Wang Poh Peng

Jun 5, 2020

4 min read

The Adventurous Grandpa and the Crazy Grandson

This story talks about an event that happened in a small HDB flat in Buangkok in Singapore. (A government subsidised public housing in Singapore)

It was a regular day packed with work and meetings, I am still reeling from the fact that just the day prior, on 4th June 2020. My grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer (Squamous cell carcinoma). My grandpa was a heavy smoker and had a great ton of stories to share and tell about how he built his family from scratch. This year, he turned 81 and was hospitalised due to gastritis, which discovered a cyst in the kidney, fearing potential kidney failure. Soon after, before discharging him, the doctor arranged a CT Scan on his lungs on another date to investigate his chronic coughing condition.

After the scan, he was found out to have a 3.9cm x 4.9cm tumour growing in a corner of his lungs. To double check whether this tumour is cancerous or not, they did a biopsy by taking a cell sample from his lungs. It was determined as cancer in 2 weeks time which was 4th of June. During the appointment, when the doctor broke the news to him, as I listened beside him, my heart sank. However, he was still cheerful as ever, he was just concerned if the future treatments would bring him any further pain and jokingly told the doctor that he is 10 years away from LKY.

My apologies for digressing, some days back, the digital lock of my home turned faulty. It only worked for using a RFID card or the physical key itself. Initially, this was not much of a problem because there was always someone at home to open the door. But recently, my mom has been out working and her habits and of mine were to not needing to bring the keys unless we are locking the physical padlock of the main gate. As a result, the worst possible situation happened. I rushed out to grab a quick bite, and I did not bring the keys out, neither did my mother.

Hence, we are both stuck outside the house, needing $250 to get the locksmith to pick the lock for us. As my mom always keeps a backup key at my grandma’s place, I decided to try out my luck. However, I was disappointed to know that my mom recently just took back the key from my grandma and there were no way in…

At this time, a crazy idea came to me, what if I climbed into my house from my neighbour’s house who was right above mine? I was living on the 5th floor and recently I realised that the service yard was quite a climbable spot. I casually asked whether my grandpa had some ropes with him. He actually had a whole bunch of ropes hidden at home which were perfectly capable of usage for basic climbing and abseiling.

The lock reseller then texted me that maybe the fingerprint scanner still works. After informing my relatives on that, I made my way home, hearing of my crazy idea, my adventurous grandfather decided to bring the ropes and go along with me, in case the fingerprint way doesn’t work out.

As bad as it can go, the digital lock was indeed broken. In the essence of time, we decided to walk up to the neighbour’s house and see if we try to enter via their kitchen. Surprisingly, the neighbour’s children allowed us in! We then tied ropes to the pipes and the service yard’s poles, along with some strange noose knots around my body. I slowly climbed down from the drying rack and with my both arms I held onto the pole and descended on to the railings of my own kitchen.

Amazingly, it was a success, I was so glad that I am 1.7m tall as the moment that I let my body down to the lower floor, my feet instantly touched the railings and I was able to simply walk into the kitchen, where after which I loosened the ropes and run upwards to my grandpa to start untying the ropes to our neighbours’ pipes.

After thanking the neighbours profusely, we came back to the house and I kept the doors open while I retrieved the keys to make sure I won’t lock myself again.