Sunday, September 13, 2009

Farewell Bibik..... : - (

Kasmiaton bt Kasimun, that was the name typed in the maid biodata form sent to me by an agent in Pekan Baru. It sounded Javanese and our call to the agent afterwards confirmed it. Her picture with an apron on looked kinda funny and she had that awkward smile too. Well, what would one expect of a “petani” trying to look her level best like a professional domestic help.

We had no choice as that was the only "decent" biodata sent to us. Being the desperados that we were, we just had to make that gamble and take in this elderly woman as our maid. And that was how it all began. Seven years ago, sometime in early 2002 Bibik Kasmiaton became a member of our family.

Bibik’s first commitment test came when Nissa was down with high fever and was hospitalized at SJ*C. Nissa was only 1plus then and was a real cling on every time she was not well. That was also the time when I just started work in the organization that I am now. My preschool project was just commencing and there was no way that I could be away from the office for a long period of time. So Bibik was my savior. She attended to Nissa night and day till she was discharged. I was running to and fro, office – hospital – home like a mad person checking on both of them. Alhamdulillah we survived that trying times and of course Bibik was a major contributor at putting things under control.

Me sharing with TM what it would be like when Bibik is not around

So that’s how it has been in my household…it’s Bibik here, Bibik there, Bibik this and Bibik that. So much so Mom said that she doesn’t know how I will cope when Bibik is not around. Bibik cooks, does the ironing, cleans the house, walks Nissa to sekolah, goes to the market on weekends…the list is endless, the chores she did for the Zs household. She was in fact still ironing Abe’s work shirt last night, after she finished packing her own stuffs. She still fussed about everyone not eating enough at Sahur just now, hours before she was due to depart. Well, that’s Bibik…always putting US first before her own self.

The four Bibiks in the family. With Bibik Kasmiaton leaving, only three left. Sulastri (first from left) is Bibik's replacement. She's also Bibik's daughter in law.

After she returned from the holidays last year, she told us that it was time for her to call it quit, her tenure as a domestic help. She said, “Saya sudah tua. Badan udah penat. Saya usaha di rumah saja lah.” I knew this was coming someday. I couldn’t keep her forever in my house, no matter how much I wanted to. She’s bound to return to her family one day. I negotiated with her on her return date. After sitting down to discuss matters, we both agreed that she goes back before Eid. Bibik was elated, but I was devastated. However, I know I have to let go….no matter how painful.

Bibiks and the anak-anak

As I write this posting, Bibik is already on the plane, somewhere above Malaysia’s air space still and in less than an hour and a half, she’d touch down at Bandara Soekarno Hatta Jakarta. From there on, she'll continue her journey to her kampung in Lampung. She had gone round to say her good bye to her friends and our neighbours yesterday. My sisters and family also dropped by yesterday to meet her and it was very much to her delight. I know deep down she was not expecting anything, she just wanted to be appreciated.

I promised myself not to be teary when she leaves. But I just can’t help it. In the car before we left for LCCT she had this to say, “Assalamualaikum….tinggal ya rumah. Bibik balik dulu ya. Selamat tinggal Malaysia.” I turned away when tears welled my eyes; hoping no one would notice the sudden burst of emotions.

Merci...desperately seeking Bibik this morning.

Now back at home it still feels like she is walking around doing this and that. It is going to take a while for all of us to adapt to Bibik not being around us. We will surely miss her nasi briyani, asam laksa, roti jala, just to mention a few plus all the other juadah she has mastered at preparing for us.

To Bibik I have this to say.

Hanya Tuhan sahaja yang dapat membalas jasa baik Bibik kepada kami sekeluaga. Terima kasih kerana Bibik telah menyinari hidup kami selama ini. Kami doakan agar Bibik sentiasa dirahmati Allah, diberikan kesihatan yang baik, dikurniakan murah rezeki dan panjang umur hendaknya. Semoga Bibik juga gembira berada disamping keluarga.

Selamat Hari Raya Bibik dan Maaf Zahir Batin dari kami semua.

Read how Bibik started in the Zs household here.


Kak Teh said...

