• Melissa Kartini

#MyFamBam: One Big, Happy Family


Photo by Nor Naematul Saadah

This is a major throwback; in conjunction with this coming Raya next Friday <3


My late father is Ismail bin Hussin and my mom is Wan Yah Ali. My mom gave birth to my first brother in 1956. I believe my mom got married two or three years before that. Maybe when she was around 15 years old.


Two years after that, my second brother was born in Kelantan while my dad pursuing his studies at one of the famous “Pondoks” in Kelantan. Two or three years later, they came to Kedah. Then, my third brother was born in 1961.


Actually, my mom has given birth five times, but the other two returned to the Almighty, as the Almighty loved them more. All five of them are boys. Thus, my mom really adored the idea of having a daughter.


One of my parents’ contacts offered their daughter to my parents, saying, “If my wife delivers a daughter, then the baby will be given to both of you.” The wish was fulfilled after the wife gave birth to my adopted sister. When my mom got the offer, she wasn’t aware that she was carrying my second sister. I believed at the time my second sister was four months old in my mom’s womb. My adopted sister was born in January 1969 while my second sister was born in May 1969. They shared the same birth year. My mom breastfed my adopted sister so that she would become “muhrim”.


Then, an unexpected thing happened when 16 years later, my mom gave birth to me in July 1985. <3


I am the youngest in the family. I still remember the good old days. When I was 4-5 years old, I always followed my parents to town. And when people asked my parents whether I was their grandchild, I would excitedly and immediately say, “No, I am their daughter.”

How I miss my late dad. May Allah grant him Heaven in the hereafter.


All of us are happily married to our partners and blessed with a number of kids. My first brother has four kids and three grandchildren. My second brother has three kids and three grandchildren. On the other hand, my third brother has three kids. Two of his kids are already married and are hoping to have a child. My adopted sister has four kids and two grandchildren and my second sister has three kids. I myself have five kids and am expecting number six. Hahaha.


So my mom currently has six children, 22 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. How blessed I am to have this big family in my life.


For Raya this year my family will have our first day of Raya with my mom while all my siblings will be at their in-laws’. We might as well, as I have come back to my hometown to take care of and accompany my mom because she lived all alone before this.


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