Anelen was our first helper in Singapore. We moved to Singapore in July 2009. Many families in Singapore have a 'live in helper' - often a helper from The Philippines who will live in and help out with - well basically everything. I decided on moving to Singapore that I would embrace this! When we first arrived, we had a babysitter Lorena who would come once a week or so to our serviced apartment. This was such a luxury - Gary and I had a 7 month old and a 2 year old and all of a sudden we had time to actually go out together! Even better, Lorena would iron all of Gary's shirts while we were out and the serviced apartment would be amazing to return to. Lorena asked us if we were considering getting a live in helper. She had a friend who had been working for an Australian family but the family were moving back to Aus so this friend was looking for a new employer. We met Anelen a short while later and arranged for her to start working for us in September 2009.
We moved into our first condo - Queens and Anelen moved in with us. She taught us how things worked in Singapore and very quickly became an important member of our family. When I look back at our time with Anelen, I remember her teaching Tara how to walk: "Don't crawl - WALK!", her dealing with both kids toilet training, basically, she was an amazing 3rd parent to the kids. We had many evenings of sharing a glass of wine together and chatting - I'm sure unconventional but it worked for us. I remember her dealing with the day that Alex broke his arm and Gary, Alex and I rushed out the door to the hospital - she took it in her stride and kept Tara amused all day.
We moved to Aspen Heights in November 2010 and Anelen took that in her stride too - I'm not sure we would have coped without her there.
In late 2011, Anelen's work permit needed to be renewed. They do a random sample of helpers who will need a chest x-ray. She was chosen to have the x-ray. The chest x-ray revealed some issues - it was initially diagnosed as TB. She had to go to a clinic to take some medication and deal with the quite strong medication. A few months in, another x-ray was taken to see if the medication was working. There was no change and so she then needed to go to the hospital for a biopsy to see what the issue was. Sadly, cancer was diagnosed. She needed surgery. Anelen went home to The Philippines to have the surgery in early 2012. We thought there was a chance she would be able to come back to Singapore but sadly this wasn't to be the case.
We have kept in touch over the years and caught up on the phone and on skype. We were all really sad to hear that she passed away last week in The Philippines. She is very fondly remembered by all of us. Rest in Peace Anelen. Thanks to all you did for our family. xxx