Bibik has served you well and you've been a good friend as well. When my borther's firstBibik left to get married, my mother was so lost for some time and keot asking for 'anak Mak'! We've had some wonderful ones. The present one is also a gem, in fact I wrote about her in my column in NST "A Tribute to Bibik Atiq' - she loved it so much and kept it.
Am sure your Bibik will be in touch. She seems more like family.

and thanks for agreeing to do the meme.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh,

She's part of the family. We never thought of her as an outsider. And because of that letting go is so much more difficult. I've been "raining" since we said good bye this morning. Mata dah to hide from everyone else ni..aduhhh!!!

More sad coz I didn't supervise her packing. Had wanted to give her more stuffs to take back. But I was down with a nasty gastric attack last two days and a lot of things slipped my mind. Ni yang terasa sangat terkilan ni :(

The meme...glad to do my part.

Kama said...

Oh dear, it's me all teary-eyed reading your posting. some bibiks are absolute gems you can't help but mourn their going.

mamasita said...

Wah Kay..I pun meleleh airmata baca your blog entry today.I can imagine how sedih you all are..dia dah macam keluarga..of course the sayang feeling is there!

kay_leeda said...

Dear Kak Puteri,

I've been in tears since this morning. Everytime teringat kat dia, hujan turun. Adoi..mata sudah all red with blood shots.

Berbuka puasa will not be the same as how it used to be. No Bibik fussing over us. Surprisingly Nissa is a lot better than me at coming to terms with this Bibik-less state. I asked her if she's ok. She said she is. Tak sedih ker, I asked lagi. She said she cried last night when Bibik last tucked her to sleep. I just don't know how to keep my emotions at bay anymore.....

kay_leeda said...

Dear Mamasita,

It's very seldom I feel so down like now. Tears just stream down on its own. Ni dah tak tau how many times I went to the bathroom to blow my nose & wash my face. I hope I am able to hold myself together at terawikh tonite. Ahhh...that's going to be difficult too....

Ummi365 said...

Kak kay,

bibik has served you well and sooner or later it's time for her to go. Hope the new bibik will be as good as her. same goes to me, I wouldnt want another bibik, i am still hoping for my bibik to come back.

Naz said...

Salam Kay,
We are blessed to have such good helpers. Let's hope the one that replaces her would be just as good and kind.

tireless mom said...

As much as I am sad too, I must say life has to go on. Train Sulastri to be like bibik Ton lah.

edelweiss said...

Kak Kay... sedih pulaj i baca..
bibik ton tuh memang baguih...

insyallah ur new bibik pun akan sebaik bibik ton

Norabella said...

Salam, I was blog hopping and found your blog.

I share your feelings. Mine just left a week ago..and I can't help missing her till now. Reading your post like reminding me of myself. Tears still welled up everytime I think about her. The household seemed empty though there is someone else around...

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim, kucing ray yg alim.

Bibik kelihatan seperti seorang yg mempunyai sifat keibuan, kata Pak Malim yg minta susuan.

p.s Merci, saya jatuh cinta tengok awak, kata Pak Malim sambil memeluk biawak.

kay_leeda said...

Dear Ummi,

The problem is...good ones are so very difficult to come by these days. Kalu tak reti kerja tak pe, we can teach them. Most importantly the attitude must be good. Haa...yg mcm ni...payah nak dpt. I salute you coz setia menanti bibik lama you.

kay_leeda said...


Bibik's replacement is so far so good. Nissa is slowly getting to know her. Am really keeping my fingers crossed. Not only maids are difficult to come by these, it is also very expensive to get new ones now.

kay_leeda said...


Where work is concerned, Sulastri can be trained. But Bibik Ton is a class of her know lah how she is kan. are right, life goes on.....

kay_leeda said...


Rezeki Nissa nak dpt pengasuh yg baik, with that I cukup bersyukur. But they will want to go home one day kan. So walaupun perit, lepaskan juga lah dengan redha. also hoping that the new one will be as good as Bibik Ton.

kay_leeda said...

Dear Norabella,

Ohh you too experiencing that empty feeling? You know, when I arrived home from work this evening, it was so sad not having her wait for me at the door. It's those little, little things she does that touch the heart.

I'm better today. No more goes on. Biar lah semua memories of her remain in the heart.

I hope your new maid will be as good. Together we pray yah...

Thanks for dropping by. Selamat berpuasa and selamat menyambut Aidil Fitri yang bakal menjelma.

kay_leeda said...

Dear Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim,

Iyer betol...bibik macam ibu, selalu sibukkan hal-hal kami ni yg selalu kelabu.

