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SubhanAllah, it's halfway through October already. I had pledged to write a post on each of my husband's birthday which falls on the 12th of the month. This would be the fourth year I'm doing so, albeit almost  a week late.

How time flies...I feel like it was only a couple of months ago that I had written for this occasion. We both have been so busy, which we are very grateful for. I had mentioned before that having a bee farm would be the ultimate in my healing career. And now, thanks to my dear sister Aimi, I am finally moving towards that direction, four years after I had hopelessly fallen in love with bees and beekeeping.

Most people would be planning their retirement at this age, but here I am getting involved in a new venture at just over half a century old and four years short of the retirement age. I have always been a slow starter, only realising my true calling after my forties. Notwithstanding the setbacks in my life, which always turned out to be the start of something better, it had been a wonderful journey, made even better after having married Ahmad Cendana in February 2011.

He too had gone through numerous changes since he first stepped foot on Selangor soil nine months before we married. That move from Pasir Mas where he had lived for about 25 years was barely two months after we had known each other. It sounds like a pretty short time, but at that time, it felt too long.

Unknown to me then, Ahmad Cendana was in a bad shape, putting it mildly. We never saw or spoke to each other; we communicated only through text messages and Facebook, so I had no idea how he looked, much less know the physical condition he was in. But the urge to help him was overwhelming. For the two months we were living 500 km apart, thoughts of him and his well-being consumed me. It wasn't just feelings of love, but a deep compassion and desire to help him get well, and live a reasonably normal life.

I had to totally depend on guidance from the Almighty, as there wasn't anyone else who was seeing him that could provide information on his actual condition. At times he would be silent for a few days, not responding to my messages and calls. I felt desperate and totally helpless when I was unable to be there to help him, not knowing his condition, and not knowing if he was dead or still alive...was agonising. During these times, I had almost given up, but always, just at the breaking point, I would receive "messages" telling me to be patient and to hang on. The strength He had provided me with to endure these times was truly incredible. 

The most significant "message" I received was that this man, who had gone through hell and back, was in a totally wasted condition and place. His disposition did not do justice to the gifts of talent and intellect God had bestowed him with. He himself was wasted, but even so, some selfish people had been taking advantage of him and making use of whatever he had at that time. He had done his time. It was time for his turnaround and for some reason or other, God had chosen me to be his aide.

The "messages" further indicated that Ahmad Cendana was meant for much bigger things in life, where he would be of immense benefit to mankind. Yes...mankind. That's the extent of his influence over people through his writing and knowledge, in a faculty that he would eventually master. "Benefit to mankind" could I ignore that call. I would have committed an unforgivable wrongdoing and be regarded as zaleem if I did.

Four years on, Ahmad Cendana is almost recovered, alhamdulillah. He had gained substantial weight, and has added four inches to his waist. This would have made my late Mama very happy, as she had whispered to him to put on some weight on our wedding day. He now works for a coastal and environment engineering consultant firm, where he loves what he does. He edits, translates and writes parts of the reports, which are the major source of income for the company. Some of the projects involved are crucial to the society, such as projects to stop soil erosion, silting and floods. Being involved in and contributing to projects that is beneficial to people bring much satisfaction to my husband, and it gives him the much needed sense of pride and fulfillment.

But Ahmad Cendana is not quite there yet. He has not realised his full potential, not even half of it. He knows it, but he is quite contented where he is right now. He just wants to be in the moment, and be grateful that he is now of use and of great significance to his family, his company and his country. 

We don't know what's in store for us; we just have to fully utilise the resources and energy created and presented to us each day. Between us, I think we have achieved more in the last four years than in the last forty years. Each day together is a celebration, each day is a blessing, and we're going to take each day, one at a time.

Happy Birthday, Sayang...I love you so much.

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