Letters from Grandpa: Wilson Lee – Think Big, Work Hard and Achieve

Wilson Lee Beng Sun, PBM, aged 71, is a retiree and a grassroots leader active in community service. He has five grandchildren, including two girls and three boys, age three months to eight years. He has been awarded the National Day Awards: Public Service Medal (PBM), Efficiency Medal (PB) and Long Service Medal (PBS).

My Dear Eric,Wilson_Lee_Beng_Sun_and_Eric_photo_2001_275

I decided to write this letter to you because I am afraid that you may forget what I am going to tell you, and so that you can read it and remind yourself of my advice even when I’m no longer with you.

I miss the days when you, Daddy and Mummy were staying with me. Although it was only for less than a year, I really cherished the time when I held you in my arms, bottle-feeding you mummy’s breast milk and rocking you to sleep. I can also remember vividly how you “zoomed” around in your little “Mercedes Benz”, at six to seven months old. I saw how you went up to Po Po, touching her thigh and looking innocently at her. Po Po would beam back at you and tell you gently that she loved you. After Po Po passed away, I was quite sad that Daddy, Mummy and you had to move back to your house.

But I’m glad that we still see each other often. I relish the sight of you running and playing with your kindergarten classmates at the playground after school. You almost scared me out of my wits when you fell from the Monkey Bar that fateful afternoon. I almost couldn’t forgive myself when you groaned in pain and your face turned a sheet of white. Thank goodness it turned out not too serious after all!

Remember the wonderful time we had when we went to Japan with Daddy and Mummy when you were two-years old? You were so active and curious and you loved to run about. You were almost lost in the crowded streets of Tokyo one day and it took us more than 15 minutes to find you! Mummy was almost in tears. Please do not make this mistake again.

Time really flies. You are already in primary school. I know your little mind is full of big ideas and you are eager to share them with your teachers and friends. But, remember that we must have good manners. Always raise your hands before you speak and do not talk with your friends when teacher is talking. I know you are a smart boy. But you must cultivate good habits and observe discipline when you are young, and become a good citizen when you grow up. Remember that you should finish your homework before you watch TV. Always check your school bag and see that you have got all the items for your lessons the night before you go to school.

Your younger brother Evan told me that he loves you and he also knows that you love him too. He likes you to hug him and kiss him. But he doesn’t like you sometimes, when you bully him. I could feel Evan’s pain when you punched him and grabbed his neck. You should never do that to your brother again because you may hurt him. You have only one brother and you should always set a good example for him.

I’m glad that you are fascinated with Science. You love to read about dinosaurs. Maybe you can become a Paleontologist when you grow up. Or you can be an astronaut since you are also fascinated by the solar system and outer space. Mummy told me that you have promised to earn millions of dollars when you grow up. You must study hard to equip yourself with the knowledge and the skills for making big money. And do not forget to help the poor people when you do become rich. They will be happy and thankful to you. Think big, work hard and achieve it. I’m sure you can do it.

Your Grandfather


This letter is republished with permission from the National Library Board. Letters From Grandma and Grandpa (2008) is an initiative to create opportunities for youth and seniors to strengthen ties, enhance understanding and appreciate each other. Singapore grandpas and grandmas share their stories from the past, their hopes for the future, their love from their hearts, and their values for the soul. The letters capture their thoughts and feelings on important values, such as family and heritage, respect for the elders, generosity, love, courage and responsibility.


First published on 14-02-2011.

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