We have not seen each other for quite a while. I have been stationed at construction site for months now. How have you been in office?
When I asked you last Thursday during our Company Annual Dinner, you said everything was fine. In fact, you were so excited to tell me that you were looking forward to your two-week holiday to Melbourne. I told you how blue Australian skies are, and how perfect the weather is during this time of the year (spring in Australia).
Then we shifted our talk briefly to photography. I asked if you have purchased the new camera that you have been wanting for a while now. You said you were still undecided between a PEN or a DSLR. I commented that it did not matter which you choose eventually, the important thing is to shoot more with the new camera and enjoy photography. You nodded in agreement.
At the same night, you told me the sweetest thing I have heard in a while. You confessed to me that you have been secretly picking up street photography, after reading my blog and seeing my street photography. You were too kind to say that I have inspired you to pick up your point and shoot camera and walk the streets, to shoot, and to enjoy the walk as well. You admitted it was not easy approaching the subjects on the street. You told me I was very brave, and you admired how I always seemed to be able to capture very natural looking photographs of my street subjects. Seriously, you made me blush, and you made my day by showering me with such undeserving praise. I was humbled, and I thanked you for such kind compliments. I even invited you to join my shutter therapy sessions, when you are free. Little did I know that was a little too late.
Those were the last words I have heard from you my friend.
You left us and the world at 2pm earlier today. I was shocked, crushed, and devastated to hear about your departure. Why? How? I can only answer by shedding tears of anger and disbelief.
RIP Tan Kee Hong.
I have a long list of wonderful things to say about you, I don't even know where to begin. I really want to pour everything out. Nonetheless, we both know that you have been a great friend, and you are a great engineer. You will always be remembered. I will remember you. You said I have inspired you to pick up photography. My friend, little did you know that, you have inspired me to go on even further. For that, I thank you. I could not have asked for a better farewell gift.
I have God to thank for giving me the opportunity to sit with you for the entire night during that dinner. We spent good times together. I shall always treasure that. I am sure everyone in the office, all your friends and family are deeply grieving your sudden departure.
May you find peace in that better place. God be with you, my friend. I will have you in my mind and heart in my future street shooting sessions.