjoying each other's companion. We've found home in each other's presence.
For me, he's not just a boyfriend. He was also my bestfriend, my dream keeper, my most loyal supporter, my soulmate, or to sum it in one word: my significant-other.
But it's all ended in one night.
That night, we had a plan to hang out with our friends at our usuall place. He was supposed to pick Widya up (our friend whose house located between mine and his), before pick me up then heads to our meeting place. Because of overslept, he was late picking Widya up.
Back then, I was a very very very
punctual person. I could be really mad just because one minte late from the schedule. So at that time, though I know it was really irritating, I kept calling him just to ask him where he was and asked him to drive faster.
I knew he was annoyed with my constant calls mainly cause I called him while he was driving. But I was selfish that time and I didn't care, so I just kept calling.
When he arrived at Widya's home, he called me back and asked :"Iya? Kenapa, babe?"
Now we're not the kind of couple who used petnames. Nay...that's not our style. Usually we just call each other with our name (real name, I mean). Or using missy-boy in a casual argument. And lady-sir if we wanted to tease each other.
But he had this habit to call me with petnames when he was mad at me. He'd call me cutie pie, honeydew, love, well you know...petnames like that. I asked his reason once, and he said : "So you'll know no matter how mad I was to you, I still love you"
(Yeah...I know that's cheesy)
The sweeter he called me means the more annoyed he was. So on the 1 to 10 scale (with 10 being the maddest), "babe" was on number 5. Usually when I know he's on the 5th scale and up, I'm gonna back off and calm him down.
But that night, I was really pissed too. So I replied him (still with an annoyed tone) : "Dimana sekarang?""Udah nyampe rumah Wiwid, Sayang. Kata dia tunggu bentar. Dia masih siap-siap."
On his list, "sayang" was on number 8th."Cepetaaaannnnn.""Iya, Cinta. Sabar yaaa..."
"Cinta" got the 10th score on his list. So actually that time I knew that he was really really mad with me. Usually, "cinta" is a sign for me to seriously back off and calm down. But still, I didn't wanna do it that night."Udah dulu ya. Tar gw telpon kalo Wiwid udah siap jalan. Love you."
Since the period when we had a long distance relationship, we made it a habit to end our conversation with "love-you" and such, no matter how mad we were at each other. Again, that day I wasn't in the mood to say it back and just answer him with : "Yeah whatever. Cepetan ya. Gw tunggu."
Not an hour later, I got a phonecall from Widya. She told me about an accident that involved him and now they were on their way to hospital. When I got to hospital, he was already unconscious. He never wakes up again. Turns out, the "love-you" was his last words to me and "yeah-whatever-cepetan-ya-Gw-tunggu" was my last response to him. Bad, eh?
It's been almost 4 years since that. There are many things that I've learned and could accept with now.
I have learned that being punctual is good, but being a very very very punctual person is a pain in the ass.
I could deal with the pain of losing him and have the dreamless sleep now.
I don't ask the universe anymore why 20 years long of relationship had to ended so abruptly like that. I just accept it as the-way-it-should-be.
I could forgive the destiny for taking away someone who has a very bright future ahead in such a young age.
I believe that this is the best for him and for everyone around him (Actually I still can't see why, but I just wanna believe that coz God always makes the best plan for His people).
I still regret my last words to him. I still can't truly forgive myself for ended our conversation after a heated argument like that. At least with my Dad, things were good between us.
And for me, this fact still hard to deal with.
I envy Holly.
No... I'm not saying that Holly's situation is easier or better than mine. There's no use in making comparison here. She lost her man gradually and I lost him so abruptly, blah....both are a fucked up situation to be in. I envy him cause she has times to bide her loved ones a proper goodbye.
I also envy her because even 1 year after he left, she still got his letters that showing her how much he loves her. I know it's lame, but sometimes (back in the past) when I sort his things off, I wished that I got his letters or even note or anything that I could consider as his-goodbye (yeah...I know I've watched too many lame movies). Or at least a note which tells me that he knows though I was pissed at him on our last conversation but I still love him.
Yup...that was one thing that I envy the most from Holly. Because Holly made sure that Gerry knew she loves him when he left this world. The one thing that I didn't do.
Hey you, up there I hope you could read this.
P.S. I love you
“Finding someone you love and who loves you back is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. But finding a true soul mate is an even better feeling. A soul mate is someone who understands you like no other, loves you like no other, will be there for you forever, no matter what. They say that nothing lasts forever, but I am a firm believer in the fact that for some, love lives on even after we're gone.”
PS : All in all, for me this is a good book. Unrealistic actually about that moving on things (the just-1-year-time-span which made it kinda unrealistic), but still it's a good read. Through Holly's journey and Gerry's letter, I got some lessons about healing. On the other hand, she was a women with a million happy memories, who knew what it was like to experience true love and who was ready to experience more life, more love and make new memories. Whether it happened in ten months or ten years, Holly would obey Gerry's final message. Whatever lay ahead, she knew she would open her heart and follow where it led.
In the meantime, she would just live.”
Just like Holly, I'm a woman with a million happy memories. I could also proudly said that once in my life I knew what true love was.
And I also knew that whatever lay ahead, I'd open my heart and follow where it led. But for now, while waiting that to happen, I'll just live.
Thank you Ahern, for made me realize that a happy ending has many kind of shades.