One of the best conversation i had with are with cleaners. You can a learn a lot from other peoples disadvantage when you take the time to listen.
So i did. On my way having breakfast, a middle aged women who was resting near the wall called me to have a chat. It was the first time i saw her, and turn out she just work there. And yet we talked almost an hour before i ask permission to leave for my breakfast. I was starving but still her life story was much more interesting than the food.
Plus i just have an ulser so it doesnt matter much if i eat later, i can only have the half boiled egg for breakfast anyway. Thats all
Coming back, i was internally crying from her life stories. She showed me all her kids picture, who have their own job now. They treated her well, its just that she will have to live alone when they go to work so she decided to work as a cleaner to fill her spare time. Plus the university were close to the mosque which helds weekly class for those seeking islamic lesson.
She told me about how her son, who passed away last ramadhan, just near to his first day to enrol his degree. He even banked in some money for his mom to go for hajj with him from the job he work while waiting for the intake registration. Fortunately he had the time to apolgize to all his family member just two days before he ran into an accident, on his way to visit a sick friend. Glory be to Allah swt for he is such an amazing man, even though i never knew him, but hearing his character makes you admire him more.
When he told his friends that he is working for hajj, his friends were surprised , why he needed to do so. His answer was simple, and yet meaningful, we dont know when we will die, it can happen to anyone be it young or old. And i guess he is the best example, not just in terms of his passing away, but his character as a muslim and human being.
We talked a lot, and she shared about how she doesnt like crowds, therefore it was more peaceful to work as cleaners, rather than work with people with different character and yet many of us carelessly talk unnecessarily and sometimes talk behind their back, intentionally or unintentionally. We do that all the time without realizing the consequences of our words.
I can tell that she is more of an introverts, but that doesnt mean she is always in her shell. She says that sometimes if she wants some company, she will find people to talk to. Perhaps i am one of those days when she feels like talking it out. She was sobbing to tears as she spoke about her son. I was with much courage, held my tears back inside heeee… Well one of us had to be the strong ones right?
She reminds me a lot of my late grandmother who doesnt talk much and avoided all the unnecessary talk and crowd, and yet she’s like a combination of both of my grandma whom, the other one talks a lot ..but beneficial talk. Just like what she says, i will only talk to people and be friends with them if i can benefit from them…not in terms of material, but if i can learn something from them. Especially after coming back from hajj, all she wants to do is just dedicate her life to doing good things and avoid bad things , amal maaruf nahi mungkar, even if she wasnt all perfect yet. Such as , worrying about not wearing socks because her work make her sweat a lot even if she just have to sweep and mop the floor. Or her hair sometimes comes out from the cleaning work. But she prays that those little things were forgiven by Allah swt and just do her best in improving her character and prayers etc instead.
Well makcik ( aunty), its me who was learning from you today. You are not a cleaner, you just helped me cleanse my soul a little bit lighter. It was rather strange because she came up to me in times when i needed someone to lift a little bit of my spirit that was running a little low. I should at least strive to graduate , for those people who could not make it even for their first degree.
still, it wasnt as bad as knowing that one of my former classmate passed away AFTER he have submitted his thesis and viva, a few days before getting married and should be graduating later. I may not know him well but certainly that was a very strong reminder of how little time we have in this world.
We only have today, tomorrow, is up to Allah swt.
So make the most of your day, and settle everything you can before you sleep. Ask forgiveness before you sleep, and keep a good relation with everyone. We never know, when will it be the last day for us on earth so carpe diem everyone!
May we return to Allah swt in the best state as possible, whatever in the past, just let it past, its already gone. Focus on what you have today, and worry about tomorrow when the day comes. Thats all.
Until then, may what i share with you gives you benefit as much as i have benefited from the cleaner today.