On a quiet Saturday afternoon, I found myself sitting down and having a good read of a moving story from our writer / volunteer Bok Hoon. Without me knowing it, tears are running down like mad… is it because we share a similar background? Is it because of her single parenting story that touched my heart? I realised… and totally agreed with her reflection, ”Things that seem impossible can become possible if you persist in walking in that direction long enough.”
Let’s start with Bok Hoon’s story with her single parenting journey:
I was fortunate to be staying near my parents and was blessed with many wonderful friends and colleagues. I was in a profession that required me to help people every moment on the job. I think that is how helping becomes second nature for me.
We had to live frugally because the ex was always in need of financial aid and we had to survive on my meagre single income. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, my kids survive with having little wants and work during the school holidays to finance their tertiary education.
During a trip to the Tree top walk, I noticed my 4-year-old girl squatting and peering at something. It turned out that she has learnt that the web a spider spins is for trapping insects. She wondered if the insect could escape after being trapped. She put an ant into the web and found that the ant was stuck and did not move at all. She tried with a second ant, it moved a little for a while and stopped moving. She went on with two more. The fourth struggled and struggled and was freed from the trap.
We talked about it and after that, I shared this story with my students with the following learning points. 1. When you don’t put in any efforts, nothing will happen, like the first ant. 2. If you don’t give up, you can be saved, like the fourth ant. 3. Teamwork works! I think the second and third ant have laid the foundation to make it easier for the fourth ant to be freed. The second and third ants left the web too.
The most memorable moment for me will be digging up my grandpa’s story, which is my first contribution to the newsletter. Vic has the knack of drawing out stories from just one or two sentences of a conversation. I have since interviewed some of our students, teachers and volunteers. Each encounter is a learning experience for me.
Having spent much time in the nature, I have signed up to be a volunteer with NParks. I have participated in the butterfly watch, dragonfly watch, garden bird watch, Invasive species management session, beach patrol and seed picking session.
She didn’t have any break, like I do. I have time to read, hike and meet up with friends. I didn’t realise how tired I was until I found myself literally dozing off while walking home through the park. In fact, once a lady cyclist stopped in her track to check that I was alright. I am amazed that my mom could get so many things organised. She would have been a very efficient employee if she had the chance to receive education.
Bok Hoon has been part of our PeopleStories Family more than a year now and my friendship with her has grown so much. I have lots of respect for Bok Hoon especially to her ‘Sleep and Walk’ unique talent!
When she was asked, “What is the one advice you would have for other mums doing tough out there?”…she said, “Whenever you are faced with a difficult situation, ask yourself which course of action you wish your child would take if he or she were to be in the same situation. Then, choose to do that yourself. Every mother wants the best for her child. When you put your child in that same situation, you will definitely reach the best decision for yourself too.”
I so look forward to my next meet up with Bok Hoon. Perhaps she will take me for a hike this time, literally!