I was feeding the toddler yesterday evening as the rain poured fiercely over the island. I looked out the windows – it was all grey and the usual flats/ houses view before me had literally disappeared in the grey storm. Instead of being glad for the rain that dispersed the haze, an uneasy feeling came to me. Mr Lee Kuan Yew had not been well and all I could see on my Facebook feed for the past day or two about his condition was “…. has weakened further” and “…has worsened” – as if to prepare us to brace for the worst.
It was as though Heaven was crying for the huge impending loss. Yes, gloomy – perhaps it reflected my already-pensive mood caused by the news feeds.
I posted a picture of the storm on Facebook and commented that it felt like a premonition. A friend encouraged me to think positively and also my mum told me yesterday that there were some cases where there were very sick people who suddenly got well fully – this kind of people will have long life. “Hope Mr LKY will be one of such people!” she said.
I cheered up – did the usual Sunday things and ended the night with a nice hour-long yoga stretch. I was so tired that I fell asleep at the end on the mat.
At 4am, I went over to wake up my mum as usual and I slept on her bed beside toddler. I said a simple prayer “God bless me with another 3 hours of undisturbed sleep!”
God had other plans apparently.
At 430am, my mum came in, tapped on my arm and told me “LKY passed away already”. At that time I was seriously knocked out. I went “ok” and went back to lalaland immediately.
At 5am, hubby came in, tapped on my arm and told me “LKY just passed on”. And off he went to work.
AND I STILL WENT BACK TO SLEEP. I am in such horror now at my love for sleep.
I finally woke up at 710am to prepare for work. Still in a slumber, I washed up, changed and started to feel the gravity of the news as I scrolled through the News Feed on Facebook. As I walked to the bus stop, I felt like crying already.
I peeked at the other passengers on the bus . Somehow I had this feeling that many of them were feeling the same way as me too. On the MRT, a lady spotted me tearing and wiping my tears – and I think her eyes went red too. It seemed strangely surreal that the whole nation of Singapore, the country I dearly love, is actually mourning for our founding father. And all the more I felt like crying.
I had to play Candy Crush on the train (something that I don’t usually play) in order to stop my tears from flowing.
I got better when I arrived at work – my teammates were all not locals so I guess that helps a little.
In my growing up years, Singapore was already progressing quite well and I was able to live and sleep in peace through out my lifetime. Although I was too young to understand the impact that Mr LKY had made then, I am now able to see the huge good he has done.
The policies he made, the seemingly tough rules he imposed, the hard words of wisdom he gave – were all small parts of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up the Singapore we see now.
I am honestly not sure about the details of the policies/ rules/ words of wisdom but apparently many people were not happy with what he did (for whatever reason) and that’s why we have different opposition parties now. Shall not delve into that senseless topic again. Summary of my point is – he has done what is good for Singapore, a country I love dearly.
We may not understand why a certain policy is made or why a certain rule is passed – but the policy makers know how it fits into the big picture and we simply have to trust them. And I trust my nation’s policy makers because they have led us well thus far.
I don’t remember if I have met him personally or even shook his hand – I may have but my Dory memory will never serve me well. What holds true is how I feel towards him. He seems as close as a grandfather to me. Maybe.. coz both my grandfathers passed on when I was very very young. We could never thank him enough for the life we have now.
Mr Lee, thank you thank you thank you. Thank God for you. Thank God for your life you gave to my country. Thank God for your fierce loyalty and stubborn love for the nation despite the difficulties.