A Letter From 74 Years Old Woman

Amirah W
2 min readMar 9, 2020

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Umik Cik and her old sewing machine

Let’s step back to the year 1946. World War II had come to an end, the world was mending, and people were hopeful for a better life. At the age of 20, she confided in me about a guy from her college who had a crush on her. Later that day, he wrote and sent letters to her house. On a Saturday night, he invited her to watch a movie at ‘layar tancap’ in Balai RT. He arrived to pick her up on his favorite bicycle, wearing a tidy shirt, big glasses, and neatly combed hair. A few weeks later, he proposed, and she said yes.

Reflecting on it, life seemed so much simpler back then.

We didn’t worry about makeup and skincare, yet people still complimented our looks. We didn’t rush to judge, despise, or preach to people based on their social media posts. We didn’t subject ourselves to self-doubt and endless comparisons, valuing other people’s opinions more than our own. We weren’t obsessed with crafting an image for attention but focused on self-improvement and goals. Love was based on real-life interactions, genuine feelings, and a shared purpose. Distractions were few because choices and options were limited. People were content with what they had, believing in themselves, and having faith in one.

Nowadays, we see everything based on who’s or what’s floating on the surface, if you dive, then you’re nowhere to be seen — you’ll die.

Thinking about it, is it possible to live the way they live now? Is it possible to have the way they have now? The word possible has an odd ring to it.

Even now, she found happiness in her daily routines. She wrote down phone numbers in a book rather than storing them on her phone. She made coffee and tea for Langgar Gedong on Friday nights. She lovingly dusted off her collection of wedding souvenirs in a special cabinet. She listened to Mama Dedeh’s show after Fajr and Syams radio all day. Since Abah’s passing, she went to the Langgar to pray Fajr, Maghrib, and Isya’, then ended her day at 8 pm, only to wake up at 2 am for Tahajjud and not sleep again until Fajr. One day I asked her if she was happy with her life. She said she lived her life gracefully, she is proud to live her life. And she told me that I should too.

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Amirah W

Book, coffee. When I'm old, I wanna be a Bookbarista!