When Life Brings Her Closer to Us

Her name is Sandra Ancilla. I met her for the first time at Coffee Bean in TP4 sometime in 2006. She was a friend of my friend and both of us apparently worked in the same company. We found out that we had a mutual friend; someone from her high school was my classmate in the university. Right after we met, we just talked a lot with each other. Until now I can’t understand how we just hit it off, ha-ha! Not long after our first encounter she moved to my boarding house and took a room a couple of meters from mine. With another girl, Ucil, we were dormmates, colleagues, and gossip buddies. She and Ucil took care of and sometimes playfully bullied me. I didn’t mind at all; that’s just their way of caring for me.

When I was getting married I definitely wanted her to be my bridesmaid and she said yes. When we’re expecting our first child, we thought it’d be a boy so we’d been calling the fetus with a boy’s name. On the fifth month of pregnancy, we found out that we’re expecting a girl. Soon began the baby name hunting. One Friday night, as we attended a Bible study at church, Misael kicked so hard inside my womb. It was at the time we’re reading about Daniel, Misael, Hananya, and Azarya in the Book of Daniel. I took it as a sign and decided to name our baby Misael (the name was also an anagram of her father’s name). We wanted a middle name for her and we’d been considering the name “Sandra”. We didn’t tell Sandra Ancilla about her name given to our daughter until the day she was born. Sandra was utterly surprised and touched. We couldn’t be happier either.

All these years our communication was on and off but we always managed to stay in touch, all through relocating from different cities and countries, triumphs, heartbreaking stories, and daily life struggles. As Misael is growing up and getting to know her aunt, Sandra (whose name is the same with her middle name), Misael becomes fonder of and more affectionate with her. A while ago Sandra Ancilla resigned from her job in Surabaya and moved to Jakarta. It means closer distance for us (at least no more flight to reach her), and no one is more excited about this than Misael. Misael spent a memorable holiday with Tante Sandra last July and she was delighted to see her Tante again. She was overjoyed when Tante Sandra picked her up from school last Tuesday; she proudly showed Tante Sandra where she was having her piano lesson; she was ecstatic to spend the afternoon playing games at Timezone with Tante Sandra. And she was also terribly upset when Tante Sandra returned home to Jakarta. She was in a bad mood ever since we dropped her Tante Sandra to the bus stop until her ballet class ended (1.5 hours later). She wanted Tante Sandra to spend more time with her, and to stay over at our house. The only time Misael makes this kind of fuss is when our close family members visit and then go back home (grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins). Now Tante Sandra is also included in her dear-to-heart list.

We’re looking forward to seeing you again, Sandra Ancilla! We had wonderful time when you visited us, and we’ll surely pay you a visit soon. My daughter already misses you much! Xoxo

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