"You buy a lot of rice, Sir?" Candace, a salesgirl at Kroger (Athens Georgia) asked me as she realized that I bought far too much rice.
"Yes, I do. We eat rice two to three times a day."
"You mean your wife cooks three times a day?"
"Yes! She cooks for breakfast, lunch and dinner!"
That is what she had been and still is actively doing for the past 26 years plus - taking good care of us by cooking delicious food day in and day out!
She is Datin Zainab bt Hashim, my wife, the best wife (I really mean it) a man could ever want.
Still remember during the first few months after we were married I was a little bit unsure whether her cooking was to my taste. You know me, I just liked what my mother cooked.
Surprising many, she was like a duck to water as far as cooking was concerned. With her vocational training, in no time I felt in love with all that she cooked.
In the early years of our marriage she was still working - as a hostel supervisor in SMU Khairiah in KT. She was and still is a very good time manager. She divided her time well, between working and house-keeping - cooking as well as other chores.
When our first baby came, she knew how to take care of her as if she had babies before!
What fascinated many is how she can cook so many dishes in such a short time. She is to me, a multi-tasking and multi-lateral thinking lady. At the same time she cuts the vegies, fry the fish and blend the spices.
So, within half an hour, she has prepared three dishes - sea-food tomyam, deep-fried groupers and finger-licking giant prawn curry.
Children will always miss her cooking when they were away. Her tom-yam is the talk of town and so too are many of her dishes.
Besides cooking, she is exceptionally good in decorating and arranging the house. A bouquet of dried flowers here and a bouquet of plastic orchids there and soon the living hall is turned into a hotel lounge.
She really takes care to make sure that our house is clean - no dirty clothes lying around and no dust on furnitures.
As she turned 49 a few days back, I knew that I had made the right choice. She is indeed destined to be my partner, a soul-mate and a friend.
I know that I cannot afford to shower her with gifts, gold and diamond rings, but my love for her is beyond compare and no words could describe it good enough.
Only God could repay her for all her troubles and hardship living with me all these while and raising our five children.
To you all my children, please take care of your mother now and forever. I know that she may nag sometimes, especially when she is tired and you don't offer any assistance, she is still the best mother any child would wish to have.
Thank you Datin, may we be always blessed by Allah and live happily ever after till our last beath. Amin.