Remembering Yew

It’s almost midnight and here I am contemplating if I should pen down these mixed emotions in me because to be honest, I know nuts about politics and didn’t want to write anything wrong since it is kind of sensitive. Truth be told, I didn’t expect myself to be affected and to feel so much for a person that I have never seen in the entire 26 years of life of my life though what I do know is that Singapore is safe cause he’s got our backs.

Drove to work with a heavy heart and listening to the local radios just made my heart sank further. The atmosphere at work, hawker centers which I frequent for lunch takeaways and even the petrol kiosk seem more dull today. It seemed as though everyone has lost a part of them. I couldn’t concentrate at work at all, my heart was numbed by the pain for reasons unbeknownst to me.  This pain resembled how I felt when I lost my grandma last year. But seriously, I don’t even know you well like how I do with my grandma, how can I even feel so much for a person that I don’t really know in person? All I know is that he is our first Prime Minister and he played a major role in Singapore’s history -_-||| (I know right, don’t judge me.)

So I decided to know more about our dear founding father. Social media made it easier since everyone is paying their tribute on Facebook and Instagram. Almost every Singaporean friends in my Facebook and Instagram shared something about him or articles regarding his life and Singapore. Since I can’t concentrate on work, might as well do something more constructive like reading up on our dear LKY right? (Sorry Boss!) And something caught my attention out of all the articles I read about him: The love story of Mr and Mrs Lee.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew is not only one of the greatest leader in the world but also one of the great lover of all time. Through the articles I read, I was deeply moved by his ability to love so deeply.

They met when they were in college and it was not love at first sight. From competitors, they gradually became lovers. A little like those love drama in the typical old days, the female’s parents came in between the love birds. But despite all obstacles, they managed to overcome it all through their faith. They secretly got married in England and it was quite a bold move considering the conservative mindsets of the people during that era. Since then, their lives intertwined and they spent three quarter of their lifetime together.


His wife’s life revolves around him and their children. She took care of every minute detail in his life and is the woman behind her successful husband. But things took a turn when she suffered her first stroke. He made an effort to make adjustments to his lifestyle despite his busy schedule. He took care of her complicated medication regime. And because she lost her left field of vision, he would sit on her left during meals, reminding her to finish the food on the left side of the plate. He would also meticulously pick up the food that her left hand dropped. He would also urged her to exercise by swimming daily and would measure her blood pressure several times in a day. Even though their daughter got them a watch-like device to measure blood pressure as she preferred having her husband measure her blood pressure.

Processed with VSCOcam with b3 preset

The second stroke left his wife bed-ridden. He sat by her bed, spending two hours telling her about his day and reading her favourite poems to her every night after work without fail. Since the poetry books were thick and heavy, he used a heavy-duty music stand to support the books. One of those night, he was drowsy and fell asleep while reading poetry to her. He slouched forward and hit his face against the metal-made music stand, suffering abrasions on his face. Despite this, he continued reading to her every night for the next two years till she passed on.

After her passing, he wrote a note to his three children saying – ” For the reasons of sentiment, I would like part of my ashes to be mixed up with Mama’s and both her ashes and mine put side by side in the columbarium. We were joined in life and I would like our ashes to be joined after this life.”

This reminds me of this quote:

”True love doesn’t mean inseparable, it just means nothing changes when life gets tougher.”

<Special thanks to my dear friend, Shanel, who helped to edit my post>