Life / Positive Emotions / Relationships · April 4, 2022

23 years of service.

Today, April 4th, 2022, our long serving helper from Indonesia, finally reached her home in Semarang. And with that, we wish her all the best in the next phase of her life.

Yati came under our employment when my son was just 2 years old and my daughter 4.

She became a second mother to my children especially due to the busy working schedules we had. A hardworking, polite and respectful soul, Yati was able to manage the home well and also be the protector of our young children when they got up to some naughty stuff.

Later on when we moved back to Sabah, Yati agreed to come back together with us. Initially, we stayed with my parents and Yati got along well with both my parents and also their helpers.

When our children grew to become teenagers, we decided that it was time that they learned to do house chores and help around the house. At about the same time, my father became less mobile and my parents needed help around the house.

With their own challenges with their own helpers, Yati was a godsend as she agreed to work for my parents instead. We do believe that she enjoyed her place in Sabah as she made many friends of her own and sort of became the de facto ring leader in some of her group of friends.

A no nonsense, positve minded soul, almost anyone that met her and got to know her would learn to love and respect her as we did.

Things that set Yati aside from others was her reluctance and discomfort at sitting at the same table as us when dining. This just reflected how well she had been brought up. No matter how hard we tried to get her to sit at the same table during certain festive occasions, that never materialised.

She loved going to the market as it was her opportunity to touch base with people she got to know and it was her time to be boss. My mother would give her a list and money and we’d wait for her in the car.

On one occasion, my daughter got to see how she haggled for more prawns. She wanted to buy 2 kilos of prawn. Instead of saying she wanted to kilos, she would say “1 kilos please”, then when that had been weighed out and the seller is about to tie the plastic bag up, she’d just add 1 extra prawn in.

Only after the 1 kilo business was concluded (with the extra prawn) would she then say “another 1 kilo” and proceed to add the 1 extra prawn at the end. In this way, she would get the 2 kilos and 2 extra prawns.

Another thing I can recall is her ingenuity. Even she would be the first to admit that she was jot well educated, but when we dictated grocery lists to her, she would make up words that she could understand and recall. There have been shopping lists with “sose” for sausage and other weird spelling.

Yati was there at my father’s passing and was also there to see my mother pass. We could not have wished for a better carer and companion for them.

She will be remembered fondly and remains in contact with us.

Now her task is to find a way to chill and relax which is something, the always on the go Yati, may have difficulty in doing.