April 18, 2012

An Omen? Mom remembers 48 years ago..

It rained heavily this afternoon and the thunder was so scary! Whenever it cracked, the house reverberated! In once instance, I could have sworn the thunder exploded right above our house. I hate thunder... I turn into a wuss whenever there is thunder..

Having nothing better to do and to distract myself from the 'mayhem', I sat down with my mother. Then my mom started reminiscing. She told me to close the front doors. She said, "In the old days, the old folks say you must close the door whenever there is thunder. They say the thunder could come into the house in a ball of lightning. Betul bah tu. Old folks swore that it happened before and the house was burned down. Luckily the occupants escaped in time!"

"My mother, your nenek, said that during a thunderstorm. You shouldn't brush or comb your hair." She went on to say. 

I interrupted her, "Static electric bah tu maybe..."

She continued, "your nenek said when they were still in Menumbok. That's when you grandfather was still posted there. There was this girl. She showered during a thunderstorm. After showering, she was brushing her hair infront of a mirrow. The lightning struck her and she died!" 

"Your nenek also said you shouldn't be near cats when there is thunder. The cat's fur ada "karen" (current) bah tu. So whenever there is a thunderstorm, we would kick the cats away whenever they tried to get near to us. We were frightened." 

"When we first relocated to Penampang, there was this man who was "meradu" (ploughing) his paddy field. He was shirtless and he wore a medallion made of metal around his neck. The "radu" was also partly made of metal. He was struck by lightning, he died bah!"

By now I just kept quiet and let my mom ramble on.

"I remember on the eve of North Borneo's independence on 31 August 1963. There was a terrible thunderstorm in KK. It was the worst thunderstorm we had experienced. We were so scared. It happened in the evening of 30 August 1963. The next day, I remembered there was mass at the Sacred Heart Church, so we went for the mass. When we reached the church, we saw that the cross on the roof of the church had been struck by lightning and broken in two!"

"Donald Stephen as he was known then, was at the service too. He was with his family. I remember that he and his family would always be seated at the front pew in every mass." 

"Hmm..Bad omen kah tu?" I thought.  


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