Ompung means grandparent. My grandma from my mother’s side is the last grandparent that I have. She is the only grandparent that I had; my grandpa passed away when I was 5. I never got the chance to know my grandparents from my dad side because they passed away when my dad was still young.
27 June 2010. I still remember the day very clearly. It is the date when my grandma passed away at the age of 82. And at around the same time with her passing, a really good friend of mine, Christina Mandang also passed away in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
This is my personal remembrance of a great grandmother, a person that I love dearly.
She had Hepatitis C for almost 10 years, and at the last moment, her liver doesn’t work anymore. She managed to survived that long thanks to my uncle (her son) who is an expert in traditional herbs and pressure-massage.
In March my dad told me that he thought ompung will not survive this year. I decided to go home to see her and introduce Dorta to her. I remember speaking to her in April saying that I want her to wait for me so that I could introduce someone. She said, “Ndang leleng be au mangolu ompung, alai hupaima pe ho (I won’t live long, but I will wait for you).” She said that she’s happy that I finally will bring someone to her. I bought a ticket for June 22nd. Two days before I left, my dad told me that ompung is critical and that she is in the hospital, and my mum was already back in her hometown. I called mum to speak to ompung, I said to ompung, “I’m coming ompung, wait for me.” She couldn’t hear me clearly, I heard someone explaining that to her eventhough I was on speakerphone. I decided to arrange everything so I could leave for Medan as soon as I landed in Jakarta. I arrived Wednesday morning, and I booked the tickets for Medan on Friday afternoon. It was tense because I had to ask Dorta to come along, oh well, that is a different story.
After I touched down in Jakarta, I was in constant communication with my mum. My heart seemed to pound harder every time she called me. Ompung’s condition is weakened every moment. Mum was crying whenever she called me. Mum asked me not to postpone my trip to Medan.
My sister, Dorta, and I arrived in Medan Friday evening, and visited her in the Elizabeth hospital in Medan. She was transferred from state hospital in Tanjung Balai early in the day. By the way, the state hospital in Tanjung Balai – Asahan sucks big time. Rumah sakit pemerintah di Tanjung Balai Asahan sangat busuk dan tidak memadai. When I entered the room, I saw her. There she was. Lying on the bed with needles on her arm. She lost a lot of weight, but her stomach is full with water, as if she was pregnant again. She constantly complained that she’s in pain. I came up to her, and she recognized me. My mum told me that she has been constantly asking for me, if I will come soon or not. I hug her, kissed her on her forehead. My sister was crying. I introduced Dorta. She smiled vaguely. She said, “Na haccitan ompung, lao ma au da, unang be tangianghon asa ganjang umurhu (It’s really painful, let me go, don’t pray for my health anymore).” I couldn’t say anything; I stroke her head and hold her hand.
Sunday morning, my aunt who stayed in the hospital asked us to come early. We came to see that she was really weak. Her children had a talk and they all decided that we will do a sunday service in the room with the lord supper. I couldn’t do the Lord Supper because I didn’t have the tools. I called a friend of mine and he agreed to come in the evening to do it. But I was not in a hurry because they already had the Lord Supper a week before.
Then I led the Sunday Service in the room with most of my uncles and aunties. She sang along once in a while, I could tell that her condition is getting worse. I delivered a sermon from 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (KJV).” There were tears. After the service, at 2 pm, I stroke her head and told her, “Mulak ma ompung di bagasan dame (Go in peace grandma).” She said, “nunga be ompung da” (it’s done). Thinking that she was talking about the service, I answered, “Yes, it’s finished grandma.”
I went out for an hour to take Dorta to the airport. She was leaving for Jakarta in the afternoon. As I was driving back to the hospital, I received a phone call asking me to come soon to the hospital, grandma was critical. I got back in the hospital at 4 pm. The room was closed, only direct families were there. There were 3 nurses trying to help her. She spat out blood. She was still awaken, but couldn’t say a word because of the blood that kept running out of her mouth. Everybody was crying and praying. We used handgloves because of her hepatitis, and we sang songs from Buku Ende, hymns in Batak. We could see her trying to sing along. My dad reminded her to pray. I touched her head and said that she could go now in peace. And then an uncle suggested that we should say our last words then. We did. She was praying until the end.
It was an intense moment. I cried. We all did. She passed away. She gasped her last breath at 17.15.
We brought her back to Tanjung Balai in the evening, 4 hours drive from Medan. We arrived in Tanjung at 2 in the morning. We had a lot of family visists. She was brought to her last resting place, next to her late husband and oldest son.
She was my grandmother, the grandmother. She was the one who stood up for you when your parents were upset at you. She was the one who always encouraged you. She always gave me money whenever I visited her in Medan or Tanjung Balai during my pastoral training years. She waited for me, and I was really happy that I got her blessings for my relation with Dorta. Thank you ompung, sanga dope dipaima ho au. Nunga sonang ho nuaeng di lambung ni Tuhanta i.
