A Prayer That Transcend Time

Aditya Purwa
6 min readFeb 22, 2024
Photo by Shot by Cerqueira on Unsplash

My dad was not a religious person, but as he retired and get older, he started to pray often. We’re a Muslim family, so we pray five times a day. Whenever I visited home, I am happy to see my dad started praying and becoming a better person.

In 2021, I decided to join Taxfix as a software engineer. Taxfix is a German company, so I need to relocate there. However, it was during Covid and getting an appointment with the embassy to get my visa was a very difficult journey.

The endless day of checking whether the embassy open up an appointment slot, and the difficult transportation means as the government limited our transportation method. We had to drive for 16 hours to the embassy as my daughter can’t fly because she hasn’t received a vaccination yet.

Then the day came when I finally got an appointment and we took another road trips to the embassy; another tiring 16 hours. Eventually, me and my wife got our visa. But they said they need more time for our daughter visa.

So we waited —

and we waited again…

Months passed, many calls to the embassy were made, yet our daughter visa is still in progress and they asked us to keep waiting.

My visa was about to expire, so we decided to just leave first and left our daughter with her grandmother. We wanted to just extend our visa and obtain our Anmeldung. We prepared everything, sold some assets, pack a lot of clothes — we were ready to stay in Germany. I only get to say goodbye to my mother before my departure as my dad couldn’t come for our departure.

The day of our arrival to Germany was filled with a lot of difficulties. We contracted Covid, and spent 2 weeks being sick. We booked a doctor appointment but it was a long waiting time that we already healthy when our time come. We had to stay in an apartment that’s far away from the office as it’s very hard to find one close by.

We still call the embassy to get an update of our daughter visa situation. Then again, it’s still the same — please wait — answer from them. We can’t leave our daughter for a very long time and we don’t want to burden our parents as well. There’s also a case of some consent issues and some family concerns.

Everyday, the issues keep piling up. We decided to just let’s go back, I prepared my resignation and were ready to just abandon our hopes of living in Germany — we don’t trust the embassy, there’s a piling up consent issues, and everything seems falling part.

Another issue was that the Indonesian government imposed a quarantine for visitors from outside the country, if we go home now, we’d spend 2 weeks in quarantine. Me and my wife decided let’s just stop by in Turkey and Singapore while waiting for the quarantine requirements to go down.

We waited for weeks and eventually, the government only mandated a one day mandatory quarantine for visitors. While I was in Singapore, I got a call from my mother telling that my father is sick.

I called my dad and we chatted briefly, he asked how was Germany, why am I returning back, how was Turkey, how was Singapore. My father worked overseas a lot when he was young, so he explored this world more than me — Due to the nature of his work, I’d only spend 2 weeks with him when I was a kid as my father is taking a leave to return back home. He’d bought us a lot of chocolates, perfumes, and construction glasses. My mom even had to hide the chocolates from me because I keep eating it non-stop.

My father has been sick for quite some time, and I’ve always been optimistic that it’s probably not an issue and he’d get healthy again. My father hated going to the hospital, so he only want to go to small clinic, or traditional Indonesian medications.

Eventually, we landed back in Indonesia. We stayed in this hotel in Jakarta for quarantine, and I called my dad once again. He agreed to go to the hospital as he’s having an internal bleeding. I am still optimistic, this happened before and my dad is okay — so it’s going to be okay again.

Then I returned to my home after my quarantine. We took a day to have some rest. Then my mother called me saying that my dad condition is going worse. It was evening already, my dad told me “It’s fine, just come tomorrow” — he’s always been an easy going like that.

The night come, my mother called again, but my father still told me to just stay have some rest and come tomorrow morning. The clock keeps ticking, the moon started rising above the horizon, for each passes of stars that go behind it, another call from my mother comes in.

We sold our car, and there’s no transportation readily available at night. So we thought maybe tomorrow we could rent a car. But then, my father was unconscious and my mother asked me to come.

I am still optimistic, I packed and were prepared for a long stay there to stay with my father until his recovery. We then tried hard calling travel agencies to just pick us up right away and drive us there.

We eventually got one around 1am, and we go straight to the hospital. My mother calls me and asked how many time left until I got there. From my home to my mother’s home, it usually took 3 hours. My father would occassionally opened his eyes and asked where is my youngest son.

Then about 15 minutes away from the hospital, there was a call from my sister. My dad didn’t make it — I didn’t make it on time. Tears broke and the driver noticing that, starts speeding up. I asked him to slow down and just drive carefully, there’s nothing that we can do now.

I arrived with my bag, walking slowly and asked the hospital receptionist. I walked slowly…


I saw my brother…

I saw my sister…

I saw my mother…

I saw my father —

As if Death engulfed me as well, I touched his cold skin, hugged him, and apologized for being late. Despite him asking for me, the youngest son — to be there for him. But because of his kind heart that doesn’t want to burden his son, and asked me to come tomorrow — I was late.

My mother told me how my dad talked about how proud he is with me, and that he was waiting for me when he was hospitalized.

God must have heard his prayer long before he uttered it. A prayer that transcend time. A prayer heard by God that mastered time.

The difficulties of me going to Germany, the covid that greeted our arrival, the difficulty of finding and apartment, the issues with our daughter visa, the piling up of many reasons that forced us to return back to Indonesia — That’s the answer of his prayer to God, long before he was sick, long before he was hospitalized — God answered his prayer and bring me back to Indonesia so I can be with him during his final days.

I believe it was destined for me to be late. Because of me being late, there’s always a guilt in my heart that will forever stay with me. Making me remember him more, making me loving him more, making me wanted to do more things for his legacy. God wanted me to realize, that I have a lot of unpoured love to my father in my heart — as people say, grief is a love unrequited.

It’s been two years since my dad passed away. But I still have vivid recollection of what happened that day, like a faint shadows of leaves being blown by the winds — ocassionally covering my eyes with water and brushing the memories in my heart.

Till the day we meet again, dad.



Aditya Purwa

Building Playtune (https://playtune.app) - Software engineer, writer, designer, and artist.