I would never be able to forget this smile.
I always thought that he would recover but then I should never have pretended that he would be well after chemo and joined the school at Sec 5. It is very difficult for me today and there was so many regrets that I have.
I should have given him a call to find out how he was. I should have sent him another email when he didn't reply. There are many 'should have' and all is too late now.
Patiphan was my student and I taught him when he was in Sec 1 and 2. He was unlike other students. He was respectful to teachers and a well-mannered boy. In my school, students pretended that they do not know teachers once we do not teach them. But Patiphan at Sec 3 and 4, continued to greet me and had meals with me during recess and lunch break. We talked about our love for Thailand and Thai foods all the time. He asked me which was my favourite Thai food and was rather surprised when I said Kanom Jeem. He said that Singaporeans only know Phad Thai and Tom Yum Goong and asked why I liked Kanom Jeem. I told him that I like the simplicity of the dish and the fact that everyone shares and helps themselves to the salted vegetables, raw long beans, raw bitter gourd, raw beansprouts and the herbs on the table. He missed and loved to eat Laap Moo but did not have the chance to eat as his guardian would not allowed him to cook and his guardian only cooked Thai-Chinese foods at home. So I promised him that I would make for him after I bought my ingredients from Little Thailand. But I never did.
The Patiphan I know was always smiling even when he knew he had leukemia. He will be sadly missed by all who have known him.
Rest in peace, Patiphan.