"Say a little word of prayer, in any language and in any form. We express thoughts and love in many ways. Love comes in any form which we visualise and actualise it with our actions. Mr S R Nathan has shown to us that love triumphs all. That was also what he taught us, isn't it?" "Regardless of Race, Language or Religion." This was first written and shared on Blogger - 23 August 2016.
Credits: The Straits Times -
22 August 2016: It was not any other day. It was the passing of former President S R Nathan; our longest serving President of 12 years.
"We all have our own way of paying our last respect to a dear one which we have lost." She fumbled over the last few words a few times before she finally completed the sentence. She wiped off tears which were rolling down her cheeks. "And, we've lost a great man. Singapore has lost a great man. A wise leader and a man who quietly sowed the fields so that we could all enjoy the harvest today." Despite her tears, she forced out a smile filled with immense gratitude. "We're (Singapore is) something because of our leaders - our Team of dedicated leaders..."
Indeed, it was a well-planned team effort .
It was our leaders who (secretly) paved the path for us, and ensure the future generations could all enjoy their visionary plans and farsightedness. It all began with one man with big dreams and a team of workers who made every plan come alive. Many would say, our Founding Father Mr Lee Kuan Yew dared to dream. But only having big dreams were not enough, he ensured his team shares the same goals and they progressed on together.
"Not many knew what a President does. We only knew he served for the longest term as a President in Singapore history. But he has done so much more which we all didn't know..."
She spoke with tears already rolling in her eyes and she struggled to continue on, slowly yet emotionally. "He is a humble man who has no airs - speaks to everyone whom he meets along the way, while he takes his routine morning walk. He doesn't mind that I am just an ordinary citizen with no fantastic background. He patiently listens. He smiles and he advices. He tells me that everyone can be somebody amazing and he encouraged me to become a better person."
Former President S R Nathan was a fatherly figure to many walks of life. He was a People's President - humble, approachable and selfless, in his own way. He loves his citizens. He loves and appreciates each and everyone he meets, going beyond service to care and share.
"He volunteered as hostage in the Kuwait episode, one incident which many never knew. I only read about it in the news." He added with a heavy heart. "How selfless is that. Who would have such courage to volunteer to die for the country? Not just anyone on the streets. Not me for sure." And he answered his own question with eyes beaming with pride, "Our ex- President S R Nathan did."
Too many stories untold.
Her eyes looked swollen from crying, as if she had been in tears before she reached the Istana this morning to pen her tribute for Mr S R Nathan. Yet, she spoke steadily, "He started the President's Challenge and was highly committed in making sure this initiative helped as many as Charity organisations as possible. Over the years, probably nobody would recall how much money he has raised through his initial recommendation, but the impact was huge. It multiplied and it's going to be impactful and ever-lasting."
I guess there were just so many other stories which our former President Nathan didn't get to share.
He led a fulfilling life. 92 years - filled with ups and downs; full of amazing lessons which inspire and accomplishments not reported, and shared. For there were numerous ones which he has quietly accomplished - not wanting the whole world to know.
"Some choose to mourn for the loss in grieve, others' lives continued on as per normal. But that doesn't mean he or she isn't sad about the loss. They just knew that life had to carry on." She explained with tears in her eyes. "I mourn in black, but I cannot expect everyone to be in such dull colours too. Each of us has our own way of remembering him. And we respect that."
This morning. I woke up extra early, feeling all tired and affected, like I lost a part of me. It just feels... empty. There's this part at the back of my brains, which I knew someone was gone. Someone, a great man - leader, was gone.
"There are many forms of grieve, some happy ones, others are sad. Mr Nathan had lived a fulfilling and meaningful life. We ought to be happy." He expressed his thoughts in a slow yet highly motivational manner. "He's done so much. We all know and we all appreciate that. He loved our country, he loved our people, and most importantly, his love will always be deep in our hearts."
Credits: Channel NewsAsia Because I am (now) a Reporter, and an exceptionally emotional fan girl who has read up a lot about her respected idol Mr S R Nathan before his passing, I felt a lot of emotions running through my body and mind, overwhelming me when I turned up at the Istana this morning.
As posted on my Facebook this morning at 7am, "I am sorry my media friends, I am also from the media. I look too much like an ordinary folk that you all thought I was indeed one. Actually, I just wanted to spend some time with Mr S R Nathan and write a few personal words to him, before I officially start work together with you all. The limelight should all be his. 💞" As a 22-year old, I grew up seeing him. He was the President of Singapore throughout my schooling days, and I am proud of him. Not seeing his picture on the school hall's wall ... was just, weird. Perhaps never been able to meet him in real life was a regret, but his words and actions have already made an impact.
- It was through stories. It was through conversations. It was through listening with intent, that I realised - remembering a person isn't only in the form of emotional attachment, or even grieve... It is about carrying on the Legacy. Bringing forth the values and spirits; Educating our future little ones with the Love, which Mr S R Nathan (as well as our pioneer leaders have) shared with us. Dear Sir, Thank you. <3