|Our first and last solo picture together.|
I close my eyes every night hoping that you will be the voice to wake me up, you will be right there by my side, teaching me, scolding me and loving me once again. I wish that I can travel back in time to tell you what might happen to you and find a solution for it. I am ready to risk the butterfly effect of anything that might happen to me. I want to find a time machine, I want to find the dragon balls, anyway to bring you back healthy and happy in front of me but I know all this will never ever happen. I close my eyes sometimes and hope that you will call me, you will sms like you always do. I walk back to mum's place and I hope to see you sitting there watching tv like you always do but you are never there, never will be there. It hurts, I hate to go home now cause you are not there.
|Our final family portrait.|
I have to learn to move on my life without you, taking the responsibility that has been on your shoulders all these years. At a young age, you took over the responsibility of being not just my brother but also my father. You influenced my life in every way possible. From music to sports to decision making, we share so many common interests I don’t even know what are the things that we didn’t agree on. There isn't a need for us to tell each other what to buy for each other during x’mas or overseas trip, we always know what we want and like. The only reason why I can be who I am today is all because of you. You sheltered all these responsibilities from me, you gave me room to grow, and you gave me freedom.
|Your well deserved glory.|
I feel sad that you worked hard all your life but you never had the chance to enjoy it. You fought hard to become a pilot with the air force. We had little help from the family financially but you made things happened, you fought for your future. At a young age, you have a car, a home, a beautiful family. You have a career and you have kids. You have everything under your feet but time. Time was not your side. I always wanted to be like you, young and successful but I'm sorry to disappoint that I am not even half a man of who you are. I do not have a disciplined attitude like you. I do not have a big heart like you did and truly, I don’t think I will ever be where you are.
You made us proud even till the very last moment. I am very glad that you received the glory you deserved. Do you know you were on our major papers? I remember I used to joke about how I want to be on papers someday being featured not only on the obituaries but you beat me to it. I like fame, I enjoy fame and I was never as down to earth as you were. I remember years ago you bought me a keychain from Genting with a foot print and you told me you wanted me to be down to earth. Nobody knows my weakness as well as you did.
|You on wan bao.|
|You on TNP.|
|You on AsiaOne yourHealth|
|You on ShinMin.|
Kor, I have already shifted into my Punggol place, the one I got opposite your place. It was almost like it was meant to be. The moment you shifted into your place, we said that I will get the place opposite you and we can Mahjong anytime. I got my place but we will never be able to MJ together. You came to my place when it was still bare and naked, now it is filled with furniture and more but what is lacking is your voice and laughter. Kor, why did you do this to me. I was packing out things and I saw the toys we played, the things you gave me. You never fail to buy me things from every one of your trips and every thing you got for me always goes to my favorite list. You always do your best to get me the things I wanted. Do you know how painful it was to box up all these things? I cried, I cursed at god, I scolded you, why are you not here with me to shift my house? I am your baby brother and I always need you by me, I need your help to pack these things together. Remember we had a plan to renovate my room at mum’s place so we could make a time capsule with all our toys? Our ninja turtles, our transformers and dragon balls. Why did you bail out on me? God, why did you take such a great man away from us? Why?
|I cried like a baby the night I went thru these stuff.|
You were and will still always be a topic that I talk about. Since young I always go like “ My brother plays bball very well.” “My brother is a pilot.” “My brother drives this car.” All my friend knew you as if you were their friends cause you were always part of me, I am so proud of you since young.
|My brother the pilot|
There were so many friends who came to send you off that few days. I was very touched. Really very touched. All the msges, tweets, smses, I really appreciated all of them. I dunno how to thank all these friends that helped but I really feel very loved. You guys know who you are.
Many people told me that I now need to take over from you taking care of the parents or helping with the kids. I know it is my calling but I will never be able to fill your shoes. I hate myself for being helpless, I hate you for leaving this job for me and I hate that you created big shoes for me to fill. I know you love me too, I know you were proud of me too, although we are from a traditional family that we don't tell each other but from the things you have done I knew how much I meant to you.
|We so smart hor!|
Do you know that I did a tattoo on your behalf? Remember the tattoo you designed a year ago but your doctor didn’t allow you to do it cause it was dangerous? You created a shield and it included everyone for your family. The thorns that represented pain. I know what you meant, you wanted to protect your family, you wanted to take the pain from them. You wanted them to be protected by Christ. It’s a shame you didn’t manage to get it down so I decided to do it for you. It might be one of the very last wish I hope I helped you to fulfill. I edited it a lil based on my understanding, I made it into a circle, circle to represent infinity, to represent completion. This is the shield of Will. I still remember how we were discussing about this design, we always ask each other opinion in everything, from purchase to action, we always discussed. I cried the day I realize I can't ask you if you like my edited design, I cried when the fact hit me so hard that I am all "alone" now.
|Shield Of Will.|
I’ve no idea how to finish this post, there are so much emotions in me, I write, I stop, I cried and I write again. This is the hardest blogpost ever.
