It was the first time in a long time that I travelled to Indonesia back in 2007 where we were able to reunite with our family.

I hadn’t remembered any of them, I wasn’t able to memorise back then. Since we were on the other side of the world I had to adjust my sleeping pattern which took a while. I wanted to go home honestly. Sure we are visiting our family yet this was a totally new environment. I missed our home. But after the holiday I realised I never wanted to leave. All of our relatives were so kind and playful with us; we developed a strong and warm relationship with each other. There was one man in particular who I have very fond memories of.

This was the first time we spent a day out together with my cousins. Embah, my grandfather on my father’s side, took us out on a day. He invited three of my cousins, Ara, Putri and Nisa along as well as a friend of his who was to assist us. We first went to a restaurant that was empty so we were able to sit where we wanted. We ordered what we wished for from the menu, I had a bowl of noodles and a glass of Teh botol. The restaurant also had an upper landing full of pool tables. We all decided to play pool together and we spent about half an hour up there.  Afterwards, Embah took us all to the ever-popular “Timezone.” It was a vast area of various games and machines. We were able to spend about an hour and some in this playing whatever we wanted. Time to time we stopped for a quick break to refresh ourselves with a shake or some Tehbotol.

Whenever we were at home he was very nice. Since I was new here he wanted to know about my life and my personality. I liked to talk to him about this because through this I was able to know a bit about him too. It was only at the end of the holiday that I wanted to know my grandfather much more.

After three years in 2011 we were able to come back to Indonesia and I was ever so excited.

Again we were able to talk to each other so I could tell him about the things going on over the past three years, and he could tell me how he was feeling.

One day Embah decided to take just Thariq and I to a place. I thought he might have taken us to Timezone however it was just us alone and I thought it had to be something else. After a couple of minutes we arrived in front of a large gate guarding a small lake and garden. He told us that we would practice fishing. None of us had never tried it and had always wanted to try it. I especially was excited about it since I like fish and fishing seemed had been one of those tasks on a to-do list with my life. Unsurprisingly I was terrible but Embah showed me the way. The rods used in Indonesia have a totally new technique to the UK methods but were actually more effective. With Embah’s little crash course I actually caught a fish, my very first fish, which we ate for dinner. We went fishing for a few more days.

Again we were able to Timezone which was fun. One day Embah decided to treat me and Thariq and took us out into the large shopping centre. He wanted to buy some clothes for us and some shoes. We walked around the large shopping area and picked out clothes and shoes we wanted to buy.

One memorable day was the day Embah and Eni’ took our whole family to visit “Taman Safari.” Taman Safari was a drive-through Safari Park where we were able to witness various exotic animals, from tigers to elephants to birds of the rainforest. Thariq even rode a pony… We took some incredible photos of us lined up against four humungous Asian Elephants and we were able to buy us some nice ‘Taman Safari’ T-Shirts.

These memories show me that Embah was a very generous man. He always wanted me and Thariq to receive the best he could offer. He wanted to introduce us the Indonesian lifestyle. Embah was always giving. Whether it was T-Shirts, more credit allowance in Timezone, some drinks, he was there to provide us to make sure we were always happy.

Embah was thoughtful. He wanted to know how I was back in England and how I was coping with my education and he was sympathetic with my issue of stress of exams and homework. I never saw Embah with a frown on his face. Every time I looked at him or talked to him or spent time with him he was always smiling, laughing and always happy. His ambience brightened the mood.

You never realize how much you love the person until they pass away out of your life. You will always remember them and miss them but you can never talk or touch or play with them again. And if you ever had some disputes or had some issues you can never resolve them again. You wish you should have always done what you wanted to do, what you wrongs you wanted to right before it was too late.

It also goes to show that you should never take your life for granted. Just because you’re a 15 year old doesn’t mean your life won’t be next. Ever since this event has happened I’ve come to realise that there is a beginning and end to my life and that the end can happen at any stage at which Allah wishes. I realise that I should appreciate my life more and do more with my life than waste it.

It was too soon for Embah to passed away. If he was alive for longer I would be able to show him and tell him about my results I will get in the following years of my education and tell him about all the other activities I have been doing such as my current DofE (Duke of Edinburgh programme).

So Insha-Allah we all wish Embah that he will be rewarded with Paradise, we thank him for all the kindness and gifts he presented to us and this world and we hope we can do just the same.

Love you Embah. Love the rest of the family if you’re there. Love God. Love whatever there is to love anyway…

From Rizki your grandson, all the way back in England. Wishing I was with you guys.