Since we are still in Syawal, perhaps I would write something about it.
We had our raya this year in my hometown. Something I always look forward to now. Though not very "meriah" this year as only me and my elder brother with grown up kids and another single brother and sister at home. IMHO, raya would only be meriah if there are kids and kids, marching around the house.
Raya has been better when I have my kids.. ever since I am a mother. Since I label raya=kids.. then of course I feel that way. Even though raya is a religious celebration, to me as a person, raya was rather meaningless since 1992 (can't remember the Hijriah year then!). My mother passed away on the last day of Ramadhan 1992. That year onwards, there was no actual raya for me. I don't remember hearing any takbir nor having the raya dishes and biscuits that year. Raya 1992 was alomost non-existent. All I remember was reciting quran for her, preparing her for burial. This was all on the eve and the morning of Hari Raya. There were solat raya as well as solat jenazah. My house was full of people paying their last respect to my Mom, not visiting for Hari Raya. Most of my relatives and cousins came back for hari raya and that year they came to my house with tears. I spent the last two weeks of her life with her. With no regrets of missing 2 weeks of Spring classes. But I was a zombie for the rest of Syawal. I don't remember having any celebration even back on campus but one kenduri tahlil arranged by one of the PhD students who happened to be my second cousin.
For the next few years after that, I did not look forward to Hari Raya. Especially having to go back to my hometown.. the video of raya 1992 kept playing in my head. Raya 1995, my sisters and I decided to celebrate Raya elsewhere. We went to Jakarta.. for holidays!
I guess, over the years, after I got married and have kids, the memories slow down. Of course it's still there, it's not as strong as before. I kind of get over it. Though it still bring tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. And the radio never fail to bring the memory up! Every ramadhan, without fail, there'll be a segment in the radio asking callers to call in and relate their sad stories in ramadhan!! I was ever tempted to call but never did so because I would cry even before I made the call.
So.. that was THE Hari Raya. These days, I made efforts to make raya a happy one for my kids. The usual thingy of having new clothes and such. And this year the learnt the meaning of "counting" their duti raya. And keep asking for more! That's the meaning of raya for kids these days!! The only happy thing that I cannot create for my kids.. to kiss their grandparents hands on Hari Raya as when we got married, both my parents and my hubby's parents had passed on!
Whatever you are feeling on Hari Raya, I wish you all a blessed Hari Raya. Hope it was and will be a good one.