SINGAPORE - It has been 10 years since radio DJ Rosalyn Lee lost her mother after a decade-long battle with cancer.
Then, a month ago, Madam Lee Kim Geok "spoke" to her again, revealing her inner-most feelings and regrets in the form of a secret letter dated June 20, 1999.
It was written on the day the Lush 99.5FM DJ had turned 20 and had celebrated with a party in a chalet.
The letter, penned with no intention on her mother's part of making it known to Lee, was discovered by her younger brother when she was out of town.
The heartfelt letter contained Madam Lee's deepest feelings she had "kept inside (her) heart for a long, long time", including her sadness at not having a "proper home" to hold Lee's birthday celebration and her inability to "prepare... dishes" for Lee's friends.
"I hope I can witness your next wonderful 21st birthday where you can exercise your freedom and privacy that you needed most," the cancer-stricken Madam Lee wrote, her handwriting becoming illegible towards the end.
She also said that her condition made it hard for her to be happy and nice to others and even herself.
Her words filled both sides of a lined loose leaf sheet of paper. She did not sign off.
Lee, 35, told The New Paper last week that she started "bawling" as she read the letter, crying "violent tears".
"It came as a shock because we had lived all our lives in this one bedroom with no money and we had accepted it. She didn't put us in that situation.
"I wish I could have taken the guilt away from her," said Lee, who admitted she felt angry after reading the letter.
"I wish she had told me then. I never knew she lived with all these regrets. I would have had a response to all that she had said."
As the latest host of the Channel 5 reality TV home makeover show RenovAID, Lee meets many less fortunate families who are stricken by poverty and illness.
In many ways, she can relate to them.
When she was 11, she said, her father left the family, forcing her mother, her and her brother into "abject poverty".
They moved in with Lee's uncle, sharing a bedroom in his three-room Towner Road flat.
Despite her illness, Madam Lee took on various jobs to make ends meet and often juggled two jobs.