Like during my eulogy to you I mentioned that I dunno what is afterlife for me. I know you found a place with Christ, I know you are in heaven but I dunno if that is my calling. I lost faith, I haven’t been praying to any great power since you left cause nobody saved you. There is no miracle in my life. I hope I can find it some day, I hope I can meet you again. If there is a next time I want to be your brother again but this time round I want to take care of you. I want to be the one to take the pain and I want you to have it all. You could have had it all.
Below is a song that Ka Keong wrote for Ka Kiu when he died. I never imagined me playing this song for you but here it is. Kor, I really hope you are at a place where there is only love and no pain.
Your wake was the most glamorous one, you had so many friends who wanted to talk about you, to honour you and to pay their last respects to you. We grieved, we cried, we smile and we prayed. Above all these emotions, we all missed you deeply.
Here is the eulogy by your boss, I thought it was so you. Everything he said was just you in every way. I might not know any of your co-workers before that but the stories you told me just allow me to easily put faces to name.
Eulogy by Moses Tan
Firstly, from all his friends in the RSAF to you, Kimmy, and all of Will's family, our deepest sympathies and condolences.
Good evening brothers and sisters in Christ. My name is Moses Tan and I worked very closely with Will in Changi Air Base and subsequently in Air Combat Command during the period from 2006 to 2010. I first got to know Will in late 2006 when I was posted to CAB. As most of you can recall, it was around that time that Will just had a tumour removed, recovered well and was embarking on a very different track of his air force career. If not for the visible scar he had, I really would not have realised that this is an individual who had just experienced a life-changing, near death episode. There was absolutely no display of resentment, anger nor wallowing in self-pity, for being thrust into such a situation so involuntarily. In his usual cheerful and positive outlook, Will was the necessary sanity in a S3 Branch's frenetic atmosphere. He was a rock!
I think many of Will's colleagues and friends can testify to his determination. Anybody coming into the S3 Branch – the workhorse of any air force base – would have to be in the pink of health, possess an enormous level of endurance, and be ready to put in loads of personal sacrifice. On top of that, working with me could easily turn anyone crazy. But Will jumped in feet-first, never skipped a beat and joined in seamlessly. He wasn't a mere supporting cast. With his background in IT and computers, as well as his well-grounded attitude, Will became an essential, reliable and loved member of HQ CAB.
As all good warriors are, Will was strong and yet gentle. He showed concern to people, not just people he loved, but to those outside of his circle of friends as well. Ever ready to help others in any way he could, almost to a fault. He always stopped to talk to our cleaner aunty, canteen operators and contractors. He was the first to know that one of our maintenance contractors was suffering from cancer, showed compassion, spoke to her and comforted her.
As a friend, Will was very dear. He always found time to be with friends, very loyal, very kind. Always ready to step forward when needed and extremely resourceful. I remember telling him that I hoped my car registration number would not strike the 4D that night because the number was sold out. He made some phone calls and with his cheeky smile told me, “Sir, kao tim liao. Remember to buy me dinner if strike”.
When I was slated to attend the KC135 conversion course in the US in 2009, Will was most helpful with my pre-course preparations. I inherited all his aircraft manuals, kneeboards, and even an aviator's flight bag. I also remember him saying that I could afford to spend the entire four and a half months in Altus without a car because all I needed to do was to buy my course mates beer and will be able to get to use their cars for free, and besides, everything interesting in Altus was within walking distance. Well, that did not happen. All my course mates were about half my age, and were not too keen to hang out with a lieutenant colonel. Clearly, Will was a person that could easily get along with people, even with the Ang Mohs. When I got to Altus, I found out that Walmart was a 2-hour walk from the base, each way! Not something I would readily do on a mid-summer's day. Later, I realised that he offered a similar advise to a certain MAJ Chan Wee Wee, who actually retraced the steps which Will took in Altus.
Being a NOOB to game machines and IT gadgets, Will was the guy responsible for introducing me to the world of Sony PSPs, Apple iPod Touch, and those really overpriced Crumpler messenger bags. He convinced me to get the PSP and I was hooked on to it in no time... until my son, Malcolm took it away from me. When PSP2 came out, he knew that I was looking for a reason to trade in the bulky PSP1. He went the extra mile to help me source for a 'buyer'. Little did I realise that he had to coerce his sister that it was a fair deal and that the soon-to-be obsolete PSP1 was good enough for her. Well, admittedly, I scolded him for the 'scam', questioned how he could do this to his baby sister, and immediately knocked off a few tens of dollars from the agreed price. Till this day, I still patronise a certain toy shop in Lucky Plaza level 3... he told me to always quote “I AM SMITH'S FRIEND”... a sure way to get a good deal and maybe a few free games. A really good advise indeed.
