I said she was a light, indeed she was. Like a candle, she was the light symbolizing hope for everyone around her. Like a candle, she was warm; she had shone brightly and dimly in beautiful harmony. Like a candle, and candles aren’t stars, even stars have their own time for an ending, they say sky is the graveyard of stars, don’t they?
Her candle had a shorter time than those stars, and none knew that her candle was running out of time. I thought that voice of laughter that used to be hers would last forever, I thought more and more people would hear her calling them “babies” every year, I thought people like her would be forever in their youth; they belong in the present time, in happiness and joy. I thought, we would never lose her, and it’s hard to believe that now, she belongs to memory.
I never talked to her personally like some of my friends did during my college days, everyone know that somehow I have this weakness of not being able to show courtesy or conventionality if it’s not formally needed. We had only talked in classroom, during the course of course, and sometimes we smiled at each other when we met in lecturers’ room or UNJ Transjakarta shelter. Even now, I don’t think I have the right to say that I knew her that close. I don’t even think this note could be written in a quite decent way to bid my farewell and deliver my gratitude for her.
Yes, my gratitude.
I don’t think I ever said thank you properly to her, to a woman who happened to be my lecturer and had done so many indescribable things for me; the baby who never learns to grow up, a baby who got so many chances to say thank you properly but however failed them.
I never said thank you to her properly, and it’s killing me.
We were never that close.
We never talked personally.
We had short and limited time to know each other.
But one thing I am sure about her is that Mam Hanny was not just a lecturer, she was a person that had my respect just by being herself. She didn’t need to be perfect, she didn’t need to spread out what she had to show her intelligence or create an image that is full of grandeur. I remember her as a complete human, so humane that she only needed to walk into the classroom, she talked and we listened to her, she laughed and we laughed with her, she called us babies and we only needed to grin stupidly and then we laughed together. Everything about her happened naturally, it was so simple, but she had given us so much more, she didn’t only teach us the subjects, she also taught us things that will last forever…
She taught us what it means to be human.
She taught us being educated means having more concerns on important matters without leaving the trivial matters behind.
She taught us simple things like throwing away garbage properly means a lot for the society.
She taught us to make decision thoughtfully, especially about how we’re going to spend our youth, so it becomes something meaningful in the future.
She taught us that they key of youthfulness is being able to preserve your humorous and relaxed self.
And countless things I can barely describe…
She showed us the real meaning of being a teacher; about how a person can give unlimited lessons within limited time, lessons that even time cannot erase.
Mam Hanny, thank you for everything, thank you for being our light, thank you for every little thing that was actually a big thing. Your life was celebrated by so many people, and we owe you a lot.
One of your babies.