S'pore woman who lives in HK: 'It means a lot to be reunited'
When her mother suffered a stroke 14 years ago, Ms Grace Choa, who was in her 40s, was in two minds.
She wanted to fly home, but one of her daughters was just two.
Work commitments continued to keep the flight attendant trainer in Hong Kong, where she has lived for 21 years.
Ms Grace was reunited with her family on Jan 25, thanks to Tiger Beer and her younger sister Bee Hong.
The Reunion Project is an initiative by Tiger Beer to reunite families separated by distance. The public was invited to nominate a loved one to win a free flight home for Chinese New Year.
Ms Bee Hong nominated her sister after reading about the campaign on Facebook.
"I miss the CNY reunions we had when we were younger. It was fun with our father still around and Grace was the lively one," she said. "Reunions now are usually simple and quiet with just our mother, her brother and myself."
Ms Grace flew back on Jan 29, as the Chinese New Year period is peak season for airlines.
Her younger sister wanted to bring some joy to their 68-year-old mother, whose mobility has been affected by the stroke.
"They haven't met in years so I wanted to bring her home," she said.
Ms Grace said: "I was shocked when I saw her. She aged a lot."
She remembers her mother doing everything when she was younger, from baking cakes from scratch to fixing household appliances.
After the stroke, she now relies on a walking stick and rarely cooks.
"She used to be very loud when she talked, but now not so much," added Ms Grace.
The trip was only five days, and she treasured the chance for her daughters, now 16 and 20, to meet their extended family.
"I felt incomplete in Hong Kong without my family. It means a lot to be reunited," she said.
"For my children, they have never been to Singapore. They can really learn how important it is to spend time with family."
Her family reunion was recorded for a short film published on Tiger Beer's social media platforms yesterday.
This is Tiger Beer's second year running a reunion campaign.
Last year, their #UncageReunions campaign brought back an undergraduate from Canada, among three other winners.
Ms Bee Hong added that no tears were shed when they met but added that there were some when her sister left.
"Who knows when we'll meet again and what will change then," Ms Bee Hong said.
"We need to make every moment count. If you take everything for granted, you never know what will happen."