Jean Danker

A life without her.

There was music, homemade meals, laughter and play in our house when I was growing up. Dad always filled the air with his favorite songs from his massive cassette collection, my Mum, who's Hainanese, was the best cook in the world and my older sister and I constantly got up to mischief.

My favorite memory of my family is of us about 10 years ago at Novena Square playing foosball. It was a rare night where all four of us met up for dinner. The foosball table was coin operated and I remember it was near closing time so the mall was pretty empty. Thank goodness because we were screaming and laughing so hard while trying to beat one another at it. If only I could put in a bottle, the feelings of pure love and joy I felt that night.

When my mother got sick, I felt like I was rushing to make all the moments count. I made sure we celebrated every single occasion like birthdays, anniversaries, mooncake festivals, CNY, Xmas, etc. I wanted to spend as much quality time with my family and capture these happy moments while we still had them. I spent all my waking hours when I was not on radio, with my mum.

This is the last pic of us all together. Just the four of us, with my sisters’ only daughter. When I asked Glenn to take this picture for us, I knew in my heart that it would most likely be my mums’ last birthday photograph. I was so happy everyone had the brightest of smiles, especially my mom and dad. I have this framed up at my house.

My mom passed away 8 months after. Although its been a little more than 2 years since, I still struggle getting used to this new normal. A life without her. Yet, I know for sure she is watching over me and is proud of her little girl.

I think this quote by novelist Dodie Smith perfectly sums up my feelings for my family. “The Family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to”.

Mum, Dad, Che Che, you are the best of me. Forever and always.
Jean Danker