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Since young, Charmaine had always led a comfortable life. She lived in a good class bungalow together with her businessman papa, homemaker mama and her elder brother. The family dined regularly at exquisite restaurants and travelled extensively. Deeply influenced by her papa’s business acumen, Charmaine desired to be a successful career woman when she grew up.
After graduating from university, Charmaine worked hard and was promoted to the regional general manager of a multi national corporation within a short span of time. At the peak of her career, she was managing 200 over customer service representatives across 5 Asian countries. She is married with 2 children, Lydia and Libra. In the eyes of many, she was a successful career woman. Her brother was as successful as her too. He had risen among ranks to become one of the most sought after architect on the island.
In Oct 2011, an unfortunate event happened to her papa who suffered a stroke during one of his business trips. The doctor had advised that he would be bedridden for the rest of his life. Not wanting to be burdened with a caregiver role, Charmaine’s brother strongly recommended their papa to be sent to the nursing home. Rejecting the idea, Charmaine volunteered to take on the caregiver role. She went on to quit from her high flying career and chose to work on a part-time basis just to be able to spend more time with her papa.
When asked by Lydia if it would be easier to send grandpa to the nursing home, Charmaine responded, “When we drink water, remember the source. Grandpa and grandma had spent a huge part of their lives taking care of me, what they need most is their children to be by their side and look after them now.”
Lydia then promptly responded, “Mum, I will not leave you and papa behind and will hold your hands, walk with both of you as you walked us when we were toddlers.” The mum and daughter hugged each other and wept uncontrollably.
Written by Chin Hock
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Chin Hock (Holdinghands in the Media)
Founder of Holdinghands and Filial Piety Award Recipient 2013