Chase  Tan

That was the time that Grandpa told me that I had grown up.

This photograph tells a story, just like every other one. I'm the boy in yellow. It was during one of my grandpa's birthday celebrations. I seldom saw him smile. I am guessing that's why I was looking at him in the photo, as I was happy that I got to see him smile, even though it was only for that second..

When I was young, I always got scolded by him because I was the most playful one in the family and I hated to study. I did not really get along well with my grandpa when I was a kid. I always wondered why he would pick on me in everything that I did. But as time went by, I grew up and I realized where I went wrong.

My grandpa was a very down-to-earth man. He worked till the age of 80 plus, just because he still wanted to earn money for the family. At the age of 82, he was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor told him that he could not work and that he had to rest at home. However, the sickness did not stop him. Every single day, he would walk around the estate to collect newspapers or any old stuff that people would throw away so that he could sell it for money. During that time, I was serving my NS. I would always go back to my grandparent's place and buy food for them to eat. That was the time that Grandpa told me that I had grown up.

There was this particular day that I will never forget. I was at his house taking care of him as it was getting harder for him to walk. We had a heart-to-heart conversation, in which he mentioned to me that my Aunty had showed him an advertisement that I shot for and was posted in the MRTs. The first thing he asked was if I had earned money from it. I replied yes. That was the only time he told me that he was proud of me. He also told me that when his time is up that I should visit Grandma as often as possible and always pack food for her to eat. He told me to never give up no matter what hardship I faced in future.

He is someone whom I will always look up to and respect wholeheartedly. This is the reason why I changed my basketball jersey number to 83, as this is the age that he passed away.
Chase Tan