Dear Auntie Mich and Uncle Richard,
As the youngest aunt in the family, you were the aunt I wanted to emulate – energetic, smart, beautiful and humourous. Growing up, I remember your fashion style – often brazen and colourful, like your personality.
You made family gatherings during the weekend fun with all the singing contests you held and the fun prizes you gave out to us. I remember winning quite a few of those and I suspect you were my number one fan. You even turned up at my school performances and helped me put together my outfits. You were my personal coach, always full of praise and encouragement.
And of course, we cannot forget the funny stories like when Grandpa gave Dad a bad haircut and was teased in school, which explains why Dad goes to the same hairdresser and is always grouchy about his greying hair. Through you, we learn more about our parents and our family. Because of those stories, we learn to understand our parents’ anxiety and learn to respect the rules in our home.
Dad and Mom were always strict with our study times. Even during the holidays we had enrichment lessons and had allocated studying time at home.
That was why sleepovers at your home were the best! We could build toy structures all day with Uncle Richard, without ever getting scolded when we accidentally knocked the structure over and had to rebuild it. Best of all, nobody nagged at us about bedtime.
Uncle Richard was always kind to us, allowing ten-year-old me to disassemble and reassemble his models. I remember spending most of my one holiday on that huge Lego set he gave me after my P.S.L.E.
You often invited us on trips and outings with cousins Roy and Nathan. I remember our adventures – ice-skating, skateboarding, surfing and other “too dangerous” activities which we had to convince Mom. Uncle Richard and you were a lot more willing to let us explore!
Our parents were strict with the number of toys and games we could have, but my sister and I never felt like we lack anything because of the endless spoiling from you -- my first Harry Potter book in primary school was from you!
I remember the tailor-made dress you bought me for your wedding to Uncle Richard. I continued to wear that special dress a number of times until I could no longer fit in it.
When we grew out of toys, you became my close “adult friend”. Uncle Richard and you always open your home to us, and it remains as a safe haven for us.
Not so long ago, I remember you giving me advice on my team’s project and helping me with my presentation about community investment. The discussions we had were invaluable as you were willing to listen to my ideas while pointing me to useful resources which my team could further research on. You even got your banker friend to help us understand the basics of microfinancing which I felt helped earned my team an “A”.
When I had my first break-up, you let me sleepover and stayed up late in the night to talk with me, listening to my disappointments and puppy love stories.
While I know my parents are supportive and will always be there for me; I can’t imagine going through 10 minutes of conversation without my parents raining down a list of what I should or should not have done.
I cannot forget the time Uncle Richard had to save me because I bumped into a car. Dad was overseas and I took his car out for a friend’s party. There was no way I could call Mom without getting a lashing. But somehow, I got away without one and Uncle Richard helped to fix the car so my parents didn’t find out about it!
My sister and I used to think that Roy and Nathan were lucky, having such fun and cool parents. Roy and Nathan may disagree; nonetheless, I know I am definitely lucky to have you as my aunt and uncle.
With Aunt and Uncle’s Day coming up on 26 July, I want to say a big Thank You for making my childhood so much fun and for showering my sister and me with love and care.
For both my sister and me, the time we spent together have been firmly imprinted in our memories and we cannot forget them. Better yet, I can’t wait for the next holiday when we go skiing in Japan and for more adventures to come!
Your niece, Adrienne