Simple joys are the most meaningful

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by Jill Chua

We often assume that a man’s final wish would be grandiose, but for Mr Ang, it was as humble as returning home one last time to tend to his plants and visit his regular barber for a haircut and a clean shave.

Meet Mr. Ang, a seventy-one-year-old bachelor who embraces a life of simplicity. Born and raised in a kampong near the Holland Avenue area, he spent his entire life there. He worked various odd jobs after completing primary school and developed a deep love for gardening. Next to the lift lobby, he maintained a small garden patch, showcasing a diverse collection of flowers and plants.

However, since his hospitalization in July, Mr. Ang’s thoughts have been consumed by his little oasis of greenery. All he yearned for was the quiet joy of watering his plants. Recognizing the severity of his declining health, his attending physician at SGH granted him home leave to fulfill this heartfelt desire.

On a bright Monday morning, my co volunteer Yasmin, and I arrived at the hospital to transport the wheelchair-bound Mr. Ang home with the support of Medical Assistance 4U. Our driver, Nicolas, exhibited warmth and empathy while carefully handling the transportation of the frail Mr. Ang.

Despite his condition, Mr. Ang’s spirit remained high, filled with anticipation as he prepared to reunite with his cherished plants. Upon returning home, his eyes sparkled with joy as he observed his plants thriving, thanks to the care provided by his sister. Volunteers helped him water the plants, and they briefly shared a moment in the home he shared with his sister and niece. His cousin joined us before we set out to bring Mr. Ang for a haircut.

Mr. Ang had wanted to have his hair cut and receive a clean shave from his regular barber at Choa Chu Kang. Regrettably, he was unable to attend to Mr. Ang.

Undeterred, the team discovered Woodstockbarbersg at Holland Road Shopping Centre, conveniently close to Mr. Ang’s home. Barber Syam, a skilled and meticulous professional, expertly groomed Mr. Ang, transforming him into a refreshed and clean-shaven gentleman. Mr. Ang was elated with his new appearance, especially when the volunteers showered him with compliments. We were moved and grateful that the barber service was complementary.

His cousin treated Mr. Ang to his favorite mee tai mak lunch before he cheerfully returned to the hospital, with Mr. Ang sporting a new haircut and the assurance that his plants were flourishing and well cared for. To brighten his hospital room, we surprised him with two low-maintenance potted plants placed snugly on his bedside pedestal.

This heartwarming experience reminds us that life’s richness lies in simplicity. We do not always need extravagance to find contentment; sometimes, the smallest and simplest pleasures of life can be the most profound.