REMEMBERING MR LEE KUAN YEW
23 March 2015. The date that marked the passion of Singapore's founding father.
It has been said that actions mean more than mere words. One man however, more than proved that a good man is as good as his words…
As a man who lived amongst our ancestors, living on an island with no natural resources... he rallied for harmonious living in a multi-cultural country... he got us from what was seen and dubbed the 'little red dot' to a progressive nation, now seen as a first class country in the eyes of the world.
Always putting himself first as a leader for the nation, before the husband to a wonderful wife and father to his children, he built Singapore by ideals he envisioned, for a better place for the generations to come.
Being citizens of Singapore, we all know it's not just one man's work to achieve what we have today. All of us played our parts in one small way or another to contribute to the Singapore we have now.
Political parties aside, let him be remembered for all the great achievements. While he may not have made decisions that was well-received by all, he made them in the vision of a better Singapore that we now enjoy.
On 23 March 2015, when chubs saw the different newspapers laid on the floor bearing images of the same man, he naturally asked the who, what and whys.
How Budsy wants to remember this man who dedicated his life serving his nation, is not just by this day of his passing, but to keep in mind the struggles he has put up for the citizens, to not take for granted the successes of today, by helping to continue his legacy for peace, for education and for prosperity, with all the children/students under my guidance as of now and ones in future.
No amount of condolences can ease the ache in the hearts of people who love him dearly. While we mourn the loss of the founding father of Singapore, let's make it our lifelong mission to continue his legacy - to better educate our children in knowledge and in sound values.
Singaporeans have always come together in times of need and in times of celebrations. Today, our nation once again, come together in remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew for everything he has done for Singapore.
To the Lee family, Singaporeans everywhere share your loss. Today, we bid farewell to a great man. A man of wisdom, a visionary, and in Budsy's heart, a great man of his words...
~ Remembering Lee Kuan Yew ~ ( 1923 - 2015 )
THE FINAL FAREWELL
29 March 2015. The State Funeral everyone will remember.
For boys of Budsy's boys' age, it will be daunting to get them away from their regular screen-time of their favourite shows. However, since the news of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's passing, they readily volunteered for Budsy to use up their screen-time to catch up on the news, the regular updates from Channel News Asia, or even to re-absorb those episodes of the late Mr Lee during his earlier days of work when Singapore was only a third-world country.
Via the screen-time at home that was dedicated to the work and the life of Mr Lee, the children learnt new things on Singapore's history.
On one of our trips to the supermarket, chubs halted in his steps and pointed to a poster of Mr Lee at the train station. He said, "Look mommy, it's Mr Lee Kuan Yew!"
"Ya, we saw him on TV right mommy?" Quipped lil' dragon_boi. "Remember we saw him at the palace (Istana) in the glass box? He died already." He continued.
Children are always observing and listening, more than we really know. For a two year old and a four year old, to be able to relate to the affairs of the state just via screen-time and our family discussions, it meant a lot to Budsy.
Seeing how the queue to pay respects to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had re-opened on the last day, Budsy was still contemplating if we could or should, make our way there. Hubs had to work till late. So, Budsy had to be prepared if we were to really head down.
Budsy and the children, eventually managed to pay our respects to Mr Lee at Parliament House yesterday. A last minute decision but it gave us some sense of closure.
It was crowded. It was organized. The queue was moving steadily. Having children under 6 years old meant our small group was offered the priority queue, together with pregnant ladies, wheelchair bound and pioneer generation of citizens above 60 years old.
Drinks, umbrellas, ponchos, biscuits and more were distributed at every corner. Uniformed staff, volunteers from old to the really young tirelessly offered their time at the queue at the Padang. There was even distribution of chicken rice for those who were stuck in queue and may not have taken lunch.
Even during solemn affairs, everyone came together as a nation. The children never once complained of the heat of the afternoon... of the sweat tricking down their faces and bodies... of the crowd... of the long wait. The boys didn't even mind that they will not be carried and had to walk and queue like everyone else. Budsy brought scrap paper to offer slight breeze as makeshift fans and if we had to sit, these papers could act as mats.
As we queued, Budsy shared with them about the landmarks surrounding the area... about the olden days as a child growing up in Singapore... how privileged we are to have clean water from our taps... how important education was... how our future was ours to build and more. These are precious teachable moments for the children.
If you remember, during those times when Mr Lee was looking really frail or news of him being discharged from hospital came out, we'd still see him on TV few days later at an event somewhere. Despite his condition, he still kept to his promised commitments.
Somehow this led many of us to pray for his recovery and well-being. Somehow, though unspoken, we look forward to seeing him "around". Just his presence was comforting.
Listening, reading and re-reading the stories about the late Mr Lee only makes it even clearer, that the relationships we forge in this life is an important part of life.
The love pouring from every corner of the world, acknowledges these relationships he so nurtured… and each time someone new comes forward sharing the bond they shared with him no matter how close and no matter how distant, are special in their own ways.
…….. and each time Budsy thought that Budsy has cried enough, Budsy would begin tearing up all over again.
Budsy read and teared over so many intimate sharings of Mr Lee's personal life aside from the politician and the visionary he was, and Budsy wondered why these were never shared. These stories shed light on how he treasured relationships and no matter how busy he was building and securing good future for our nation, he made time for his family and kept in touch with friends or regular people whom he was grateful for, regardless if the person was someone important or even if it was the family who custom-made his shoes.
The feeling of loss, has truly sunk in for us, seeing his coffin lying there. Within the hall of Parliament House that day, it was quiet and the mood; sombre.
Yes, for all the different reasons, one can understand the mainstream logic of not sharing these personal insights into the man we knew as the man of politics.
But it's just that, it's like we never really got a chance to really know him as a 'father' and shower him the kind of love fathers deserve. Budsy is extremely close to Budsy's father and likewise Budsy cannot see Budsy's self being (ever) ready to let him go. He's always around Budsy… around Budsy's children… and it's like he will be with us forever. But we know how reality works.
Which is why whatever free time we have, Budsy will set aside time to spend with him. Budsy's Daddie is a quiet man, just like Mr Lee. Beneath his veneer expression lies a soft and loving man, who goes all out with his role as a father and a grandfather.
We will never know how long more we have with him, so all we can do, is to make what time that is left; to count for as much as we can. Toiling for the family income and gearing the children towards the nation's paper chase is only part of living this life.
Recently, one of Budsy's daughters said she chanced upon some notes in Daddie's mobile phone that detailed the times we spent with him - like beach trips… silly jokes… makan outings (feasting)… chubs' first words and even DD1's first steps when she first started walking…
Budsy's daughters asked why he noted all these details down.
Budsy shared with them, Gramps wanted to preserve these memories for when he might forget… for when his memory may fail him… These details will help him live the last days of his life as if he was still living it, come what may - sickness or dementia. It was Gramps' way of preparing for the unexpected.
Yesterday, Singaporeans everywhere bade our final farewell to Mr Lee Kuan Yew. While the nation is still coming to terms with the reality of his passing, all we can do now is pray that he left in peace and that he can finally... finally... rest.
He will always be remembered in our hearts..
For everything he has done, thank you will never be enough.
For everything he has done, thank you will never be enough.
~ Goodbye, Mr Lee Kuan Yew ~ ( 1923 - 2015 )