Reach out to loved ones before it becomes just a memory

I lost a friend a few days ago and it pains me to think how I could have reached out more to him after I left journalism a few years ago.

Those who frequented the Shah Alam and Klang courts would have met the rare gem Mohd Nayan Abdul Rahman, better known as Abang Nayan.

The cameraman for ntv7 and TV3 never failed to turn up for work even though he was asthmatic (I remember him carrying his inhaler everywhere he went). That showed his sheer dedication to his work.

I first met Abang Nayan (main image, right) when I was assigned to the court desk in mid-2000. He was a frequent face at the court premises and would turn up earlier than some court officers.

He would happily plot himself at the security desk while waiting for the rest of us.

We would either meet or contact by phone for work purposes every day, so much so that we developed a close friendship.

He was not afraid to laugh at himself, stand up for his friends, and to ask for help from them.

We would gossip during the daily breakfast and lunch, celebrate each other’s birthdays and try to comfort each other when we went through rough patches.

I remember him talking how proud he was of his children and grandchildren. Such a family man he was.

Abang Nayan was just one of the small group of friends who made an impact in my life.Over the last few years, this circle of friends had dwindled.

Some were transferred to other desks, some to other states, while others have been busy raising their families.

I always knew the one thing constant was change. While many of us slowly drifted apart, he would occasionally still message to say hello even until the past few months.

If there was one thing that I missed having been in journalism for almost two decades was the friendship forged with colleagues and friends.

Although we had known each other for not too long, I believe that great friendships do not have to be stretched along the years to have meaning.

If you meet amazing people even for a short time, it would still have a lasting impact in our lives. Abang Nayan was one of them. He allowed me to see that if you have a will, there will always be a way.

As court reporters, we would always be required to take photographs of accused persons which sometimes seemed like an impossible task. It was Abang Nayan who would come to the rescue.

He always had a way to convince police court officers to allow him to take visuals of the subject matter and we would tag along.

The news of Abang Nayan’s death on Black Friday last week was devastating.

But then, the death of another lawyer friend, Gerard Lazarus, took the bite.

Gerard, a well-known Klang-based criminal lawyer, passed away the same day as Abang Nayan.

I remember his colourful character. He was full of jokes and always cheerful. He would say: “Hello ladies…” as he wore a smile when we met in court.

Indeed, 2020 has been a difficult year. If there was anything I have learnt from the passing of these two beautiful souls, it is that we never know when will be the last time we see someone. Time is truly precious yet we take so much for granted.

As Christmas approaches, the holiday season once again reminds me to appreciate the people around us.

Not many friends and family members get to gather this year for Christmas amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hence, we should always count our blessings for those who are with us, and those who wish they could be with us.

Reach out to that long-lost friend or family member because we never really know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13

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