Sunday, March 29, 2015

The tyrant with a heart…

During the past week, if you switch on the television, most likely you will be watching documentaries on MM Lee, or at least updates on his mourning. It is sad that my children will never truly know how much LKY has impacted Singapore. To Julian, LKY is just the old man who died.
(Isaac asked D why had LKY died and D explained that he was very old and very sick. Julian looked around him saw another old man, he said "he's going to die already…. everyone going to die already" shook his head and walked away.)

Throughout the week, I learnt more and more things about MM Lee which amazes me.. Like how he rejected the $3.3m bribe or how much he has influenced India that they have declared a day's mourning for him (You mean TH also invest money into India??)
But above all, the things that stuck me were how humane this tyrant could be and how loved his wife must be..

1) They were so interested in each other's lives… They WERE each other's lives...

A friend shared this was her
 favorite photo of him… It is mine too
I am sure many have heard this before:

Woman was made from the rib of man,
She was not created from his head to top him,
Nor from his feet to be stepped upon,
She was made from his side to be close to him,
From beneath his arm to be protected by him,
Near his heart to be loved by him.

For 63 years, MM Lee trusted his wife as his equal, his confidante, his life. While he wasn't a Christian, his marriage was his covenant to her. She was his pride and while she always walked two steps behind him, he felt good having her there.

It's amazing how a "chauvinist" like him saw her as an equal. How he trusts her enough to confide in her all his woes and concerns. How he respected her enough to seek and asks her for advise and actually listened to it. (Not many men can do this..)
It's amazing how an educated woman like her saw him as her pillar. That while she knew they were in this together, he was always the head of the family. That while she was busy managing the family, she never felt tired or bored listening to what was happening in his life. (I can't do this either at times..)

I pray and hope that D and I won't take a lifetime to appreciate the fact that we are each other's lives...

2) Their marriage vows weren't just words
How to die like that?
A friend once posted on Facebook that the wedding day should be the day when one loves his/her spouse the least.
There was once when I needed to depend on him after the c-section for Isaac. He had to help me to the toilet and bathed me. He was helpless seeing me in pain, but he tenderly cleaned me and was patient with me. (I was touched… not just literally.. and I knew I could be vulnerable in front of him)
D and I haven't talked much about what would happen when we grow old and fall sick. I mean we planned our finances for fear that we become a burden to our kids, but we never really discussed on what would happen, how we would look after each other, how we might cope with each other's physical liabilities should we one day reach that point. (We did share that how he can't die before me.. as I won't be able to cope)

The fear of not being able to cope alone must have struck a man like MM Lee who saw his life partner become more and more helpless. 
We recognize that one day our kids will grow up and have their own families. D and I know that one day we will only have each other to depend on. Mdm Kwa lived on for a few more years because she had someone to make it worth living, not because she was scared of dying. That's the difference.

Whether you are married or not, is your life worth living?

3) What would life be without the other?

Finally… in life and death, they are together
Many reports have gone on saying how there was a void in MM Lee's life after the passing of his wife. At her funeral, he continuously planted kisses on her lips and face as he knew he was going to miss her dearly.
Even though he had other things to focus on - his country, his family and his work, it was never the same. It took him 9 months to get used to life without her. His health was slowly deteriorating and his life was left with a void.
When younger, I always asked D what would happen if I was no more around. He always said, "Like that la". (Okay.. I was more like hoping how his life would change and how he would be miserable and ladida… but oh well… I grew older and I thought this wasn't important anymore)
MM Lee foresaw what life for Singapore be in 30 years. How can he not foresee what life is like without his partner? I applaud MM Lee for despite all these, not give up his will for living. No one else knows how hard it must be, and we can only imagine. But I'm glad that their 63 years of togetherness continues into eternity now… 

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