SINGAPORE: To thank the woman who had cared for them for almost two and a half decades, a pair of sisters brought their “Aunty Mary” to Seoul for a vacation, perhaps for the last time.

“She came into my life when I was 6 years old. Her name isn’t even Mary – but all I knew was that she would be my full-time ‘care taker’ while my parents went to work. For the next 24 years she lived in my childhood home bringing up me and my sister,” Ms Melody Tan, who goes by @meowiie2 on Instagram, explained in a recent post, “The reason (she) went to Seoul,” paying a heartfelt tribute to the woman who she refers to as the “matriarch in my household.”


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Ms Tan, who used to be a fashion blogger in Singapore and now does creative freelance work and is based in Stockholm, Sweden, noted that in the years that their helper worked for Ms Tan’s family, “Aunty Mary” had to give up “the opportunity to physically be a part of her own family to care for mine.”

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The helper even missed her own children’s marriages, the births of her 12 grandchildren, the deaths of both her parents, “and more,” Ms Tan noted.

And even more touchingly, she added, “For a long time she was the mother we never had at home.”

Since Ms Tan has been based in Sweden for a number of years, she added that “Aunty Mary” has lived in Singapore even longer than she has. The helper would also send back “every cent she makes back home to her family that lives in a village north of Manila.”

And now, “Aunty Mary” is 68 and can only renew her visa to Singapore one last time.

Since her sister is also based in Europe, they brought her to Seoul “for a retirement holiday as a thank you and goodbye.”

Ms Tan posted a video of their time in Seoul, including clips of “Aunty Mary” on the subway, eating street food, crossing a bridge, checking out different shades of lipstick, trying on the traditional Korean hanbok, and blowing kisses, with their affection for one another clearly seen in the post.

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She ended her post by writing, “How did 24 years slip away so quickly? Thank you for bringing us up. 🫶🏻 we love you. /TISG

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