Saturday, January 21, 2017
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
But my all-time favorite moment with Yusoff happened on the night before that party. A year since my nasi lemak breakfast at his home, I flew back into town during a late evening thunderstorm. Caught up in an entourage led by Yusoff's eldest daughter and her family, I stopped by his second-born daughter's home to say hello. We tiptoed in the door and found the front room dark and heaped with sleeping children.
Before I could follow my group to the back of the house, I heard an excited whisper in the darkness from another direction. "Hello, Diane! Salam."
A small light came on, and there, sitting up on an improvised floor bed, was Yusoff's wife. I was delighted to see her again; I hugged her and sat down for a quiet chat. We talked for several minutes when something most unexpected occurred.
The shadows beyond my friend began to shift, and suddenly, a big, brown, entirely bare chest rose up from the darkness. The faint light fell on this person's face, and there was Yusoff, in all his half-naked glory, with a smile the size of the Pacific Ocean and a steady stream of cheerful English greetings for me.
We laughed together and somehow this incongruous reunion felt effortlessly friendly and entirely natural.
I'm sorry to say that my friend, Yusoff Bin Ali, passed away this week. His wife and family - including each one of his six beloved children - gathered at his bedside and so Yusoff spent his last days surrounded by those who loved him most. I'm so thankful for that.
Still, I wish I could have been there with him to share
one more smile,
one more flash of his sparkling eyes,
one more exchange of hand gestures and simple English,
one more sweet moment of friendship.
I might have even held his hand.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
On this day, he enjoyed a series of long, leisurely naps, monitored the comings and goings of the family, and took two outings to ramble around the neighborhood.
After midnight, he woke up hungry and wolfed down four beef sausages and half a package of deli sliced roast beef. Then he walked out to the backyard for a long drink of cool water, some patrolling around the bushes, and a bit of spirited barking at the full moon.
Now he's stretched out across the couch, deep into his dreams.
For my boy Ranger, this has been a good, good day.
Monday, January 9, 2017
^Of course, I see the irony here. Three tiny flowers barely make an impact on this oversize specimen, and this year's output falls far short of what a healthy bloom should be.
But I am content. Because if life has taught me anything, it is to give thanks for what I have, rather than wish for what I don't.
So thank you, Christmas cactus, for speaking truth to me with your three tiny flowers.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
As it is with daughters, so it is with my three cats.
Yes, they are all three smart, loving and adorably personable kitties, but I love each one for entirely different reasons.
Luna is bold and brash, ever the explorer, always attuned to his finely honed instincts. He's a wild man and I love him for his sense of adventure.
Sirius is tender and cautious, yet probably the most people-oriented of the three. He is sweet and communicative, and when I find him waiting for me to come back from my walk, he melts my heart.
And Cedric? Well, this guy lives for comfort and affection. He sleeps in poetic ease, heathery stripes and rusty tummy posed just so for maximum adorableness. And when a human draws near to this perfect snuggling machine, he gently stirs. Stretching luxuriously and purring irresistibly, Cedric commands affection and usually gets exactly what he wants.