Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. ~ C.S. Lewis Simbok, may she rest in eternal peace, was my skin-and-bone nanny.

She was amongst us until four years ago, but she was already old from the beginning, man. And remained so until she became a baby again and they carried her to Earth's Bosom. It was her oldness that taught me not to fear being her age.

It wasn't that she aged gracefully. Far from it. She was too simple and rustic to be taught urban grace that she was sick every time they put her in a moving vehicle. The poor woman. A lot of polyethylene bags bear witness to her stomach's misery.

Being left to take care of an eldest (grand)child of an intellectual-wannabe family, Simbok had a lot of ambitions to keep up with: They told her to read bedtime stories to the grandprodigy. Bedtime stories would not have been a problem if she were not as literate as a wooden chair. Couldn't even sign her name.

Perhaps, she was just as fascinated so she was inventive with books and read to us, nevertheless, until we loved even the sound of a page being turned.

In her most bumpkin Javanese, she made up the stories; a sentence for every page, a secret of world to hold forever.

"Dadang and Dadung go shower."
(Turns page.)
"Dadang and Dadung go eat."
(Another page.)
"Dadung and Dadung go bed. And happy. The End. Chalo, now you go bed too."

I miss every bit of her. I even miss the cool touch of her wrinkly cheeks. Who wouldn't miss someone whose voice is filled with ancient love and reveals all the secrets behind life's illegible letters?

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