During his business days, he's the only person that performed the task. The bags of rice are just too heavy to be lifted by others at the premise.
Now, he's in Mecca performing his haj, they must be having difficulties moving the bags of rice. He wondered if the business will run well without him around...
He was not at the dinner table.
Wasn't feeling well, said the wife. So she brought food to the room.
The next morning, the wife said that the husband could not take in any food. She needed help to bring the husband to the doctor.
The doctor could not determine if the food operator was sick. He had to be aided to sit, walk and toileting.
Fortunately we performed 'Haji Ifrad' - haj rituals before umrah. The conversation took place right after we were back to the hotel after our first umrah - minor haj. It was supposed to be a kind of celebration that all the 'wajib' - the must-do rituals, were all accomplished.
The wife face the coming days with great confidence that the husband will be fine, will be going to Masjidil Haram - The Grand Mosque, praying and performing their umrah - minor haj together.
They were looking forward to shop around with S$5 thousands in hand. She was positive. She knew him as a strong man and laying in bed unproductively was not the husband.
She never knew of him ever being sick or pay a visit to any doctor.
But the next 2 weeks spent in Mecca did not see any improvement in his worsening health. He could not lift his arms nor opening his mouth.
Sipping orange juice with a straw was his only diet.
Visitors to his room were surprised with his sudden change and those who knew him from Singapore could not believe their eyes - Seeing the once fit and healthy person.
When it was time to leave Mecca for Madinah, he was pushed in a wheelchair to perform his 'Tawaf Wida' - encircling the holy Ka'abah for the last time.
Alas, he was at the dinner table enjoying his soft meal with his wife in Medinah. Although the look was visibly pale and very much thinner, he's able to walk slowly to Masjidin Nabawi - The Prophet's Mosque.
He spent much of his time in Raudhah - the most sacred place in Masjidin Nabawi.
He cried a lot in his prayers - pronouncing his regret of what he thought of him being the strongest person around.
Whatever GOD giveth, HE taketh as HE wish. He should not be unduly worry for HE is the AlMighty Provider.
The one day spent in Jeddah for sight-seeing and shopping did not bring back his confidence. He was still in the state of shock.
For now, he realised that what bestowed upon us are all but borrowed and shall be returned in the ways that we could not imagine...