It’s back to regular programming on this space and most of Singapore, but I am still mourning the loss.
I woke up today feeling a huge void.
Funny how I’ve never met the man, never shook his hand, never once saw him in person from afar, and yet I teared the last seven days reading about him. Every time a tribute, a note, a link or an article was shared on FB, I found myself crying while reading it.
And this is coming from someone who grew up quite resentful of the one-party rule in her country and desiring for more credible opposition to stand for elections.
It’s tremendous; the effect this one man had on me.
Over the past week I’ve pored over scores of articles sharing personal encounters with Lee Kuan Yew and insights of him. I’ve learned about the frugality of his lifestyle, the dedication and unwavering commitment to his “abiding passion” of building Singapore, the depth of love he has for his wife cemented in 63 years of marriage, and the softer side of him – how he would care and demonstrate concern for someone with that personal touch.
What struck me most – and what struck me hard – was that he lived and breathed Singapore, and cared about this country more than anything else.
I went through this whole week thinking: What about me? How can I live and breathe Singapore in my own little way, insignificant as I may be, here at my station of life, here in this country I call home?
And while life goes on, albeit a little sadder and emptier without the man that made the Singapore dream a reality, I’m starting this day, post-LKY, thinking hard about these questions. I’ll think about them and find answers along the way – as a mother, a wife, an educator, a daughter, a friend and neighbour.
A new era has begun.
I’ll go ride that rainbow, Sir. Thank you for leaving the LKY legacy, and for building this place I am proud to call home.