She has always been there for us.
When we wake, her smile greets us together with hot crisp toast and kaya.
We feel love like the hug of a soft egg and our hearts melt like butter.
Other days she is stern like the snap of green kai lan stems, telling us to eat our vegetables but even the savoury fragrance of garlic and caramelised soy makes her advice hard to swallow.
On sick days, there is pork congee.
On hot days, sticky sweet barley water with ice.
Our memories of her are inextricably linked to comforting aromas and full tummies because that is how she loves us.
Her craft in the kitchen and her care for the family is timeless and is never ending. Renditions of recipes decades old never tire and always seem contemporary; how they are both familiar and new at the same time is a mystery. She is effortlessly stylish. And even as age catches on, she always finds ways to renew herself. Though we no longer need her constant attention, we need her even more. Her presence and creativity is our source of strength and inspiration.
They call her MRS KUEH. And she is our mother.