A baby girl was born. A pretty baby girl, as ordinary as any other babies who were born in the same year. But she was fortunate that her family was pretty rich that later she wouldn’t have to struggle as other children at her age at that time. But she also never knew what would happen in the future. She’d never know that someday, years later she’d be loved not only by her family but also society.
She was 10 years old. Sat in a “sekolah rakyat”, a school for Indonesian in the colonial era. She was so lucky. Not all children could go there. She was pretty and smart and nice, came from respected family, got good education. What else could she ask?
Later, she met a guy. A tall handsome guy who coincidentally had a similar name like hers. She was Soepiah, the handsome guy was Soepii. They didn’t coincidentally met. Their parents set it up. They were engaged even before they were met. As a conventional Indonesian girl, she didn’t refuse to marry this guy. She believed a Javanese old saying: “tresno jalaran soko kulino”. Love will come if you’re used to it. She believed that she’d love him and he’d love her. Nice love story, they fell in love to each other.
Both came from wealthy family. They had big home, successful business, and loving family. All of her children got good education and she was having her fifth child. Fortune started to fade. Her fifth children, a beautiful baby girl had a very high fever, days passed, the baby girl passed away. She was down but she kept strong, kept smilling and said, “she’s better up there. God will take care of her. God loves her so much so He takes her so fast.”
She was having her eighth child now. A very beautiful baby girl. Her family was still wealthy, the older children were willing to take care of the younger children. No one was jealous to each other because she treated them with equal love.
Fortune started to fade again. The land where she built her house and her business were claimed by the government. She was forced to move and only got less than a half of what she and her husband had built. She protested but she lost. She had to move, to a smaller house in a not very good place and slowly but surely the family business went bankrupt. Not long after that, her husband who was so depressed, smoked a lot and died because of tuberculosis. The last message her husband said was to find a new fine guy, he wanted her to had a much better life than now even much better than they used to had. She was in her late thirties and still beautiful, it wouldn’t be hard for her to get married again. But she was a very loyal wife. She only loved her husband and she wouldn’t remarry. Yet, she didn’t want her children suffer from poverty. If making her children prosper meant she had to work harder, she’d do it whole heartedly even if that meant she had to work harder than any women or any men. She had made her decision. She would not step back.
She made a new business. She was really good at cooking. She made a catering business. She knew reading is the gate to knowledge. She sold newspapers and magazines. She never asked her children to help her. But they voluntarily helped her. They sold her food in school, they also helped her selling newspapers and magazines after school. Turned from a wealthy children into sellers, they didn’t care if that meant helping this beloved woman they always love. She was so happy having them as their children yet she was hurt, she thought she could have done more for her children so they didn’t have to do it. Afterall, she was only a woman and a human. She had limitation, and she couldn’t do it all alone.
Fortune might not lingered on her no more. But she knew she was more fortunate than other people in the area. Most of them had no chance to get good education. With some magazines and newspapers she had, she turned a small space in her house into a library. The first library in the area.
No matter how difficult the situation was, she never thought about giving up education for her children. None of her children failed. They reached their dreams; teacher, civil servant, bank employee, and others. Thanks to her who never gave up on education.
Things had changed a lot. Her life was much better then it was. She had 7 successful children. She harvested what she seeded. And she was having her eleventh grandchild, who’d be the most rebel grand daughter she ever had.
She just had her twelfth grandchild from her youngest daughter. A chubby baby boy. She had nothing more to ask. She had a complete happy live up until one day, one of her daughter was sick, couldn’t be cured and passed away. Left her son alone with an unreliable dad. Lots of people showed their sympathy for her loss. But again, she tried to be strong and shared her smile and said, “God miss her. He wants to see her now. That’s why He takes her.” And so, she took care of her grandson like her own son. This time she couldn’t share equal affection to her grandchildren. But she still love them equally.
Years had been passed her eleventh grand daughter was 8 years old. She was a rebelious girl. Loved to pick a fight with boys, climbed up the wall to the roof, nothing like a nice girl at all. But she knew, she did that because she wanted to be acknowledged. She also knew that she was actually so fragile that one yell could make her cry like a baby. She only wanted someone who would care about her without judging. She won her heart.
She was not only won her grand daughter’s heart. She also won people’s heart. Since she was young up until her late 60s she never forgot to share. Not a day passed without opening a door for someone who needed it. She could make a coffee for a “becak” rider who needed a shelter when it was rain cat and dog. She could have a long conversation with a shoe repairer. She could gave a bottle of water to a “pengamen” who passed by and coughed because he was almost dehydrated. She could stayed with a person who couldn’t talk for hours, paid attention to what she was trying to say. And she never knew that she won society’s heart.
She had to lost her child again. Her oldest son died months after his first daughter’s marriage. Now she was only an old woman who started to questioning God why did He take her son instead of her? She thought she was old enough to die compared to her son. But her sorrow only lasted for couple days. She knew, God must have had a plan for her. She spent her days with her grand children. Visited them regularly, gave them bed time stories, gave them unconditional care and love. She also shared it with society. She believed she lived to share, to be nice to others, no matter what differences that existed. She was lingers with love.
God loves her… He finally picked her up. Her children cried, grand children couldn’t accept that, the society mourned. She might not be a heroine for her country but she was a heroine for her children. She might not be a famous motivator but she was a motivator for all of her crand children. She might not be like Mother Theresa but she was Mother Theresa for all people around her.