Ipod Touch... he showed me the Touch in 2008 and promised me that it would change my life. Certainly did! We even conducted lectures with the Touch, screening Youtube videos – all safety related – to keep our audiences awake. Beside helping me configure, jailbreak, and get up to date with technology, Will transferred many gigabytes of songs, Cantonese serials, and PSP games into my portable hard disk.
During my time with him, Will spoke fondly about many of you. Despite not having met some of you until these past few weeks, I had this very strange sense of familiarity the moment I could put a name to the face... all possible because I have heard about you from Will even before having met you. Clearly, he was always happy and enthusiastic to tell me about the important people in his life. I can only mention a few tonight... mainly because it is quite challenging for my fast failing memory to recall all that he told me, and really not so much that you were not in his thoughts before. Also, I am no word-smith. So pardon me if I have failed to paraphrase and articulate his thoughts accurately.
To Will's family, I have always admired the closely knit family that you have. Those birthday parties where there was a collective effort to organise the games for the kids, MC the event, coming out with interesting ice-cream flavours... many of us were really impressed.
Kimmy, you were his pillar of strength. He used to punctuate his sentences with “Kimmy” ever so often. You were always there for him, listened to him. With you beside him, there was very little left for his guardian angel to do. I noticed this very evident fighting spirit in him. And it became apparent where it originated from... when I saw you urging him to FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!
His kids meant the world to him. At the time we spoke, Jordan wasn't born yet. Nonetheless, it was clear that Will was an extremely proud father who often flaunt his kids to us, especially through Facebook. He had lots of dreams for them. He wanted the kids to grow up wise, God fearing, respectful and successful people. I am sure he will continue to watch over them, protect you all from harm and appear in your dreams.
Smith, you guys were not merely Will and Smith by coincidence and you were more than just a brother to him. You were his BFF, shared common interests, so alike, in so many ways. Most importantly, you guys are fun people to be with. I am sure you will be around to teach his kids how to have fun, have a good sense of humour and turn a dull party around. To him, you were his best brother.
Joyce, Will was tremendously proud of you. He mentioned that although it was his responsibility to support you through your studies, he never found it a chore at all because he felt richly blessed to have a sister like you. Yes, he got you an old PSP, but I am sure you were equally happy with that.
He also spoke about his pals from 114 Wings Course, how one of the course mates had a mansion so huge that you could not see the house, standing at the gate; his squadron... like how Uncle Ho K would freeze up mineral water prior to the flight so that the crew have cold drinks in flight. I practically knew about the squadron before I even got posted to 112 Sqn; his basketball kakis... like Teh Hua Feng, who was not only a natural leader at work but on court as well; and the fun times he had with his gaming kakis in Kumpung Pungol. There are just too many to list.
Before I end off, I would do a very bold thing to convey his gratitude to some of the people that he felt very grateful to, on his behalf...
To Chief of Air Force, for making it your personal interest to ensure that our application for grants and assistance are addressed expeditiously, for this, he is truly grateful.
To Commander ACC, when it became inevitable that his wings could be removed after he was medically grounded from flying permanently , you stepped in, made the unprecedented decision to allow him to continue donning the sacred golden wings, despite the fact that he was only a CAT C pilot, he is truly grateful.
COL Ng Chee Keong, you prayed over him during his darkest moment, when he was filled with fear. Your words brought him strength, peace and comfort, he is truly grateful.
Foo Kok Chiang, you were there for him throughout. During his self-imposed driving ban, when he needed frequent medical treatments in the hospital, supporting the family during this challenging period, he is truly grateful.
Snooker, you hardly knew Will. But you worked tirelessly to raise funds, apply for grants, and bring comfort to his family during this trying period, he is truly grateful.
To his pals from 114 Wings Course, you guys took turns to keep him company, feed him, keep him awake when he could hardly keep his eyes open, he is truly grateful.
To commanders and men of the RSAF, your immediate response and generosity following our various appeals for assistance, he is truly grateful.
And finally to Will...
I know as humble as you were, you would be pleased to know that many of your friends have been grieving. We have all lost a dear friend, and we are going to take a while to get used to that.
Will, you have touched our lives during your brief stay here, and you will always be remembered.
Kor, I hope all is well for you. I will live strong and do you proud. It is hard but I will.
Until next time Kor.
I really really miss you.
"When I want to do something, I Will get it done" - Will Leong explaining why his name is Will. But I believe the truth was because he was so into Fresh Prince of Bel Air then.