Many of us have personal experiences and fond memories created together with our fathers, which we hold close to our hearts. In this special Father’s Day edition, our clients and staff speak of their fathers and how much of an impact they have made in their lives.
Then An Zhi, 24
Microsoft YouthSpark Scholarship recipient
An Zhi requires a hearing aid as he has permanent hearing loss in his left ear. He is one of SPD’s outstanding scholars, and is currently studying Computer Science at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Could you share with us a fond memory of your father?
An Zhi (AZ): It was special when he attended my polytechnic graduation ceremony. As I walked up to the stage to receive my certificate, I could see him sitting in the crowd smiling proudly. All his hard work raising me up has paid off! It was a really joyful day for me and my dad.
How has your dad been a pillar of support and strength for you?
AZ: My dad has been the sole breadwinner since 2003 after my mum stopped working. As he is a hawker, he works six days a week and ten hours a day to make sure that my family is able to live comfortably. He allows me to concentrate on my studies without having to worry about the finances.
In what ways are you inspired by your father?
AZ: He inspires me to strive hard for anything that I put my mind to. He showed me this – with the right mind and the right attitude, we are able to persevere and work steadily towards our goals. He is my inspiration.
Elaine Lee, 34
Transition Programme for Employment (TPE) client
After surviving a stroke, Elaine was enrolled into TPE. Throughout the vocational rehabilitation, she had the guidance and support of SPD’s physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and employment support specialists. But she counted the undying support of her dad as most important. We had the opportunity to speak with her earlier this week.
Can you describe your relationship with your dad?
Elaine (E): Our relationship, like many Asian families, is one which the love and care are not often expressed through words but with actions and thoughtful gestures.
How has your dad supported you through the stroke?
E: My father has been my pillar of support through these challenging times. He is everything to me. He is my caregiver and so much more – a driver, a protector (and sometimes, an over-protector!) and he morphs into whoever he thinks I need him to be.
What were some memorable moments you shared with your dad?
E: It is the same for me before and after the stroke. We like to spend time with each other. As mentioned, we are a traditional family that believes in actions and gestures over merely spoken words. Thus, the memorable moments for me, is to be able to spend quality time with my father.
What is something you would like to say to your dad?
E: Thank you, 老爸! (Father in Mandarin)
Amanda See, 28
SPD speech therapist
Amanda is a dedicated speech therapist at SPD. She speaks of how her dad has been ever-supportive of her career choice and instances in which he had helped her in her journey.
What were some of the advice your father gave you when you chose to be a speech therapist?
Amanda (A): When I told my father that I wanted to be a speech therapist, he was supportive of my decision. He also advised me to be sure of what I wanted to do, so that I would be able to use all that I learnt in school to contribute to the workplace I am in and ultimately to the society.
In what ways did your father help or support you during the tough times?
A: During difficult times, be it work or school, my father has always been there to give sound advice that allowed me to approach situations from a holistic view without getting too worked up. He is ever-supportive, especially of my decision to work in the community sector.
Having been a therapist for a while, were there any memorable instances you have encountered between a client and his/her father?
A: There was a client whose father never failed to take time off work to send her for her therapy sessions. Even if it was right after an overseas work trip, he would still be there for her. He was present, always observing the strategies used (for speech therapy) and he would share the information he learnt from these sessions with the family so they could apply them at home. This was especially memorable for me as my client would often come back to tell me what she practiced for homework each week. This showed the effort the parents put in to support her in her language development, even at home.
These are genuine, heartwarming stories of ordinary people, overcoming tough circumstances and decisions, with the support of their fathers behind them. To all dads out there, we appreciate you for your sacrifices and all that you do out of love for your families!
What are some of your fondest memories of your dad? Share your stories with us by 15 June 2017 and you may just win a prize!