Every year, without fail, her family would balik kampung (Malay for return home) to spend Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji with her parents.
Madam Noraini Hassan, 35, and her family reached her parents' home at Kampung Seri Lalang near Kluang, Johor, safely last Sunday, the eve of Hari Raya Haji.
But around 12.40am on Monday, fate dealt the Malaysian woman a devastating double blow.
The two men dearest to her - her Singaporean husband of 10 years and her father - were cruelly snatched away in a fatal road accident.
Her father, Mr Mohamed Hassan Ali, 65, was carrying her husband, Mr Noraripen Surni, 48, on his motorcycle when it collided with another motorcycle ridden by Mr Muhammad Hafiz Ghazali, 21.
Mr Muhammad Ekmal Yussry Md Yassin, who was riding behind Mr Hafiz, could not brake in time and his motorcycle crashed into the other two bikes.
Mr Noraripen and Mr Hafiz were killed on the spot.
Mr Hassan died in hospital after he was taken there by a neighbour who was riding behind them when the accident occurred.
Mr Ekmal was also taken to hospital with injuries. His condition is not known.
Madam Noraini, who works as an admin officer in Johor Baru, told The New Paper in Malay yesterday: "I was devastated when I found out that my husband and father were involved in an accident."
She said they were returning home after having drinks with other villagers at a coffee shop nearby.
The accident occurred about a kilometre from her parents' house.
When a neighbour went to the house to tell her about the accident, she immediately called her husband on his mobile phone, but a man who identified himself as a doctor answered and told her to go to the accident scene.
Madam Noraini went there with her two children, Norqiestina, nine, and Izzul Zikri, four.
On the way, she kept hoping that her husband and father were still alive, and tried to maintain her composure for the sake of her children.
"In the car, my neighbour told me to take deep breaths to calm down," she said.
When she reached at the scene, her husband's body was already in an ambulance.
"My heart broke into pieces when I saw their bodies, especially when my daughter started crying."
Madam Noraini said her neighbour later said that "when she told me about the accident, she already knew my husband was gone but could not bear to tell me the news".
Her father and husband were buried at the Muslim cemetery in Kampung Seri Lalang on Monday afternoon.
During the burial ceremony, her son asked her: "Why is ayah (Malay for dad) being put in the hole?"
"It pained me to explain to him what happened. I told him, 'You'll see him again in heaven, God willing,'" said Madam Noraini. "My husband was a truly wonderful, amazing man. There will never be another one like him.
"I met him through a mutual friend, and we became friends. When I introduced him to my father, he was immediately taken with him. My father was the one who suggested that we got married.
"I fell in love with my husband because of what a great person he was. He was a man of few words, very quiet, but he's one of the best people I know.
"He would always take time off to spend time with us as a family. Every Hari Raya, he would take our family to balik kampung."
Mr Noraripen had worked in a Japanese food factory at Senoko Road for close to 20 years. He moved to live in JB after their marriage 10 years ago, and would commute to and from work daily.
He was the youngest of five siblings. They grew up in Singapore, but, like him, two of them also moved to JB, and another to Kuala Lumpur.
His siblings and mother attended his funeral.
His sister, Madam Norizah Surni, told TNP that she last saw him alive at her house in JB last Saturday.
The 53-year-old housewife received a call from her sister-in-law at 1.04am on Monday to tell her that Mr Noraripen had met with an accident.
The call left her fearing the worst, and she was devastated when Madam Noraini later confirmed her brother had died.
"I was upset that I would never see him again, no more seeing him every week at my house," said Madam Norizah.
"I lost one of the most important people in my life. This was my brother. He was the one I always talked to whenever I faced any problems. I told him everything."
Singaporeans in Malaysia road accidents
Several Singaporeans were involved in road accidents in Malaysia recently, including a man who died on the spot yesterday morning after crashing his motorcycle in Kluang, Johor.
Here are some of the other cases:
Full-time national serviceman Ng Kai Jie, 22, suffered head injuries and died after the rental car he was driving crashed into the back of a lorry around 5.30pm last Saturday.
Mr Ng and his friend, Mr Alson Ngian, 23, were on their way to Malacca for the Hari Raya Haji long weekend when the accident happened on the North-South Expressway, between Yong Peng and Pagoh.
Mr Ngian, who suffered minor injuries, and the lorry driver, Mr Baharom Ibrahim, 44, were taken to a hospital in Batu Pahat for treatment.
Nine Singaporeans returning from Genting Highlands were injured after a double-deck Grassland Express And Tours bus crashed into a road divider and overturned on the Karak highway on the way to Kuala Lumpur.
On Sept 4, one of them, Mr Lim Sia Thian, 62, died from his injuries.
A family of three returning from a holiday in Malacca were injured when their car skidded off the North-South Highway near Sedenak. The incident, which happened around 1.30pm in heavy rain and slippery conditions, set off a series of other crashes involving four other vehicles including a lorry trailer.
The crashes caused a massive traffic jam that stretched for 10km, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.
Kulai police said the incident started when the Singaporean driver lost control of his car in avoiding a puddle, causing it to hit a slope and end up upside down in a drain.
This article was first published on Sep 14, 2016.
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