16 Nov Count your blessings
Taking back a rental house
On Deepavali, I went to take back a rental property from a sub tenant whose lease had ended 2 days earlier. The unit was rented by a master tenant who shared the house with a friend and this small Singaporean family of 3. The master tenant had already gone back to his home country in October.
The reason for the 2 days delay was because the landlord of the new place that the small family of 3 was going to rent from, had decided at the very last minute not to rent to them. So the head of that family requested my landlord to help him out by giving him 2 extra days while he looked for a room that he could move into with his wife and 8 year old daughter.
In the light drizzle
As I approached the house on the revised handover day, I saw a minivan parked outside the house. It was 6pm in the evening and there was a light drizzle. This Singaporean tenant was in the process of loading the final bits of his belongings into the minivan.
We said hi and then I spent a couple of minutes chatting with him. They had managed to find a common room nearby and would be moving there right after the house had been handed to me.
As he excused himself to continue with the moving, I saw his wife and daughter locked in conversation. They were all smiles and in great spirits. From their conversation, I found out that they had always been on the move. They never stayed long (room rental) in a place before they had to move again. They do not have their own home and everything they owned were in the minivan.
To an onlooker, they seemed to lack many things in their lives. But yet at the same time, they seemed to have everything as the family looked so blissful, close-knit and positive despite their challenging circumstances. It was a strong reminder of the important things in life and that adversity builds strength.
As the Singaporean tenant packed the last of his belongings into the minivan, he asked his little girl to create a space for the tenant (who stayed in the other bedroom) to sit so that he can give him a lift out in the drizzle. The little girl happily obliged, not showing the slightest concern that it was going to become a squeezy ride for everyone. We said goodbye to one another shortly after.
Life lessons – count your blessings and stay strong
The course of my work sometimes gives me the opportunity to observe up close the lives of people in their family environment. Over the years, it has offered me many valuable life lessons and moments to reflect upon, for which I am very thankful for. Perhaps I will have enough stories to write a book one day.
Are you in a period of adversity in your life right now? Remember there are always bright spots in life that we can draw strength from. Embrace the adversity for it will make us stronger and better after the storm cloud passes.