On Saturday 5 September, Uncle Hee Lai was baptised.
So began eight days that were out of the norm.
A day later, on Sunday night, he passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer.
He was Wynnie’s favourite uncle. And I know she was his favourite niece.
Monday was the wake. I went after work.
Work, too, was unusual. My colleagues and I were busy packing up in preparation for office renovation.
The wake was an emotional affair. My mum-in-law gave a eulogy during the service. There were lots of tears. I teared because she repeated the words he had said when I last saw him. That his one regret was that he would not be able to give Emma a Christmas present, as he had done for his other grand-nephews and nieces.
Tuesday, I took afternoon leave so that I could attend Uncle Hee Lai’s funeral. I was a bit more composed than during the wake. I think it helped knowing the process, having gone through both my grandmothers’ funerals in the past few years.
I couldn’t take leave on Wednesday to see his ashes being scattered in the sea. I had recordings scheduled, and I was scrambling to get everything ready for the move. I contemplated coming back on Saturday if I couldn’t complete packing.
That evening, I finally managed to attend an election rally. Yes, that was the other unusual thing about the week – General Elections. It was an SPP rally at Bishan Stadium. It wasn’t as well attended as in 2011. I knew SPP’s vote share would be less than the previous election.
Thursday was – the uniquely Singapore – Cooling Off Day. I managed to finish packing and moved my things to the temporary office, an auditorium, before end of work.
Friday, I voted. After voting, I went to get some groceries. While at the self-checkout counter, I got a call about Emma’s baptism, scheduled for Sunday afternoon. To cut a long story short, we were moved from the main church to one of the church halls. In the afternoon, we went for my cousin’s kid’s birthday party, then we had a couple of friends over for dinner.
As Friday ticked over into Saturday, my hopes for a more representative parliament were dashed. The PAP increased their vote share by almost 10%. I knew they would improve from 2011, but no one expected this large a swing.
I spent Saturday with Wynnie and Emma, avoiding news and social media. We stayed indoors to avoid the last burst of fire from seventh-month burning.
Emma was baptised on Sunday 13 September. A happy end to a long and emotional week.