“I saw my friend married and it wasn’t a good [marriage],” explained 88-year-old Wee Chwee and so, she decided on being single. She opened up about her early days that her father was unfaithful and that resulted in quarrels between her father and mother. Her grandmother ended up being her caregiver, looking after her and her brother when younger. And later on, she moved in with her mother’s brother and his wife to assist them in housework. “If my auntie and uncle were not in, I would look after their four children and cook for them or buy food from outside.”
She shared, “My auntie was always afraid of strangers coming to our door and she told me not to any how open the door as bad people would come in. I told her I know and I am not so silly.” Wee Chwee added that when her relatives went to the market to buy food, she would help in peeling the vegetables and cleaning the fish. Her schedule was straightforward. In the morning, she would wake up early to make them coffee. Afterwards she would sweep the rooms. If there were not enough things in the house, her auntie would ask her to go out and buy them. If there was nothing to do, she would settle her affairs like bathing and washing her clothes. In the evenings, she would help with dinner and wind down watching TV with the children before sleeping.
Sharing that “nobody called me to work outside”, she ended up staying with her auntie and uncle all the way till 2002 when she fell down and had to come to Ling Kwang Home for Senior Citizens where there would be people around to watch over her.