My Papa

I want to share with you about my Papa (father).

We had a wonderful relationship, memories of which I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Papa worked 364½ days on almost every year.

I don’t remember Papa applying for leave, falling ill, or taking time off from work.

He had to work very hard to support our large family and keep all of us alive.

Papa only stopped work for the family reunion dinner during the eve of Chinese New Year.

That was also the time when Papa would give the same speech every year.

The theme of the message, “Papa worked hard so that our family can be united and be happy together”.

In a traditional Chinese family home, we don’t express our feeling explicitly for each other or hug one another.

However, I knew Papa had a special love for me.

He thought highly of me – more than I did for myself. He wanted me to have everything that he dreamed about but could never have in his life.

Papa and I spent many great moments together.

I remember having many breakfasts with him at a run-down coffee shop. He would sit me down and then disappear into the kitchen.

He would reappear with two bowls of my favourite food. He wanted to give the impression that he had personally cooked them just for me.

I would play along for the fun of it.

Papa was a friendly person and he made friends easily. He was also known to have a great sense of humor.

Within seconds, Papa could befriend anybody. He could make the other person laugh and bond with him.

Papa lived a hard life. He had to struggle to make a living for us.

I never realized it until I went to work with him one day.

Papa was a lorry driver and had to go through great difficulties loading different goods.

He had to drive non-stop except for lunch to as far away a place as Penang and then drive back with new goods.

Along the way, he would be harassed by his bosses, colleagues and customers.

Back then, he was abused by many corrupted policemen who wanted a part of the meager earnings he made per trip.

When he was older, Papa became a taxi-driver. He worked on both day and night shifts so as to put food on the table.

He even learned more than eight languages and dialects on his own.

He did it so that he could win favour from more customers – and he did all that because he wanted us to have a better life.

One evening, I saw Papa parking his car from the window of our HDB flat.

He was walking with a limp and was almost dragging his injured foot across the ground.

That day, Papa had an accident. He did not see a doctor because he did not want to “waste money” on himself.

Since that day, Papa walked with a limp. He lived with the inconvenience while doing his daily chores.

When I was growing up, I swore to myself that one day I would give Papa a good life. I planned to do many special things for him.

I told myself that when I grew up, I would buy him anything that would make him happy. I would do anything to give him a good life

After my studies, I served my National Service. My soldier’s pay could barely support myself.

I could not do much for Papa and I did not have much time to spend with him.

After my stint in the army, I went to work in the private sector. Like my Papa, I worked very hard to climb the career ladder.

I would spend my evenings attending courses to improve myself. The rest of the time were spent doing homework and “catching up with life”.

I spent very little time with Papa.

Deep in my heart, I told myself, someday things would change.

Everything I planned to do for Papa would come true.

“Wait for me Papa,” I told myself.

One day, I went on a business trip to Jakarta. That afternoon, the phone rang.

My mother was crying on the line.

She said, “Your Papa had a heart attack. He passed away suddenly.

“He’s no longer with us. He’s gone forever.”

That afternoon, I went on my knees in the hotel room.

I cried and I cried…for a long time.

I was screaming, “Papa!…Papa!…Papa!…”

My Papa has gone.

I could never have a chance to tell him I love him.

I wanted to hug him but I couldn’t do it anymore.

I could not do anything with him and for him.

I ran out of time.

Why am I sharing this story with you?

There are many things that you always wanted to do. Please do it now.

You believe that there will always be time.

How do you know? Do it now.

You have always wanted to draw closer to your parents. You have wanted to tell them, “I love you”.

Do it now – before it is too late.

Do it before you run out of time.


P/S: My family decided to have a short funeral. We were too shocked to inform everybody.

We placed just a small notice in the obituary column.

However, the funeral was packed with people.

Many told me they knew my Papa for only a short period of time.

Papa somehow had touched their lives.

They felt they must make their way to the funeral and see him for the last time. Many had tears in their eyes.

That evening, I realised once again that Papa was a great and wonderful man.


Thank you for being my father. I will never forget your love.

I miss the times we spent together.

My heart still aches for you.

I will continue to share about you even though it breaks my heart every time I do it.

I hope your story will continue to touch more lives.

I look forward to the day when we will meet again in heaven.

Papa, I love you.


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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