KL To London: Cold Feet
It was February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Waking up to know that I was about to go on an adventure of this scale was daunting. Because I pledged this journey to help kidney patients in need, I was to start my journey from MAA’s Kidney Centre on Jalan Pudu. The night before I had worried about not being able to carry the weight of over 60kg on my steel cromoly bike. The morning wasn’t different and I still couldn’t find the same confidence I had when I made up my mind to do this.
The road from my house to Jalan Pudu was an approximate 5km, probably less. I ended up shoving all my things into my wife’s car and got her to drive me there. One less worry, a thousand more to go. Flag off time was 10am and we got there an hour early, too early to be excited and too late to be afraid. I fixated my mind on making sure I left nothing behind, knowing all too well that I’d be leaving the most important things in my life – June and Hong Yan -. I held two month old Hong Yan close to my heart and June’s hand in mine and tried not to think about letting go.
The MAA Kidney Centre’s staff led us in and gave us a tour of what looked like a mass dialysis centre. Machines, patient beds and all. The sight of it put me back into the mindset of why I wanted to do this. I’d be raising RM10 for the centre or every kilometre that I complete on this journey and every cent goes to the people who spend hours plugged to dialysis machines. I wanted to make a difference. That’s why I’m here.
It didn’t make things any easier when I fed my baby one last time before leaving and whispered to her unknowing ears, “I promise Daddy will come home safe.” I kissed June and told her the same. I was anxious and in fact, intimidated by this journey that I knew nothing about. But I had to be a husband for her in that moment, a husband who wasn’t afraid of anything – at least for that fleeting moment, because she was about to face six months without one. Even so, she was strong and I knew that she would be stronger when I’m gone.
In the minutes that felt like hours, I let go of June and put Hong Yan in her arms. Then I told myself, “Come home safe.” and got on the bike.