As we progress through life, the days always seem to get faster and faster and little by little before we know it, life passes us by. 1 way to think about it is to be sad that things have come and gone, but another way is to appreciate each day for what it is, to be in the moment and to admire that it’s a life well lived afterall.

Thinking back about Grandpa, I realized a lot of my fondest memories all involves food- him taking me for ice cream when I was much younger (giving me the better ice cream and taking the worse one for himself), him taking me for KFC (not for the chicken but to exchange some Star Wars toy), him taking me for afternoon tea on most weekends when I was in university or the lobster noodles he had for his birthday. For one it always reminds me of what a big lover of food he is and the joys that he had in food. But for another, perhaps food was just a medium that brought us together, that gave us time to talk or just time to be with each other.

And when I think back through those times, a lot of it was him accompanying me for many of my firsts. From the simple memories of going for ice cream or KFC for the first time as a child, to waiting for the school bus together when I was still in primary school, or having afternoon tea together when I just came back for university in Hong Kong or similarly enjoying afternoon tea together when I just started working. Those were many of my first experiences and chapters in life and he was there with me for each one.

And then I think back to the paths he has set, while I had him accompany me through each of those moments, his generation were the ones who made a life from nothing into something, all single-handedly on their own. From journeying on his own into Singapore and then back to Hong Kong when he was younger to search for a better life, to being a captain at sea, going all over to different places in the world, to helping us fight for our rights when we were older. He reminds me that it doesn’t matter where we came from, but as long as you set your heart on something, dreams and hopes can happen. To never back down and to never waiver, to fight on for what’s right.

And perhaps that’s the beauty of his generation and what he epitomizes, to always work hard and always be thankful for what life has given us.

And so through it all, he has taught me the importance of appreciating the joys and blessing of life itself and to have confidence to hope and stand firm for what we believe. Here’s to a life well lived.

    Alexander Chan. 陳浩揚.

    Written by

    Co-Director The Mills Fabrica (南豐作坊聯席總監)| Hong Kong Schwarzman Scholar

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