Huh...jatuh cinta dengan Merci?? Ohhh itu kena tanya dengan Cik Nissa, si pemegang kunci :)

zaitgha said...

As salam Kay,

Our bibiks' stories were quite the same...i had mine one and only pun bcoz the agent had only one biodata...we couldnt wait for the new ones, we agreed to hire youngest was 8 days old when hubby went to Malacca to fetch her....since that day my house was so well taken care off and the food would be always ready on the table came meal times...of course if we decided to eat out lah....she was quick to learn our ways of doing things, cooking our food in spite being an illiterate ...however as the saying goes....all good things will come to an end....we reluctantly send her home after 6 years and until now we felt there was no replacement for her....

hope the new one will be as good as your old bibik...

Laracroft74 said...

sis..i can imagine how you feel without bibik around..moreover she had worked with your family for
7 yrs.. I'm sure Nissa is very very attached to her.. my maid just went back on the 2nd day fasting..she only worked for us for 2 years but my youngest one is really attached to her.. and I couldnt stop my tears from coming out to see my daughter cried when she walked into the departure hall, waving at all of us... memang sedih.. until today, she still talks about her bibik, wanting her to come back and work for us again..

kay_leeda said...


Yup..the good ones you'll always keep them at heart. I must say the ladies who came in as maids circa early year 2000 were good. They were focused and determined at improving their sosio economic status. They return with lots of money from their pay here.

The Indon maids that come in these days..uhhh..payah skit nak cakap. Baru 2 bulan kerja dah mintak handphone. And that is the start of everything not good.

Yah..I also pray this replacement will be as good as Bibik Ton.

busymum100 said...


Good maid are a dying species. Mmg ada tapi jarang-jarang or kadang-kadang je jumpa.

I've never had any Indon maid, but saw friends who had good ones (yg teruk pun byk juga and macam2 cerita).

I was lucky to have a local maid (kelantanese) from 1986 - 1998! Ambil masa umur dia 19 tahun, and when I finally let her go she was over 30 - naik segan kat mak bapak dia sb "pegang" dia lama2. Dia pun enjoy dok dgn we all. Actually the first 8 yrs je dia dok full time with us. Lepas tu, she came as she pleased (a breather for me) and would leave when she got bored. So on top of having her (when she's around) I sent the smaller ones to baby-sitter. I even "loaned" her to a friend who went to do her MA in Scotland. My maid dpt lah peluang gi "overseas". I was paying her RM500 when my friends paid theirs (Indon) only RM300 or RM350. But Kak Za (my kids call her that) was more than a maid. She taught my kids to read and write, she taught them mengaji too.

Now she's married (but unfortunately no kid of her own). Lama dah tk jumpa dia.. Last was 2 yrs ago, when we visited her in Felda Tembangau (where her hubby works). It was before my no.3 left for Canada. Anak i yg tu lah yg paling attached to her. Selalunya bila we all balik Kelantan, dia tka balik, and vice versa, tu yg tk jumpa tu..

After Kak Za, we tried another one, tp tak jadi. In the end i just sent the smaller kids to baby-sitter.

Great maids live forever in our memory. Sorry lah tulis pepanjang dlm blog you ni, tp you punya story buat i rasa sebak too...

kay_leeda said...

Dear Lara,

I thought I was the only ratu air mata. You too?? At times we just can't help it lah kan.

So new maid too huh?? Serupa lah nasib kita. Alhamdulillah so far so good my maid is now. But kena perati-perati gak lah...mana tau kan.

Hope yr second girl dah recover from that missing bibik feeling. Nissa is coping fine. Bibik baru ni small sized, habis kena bully by her :)

kay_leeda said...

Dear Busymom,

Such gems are very rare kan. I think yang penting nya, they must be ikhlas to work. All good qualities will emerge after that and they will definitely excel after that.

Don't matter if they are locals or foreign, to me kalu they have berkorban for us, what is money sangat. Duit boleh dicari. But perasaan and hati people really have to jaga. Bibik's last drwan salary was RM650, kinda high some people tell me. But cuba kalu kita yg hv to do what they do and be paid the same wage. Silap lah...ada yg cabut on the 2nd day of work day.

I agree with you, in the end we feel that they are one of us in the family, Tu yag so sedey of the loss tuh.