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It’s a sad week for Singapore. My sis and I, along with my 1 year-old nephew, Elliott in tow headed to the Parliament House yesterday after a few spontaneous text exchange. Both of us are neither fervent patriots or the sort to follow and delve deep into politics, but no words were needed to explain to each other why we wanted to join the throng of people in the long queue. We just knew that we wanted to go.
When we arrived at City Hall, a random stranger and kind samaritan told us that a priority queue was available for us to join. Along the way, sun-baked volunteers offered us drinks and fans fashioned out of cardboard – their poor faces were all red and sunburnt! Elliott was getting really cranky mid-way whilst we were in the queue but people around us spontaneously played with him and cajoled him to hang-in-there. It made the wait with a baby in tow so much easier. I also saw random aunties offering young kids snacks and biscuits that they have brought along.
His foresight, perseverance, dedication and sheer hard work has brought our tiny dot of a country to where it is today – a gleaming first world oasis that we can all proudly call home. Before this week, I admit that I’ve always taken Singapore for granted. I often complained about the humid weather, lack of ‘fun things to do’ and ‘fun places to go’, and wished I was in another country where we could take long drives out to scenic places with cool weather.
This week has brought me into perspective. To appreciate what has been done and the little things around me – to still be able to enjoy pockets of greenery despite being on a tiny island, to be able to walk around in the dead of the night without fear and as a frequent traveler, to be able to speak 2 languages and travel to most countries without the need of a visa or any delays at customs because I held a Singapore passport.
Close to my grandfather’s 100th day of passing (The Chinese believe that the dead will move on into another realm 100 days after their death), my grandmother told us that she had dreamt of my grandfather. She said that he had asked her to join him where he was, or she would not be able to find him after he has gone to the next realm. After that dream, my grandmother had a fall one night, and passed away shortly after.
You guessed right. She passed away on my grandfather’s 100 day of passing.
I am from a generation that is reaping the rewards of Mr Lee’s hard work and tenacity. For that, I am most grateful. I am glad that my sis and I made the decision to join the queue to say our thank yous and bid our proper goodbyes!