My brother is the closest one to her. She always took care and paid attention to him. She encouraged him to finish his study. She did her best to come to his wedding. My brother still couldn’t believe that she passed away until the following day after her passing.
My youngest aunt and I wrote something to remember her. We read this letter in the last service in the church before we took her to her resting place.
Doa dari sorga
Bapa yang teramat baik, terima kasih atas semua yang telah Engkau berikan kepadaku; penyertaan yang Engkau tunjukkan kepadaku dan keturunanku. Engkau memberi jawaban atas seluruh pergumulanku seturut kehendakMu demi kemuliaanMu
Engkau telah memberi suami yang sangat bijak, lembut hati dan penuh sayang, serta 8 anak yang terberkati. RancanganMu tak terselami. Engkau meluluskan anak tertuaku dari IKIP JOGJA memberinya pekerjaan sebagai dosen di Fakultas Pendidikan selama kurang lebih 5 tahun. Bagiku itu pemberian Tuhan agar dia dapat membantu menyekolahkan ketujuh adiknya. Namun Engkau mengambilnya melalui penyakit jantung. Cepat sekali Engkau memanggilnya kembali kesisiMu. Sakit sekali Tuhan, namun hanya doa dan syukur yang bisa kupanjatkan kepadaMu Tuhan Yesus.
Ujian berat kujalani dengan gigih bersama suami dan ketujuh anakku. Ujian kehilangan anak pertama berlanjut dengan berpulangnya suamiku 4 tahun kemudian, tepat ketika 4 orang anakku masih di bangku kuliah. Sakit sekali Tuhan, namun aku tetap bersyukur dan semakin memasrahkan seluruh hidupku kepadaMu, Bapaku di sorga. Tuhan Yesus tidak pernah mempermalukan aku. Permintaanku waktu itu adalah “Sanggupkan aku untuk menyekolahkan anak-anakku ya Tuhan.”
Yesus, Engkau sangat baik bagiku, sedetikpun tak pernah Engkau tinggalkan aku. Dengan perjuangan yang sangat berat dan melelahkan, oleh kemurahanMu, Engkau luluskan keempat anakku itu hingga mereka memiliki keluarga yang baik. Terimakasih, terimakasih Tuhan. Puji Tuhan.
Seperti yang biasa aku lakukan tiap pagi, sekarang juga aku memanjatkan doa syafaat memujiMu dan mendoakan semua anak, cucu, cicitku dengan nama. Oleh kemurahan dan cinta Yesus yang kuterima, Engkau perkenankan aku menolong, menasihati, dan memberi tumpangan bagi orang lain.
Di akhir hidupku, mataku tidak dapat lagi membaca firman Tuhan, tak dapat berjalan, tak dapat lagi memuji Tuhan, sakit sekali kurasakan. Aku bertanya, “Mengapa begini Tuhan?” Aku tak mengerti. Waktu itu aku memohon agar Tuhan menguatkan aku untuk menyatakan kemuliaanMu, karena tenagaku sudah hampir habis.
KuasaMu tak terukur, rancanganMu tak terselami. Pada hari Kamis 24 Juni, Roh KudusMu menguatkan aku menyatakan isi hatiku kepada Bapaku, dengan mengangkat 2 bait Buku Ende no 525 “Na Laho Ma Au Tu Na Sonang di Ginjang” Engkau dengar kan Tuhan ? Di situ aku juga mendoakan semua anak, cucu, dan cicitku, menyebutkan nama mereka satu persatu. Ajaib benar kuasaMu Tuhan Yesus. Sungguh baik Engkau. Engkau menolong aku memuliakan Engkau.
Di hari terakhir, Minggu 27 Juni 2010, Engkau masih memberikan aku kesempatan untuk memuliakan namaMu dalam kebaktian Minggu yang dipimpin oleh cucuku. FirmanMu pada hari itu 2 Tim 4:7, “Selesai sudah pertandinganku.” mengatakan bahwa sampai akhirnya, aku masih mempertahankan imanku. Beberapa jam setelah kebaktian, jam 17.15 WIB aku kembali ke hadapanMu.
Sekarang Tuhan, aku mengucap syukur karena aku sudah senang bersamaMu. Aku tidak lagi merasakan sakit, yang ada hanya kebahagiaan abadi bersamaMu. Inilah upah mengikut Engkau. Aku tersenyum dan melihat orang-orang yang aku tinggalkan dan aku yakin Engkau akan terus menjaga mereka. Jagalah juga kehidupan anak cucu, cicitku seperti Engkau telah menjaga aku. Terima kasih Tuhan, memang Engkau adalah penguasa kehidupan. Dalam nama Tuhan Yesus Kristus, aku menyatakan kemuliaanMu. Amin.
Maria br. Pasaribu (Ompung Yanti)
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