A Birthday tribute

Another milestone in life that is greatly celebrated. This post was meant to be published last year, as a tribute to you as you would have turned 30 if you were still around.

It took me a whole year to finally complete this post. It was difficult as I thought about what should be included in the tribute, and my heart aches as I wrote this piece.I guess maybe you will be proud of your little sister for achieving so much over the past few years.

To our friends that followed us on social media, we are perhaps one of the most nonsensical, fun-loving, and goofy, but yet always ‘cyberbullying’ and insulting each other on social media. As much as we refused to admit it, we were each other’s best friend and yet also each other’s worst enemies.

Our first picture together as sisters

Looking back now, we were a little bit similar in personality, but I refused to admit it. Maybe because I spent 4 years of my primary school life, being associated as Kimberley’s sister. And for every single thing I did in school, even small matters such as talking in class, the teachers would complain to my sister, who would then report it to my mother.

If you would ask me now, what I missed the most about my sister, it would be mocking and insulting and irritating her.

I’m thankful that there were only two of us, and we didn’t have any other siblings, because no matter how badly we fought with each other, we knew that the other party was our ride or die.

Whenever we quarrel, we could not talk to each other for days, because we both had our egos and refused to admit that we had our faults. And on her last birthday, we fought real bad. And that fight was the reason I decided to do a birthday tribute because after 5 years I wanted to make things right and list down 30 (+1)  things that I remember the most about you.
30 (+1) things that we remembered about Kimbo:

1. Her nickname – Kimbo originated because in primary school she didn’t have time to write her full name during exams and wrote Kimbo instead of Kimberley.

2. She did not let cancer determine who she was, instead, she embrace it with somewhat open hands

3. She had her whole life planned out in which cancer was never part of it

4. As much as she refused to admit it, her sister was her best friend that she spoke fondly about despite always sharing that her sister can be irritating/annoying. Despite being irritating, I was her biggest worry, and she told many of her friends to look out for me at her funeral and to tell me that she was proud of me.
To the friends of hers, that would drop me a text every year on her birthday, death anniversary or during the festive period, I just want to say a big thank you! I appreciate the texts.

5. And her favourite statement would always be ‘You know ah that sister of mine…’

6. She has a witty sense of humour. Remember that time when she intentionally wore a Zebra print top to meet one of her not so favourite clients – Zebra

7. Someone that is passionate about reaching out to help those in need. Despite battling cancer, she volunteered regularly to help a group of homeless people in Singapore whom we might not notice at all.

8. Secretly we suspected that we both are on the spectrum for ADHD. We are constantly on the move, constantly thinking about something else, and we cannot sit still. With that being said, the moment she was given green light and clearance that she is in remission, she ran 2 different 10km runs back to back in support of her cancer.

9.  To put it nicely, she never gives up easily. To put it bluntly, she was just stubborn.

10. When she gets mad, she gets really mad and it’s the kind of anger that you know that it’s better to run and hide before a volcano erupts, but at the end of the day she didn’t have any ill intentions.

11. Someone that is kind and caring even though she doesn’t show it often. And when she does show it, it is in the form of nagging

12. And if you are suay or lucky enough to be nagged by her, you will realise that she really can nag for a very long period.

13. She wasn’t that active on social media despite studying communications and managing PR matters when she started working full-time.

14. She is loud, like really loud. Maybe that’s why she worked part-time as a camp instructor for almost 4 years. That loud camp instructor was her, and not me. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and be one, but somehow things turned out differently.

15. Her life was filled with different adventures.

16. You can never guess when will she be on the next flight out. Just like how she booked an impromptu solo trip to Phuket, right in the middle of her semester back in NUS, or when she flew off for a solo backpacking trip a week after she was declared in remission.

17. She was a people person, and she rarely does not like a person. However, if you managed to secure a spot on her ‘hate list’, she will bitch about you in the most unexpected manner. Not too sure what her ex-colleague name was, but Kimbo really didn’t like her and named her Pisai(yes Pisai as in nose dirt in Hokkien)

18. She always had a positive mindset, no matter what happens. When cancer hit her not once but twice, she did everything she could to live boldly.

19. The soccer girl that was always late for school during her JC days

20. The independent girl that never lets people worry for her. From the time she was diagnosed, she never let any of her family members go with her for chemos or checkups. And she always said, “ Come with me for what, you also go there and do nothing. Aiya I can do it myself” Till her last few days, she felt bad that we had to help her to paste the morphine patch, or that we woke up in the middle of the night to check if she was ok.

21. Kim didn’t like it when people made a fuss especially when she was not well. And because of that, she pissed some people off. During her last few weeks, she probably made more enemies throughout the pst 26 years as she turned down social gatherings with several friends, as she didn’t like how everybody wanted to meet her for the last time.

22. Kimbo had a natural flair for writing and the way she speak, she have a natural aura.

23. And perhaps till now, some of you may still remember the way she speaks. Or if you are privileged enough to be scolded by her before you can ‘hear her’ scolding you in your head.

24. Kimbo always believe in life, you got to live boldly. With that being said, we grew up with the mindset – it’s easier to seek forgiveness than permission and we did a few things that made Mummy Lim worried such as booking our open-water diving trip without asking for permission.😂

25. She was smart and was always the smarter sister but sometimes or rather a lot of times she had her blur and facepalm moments

26. And because she believe and knew that she was the smarter sibling, she always did not complete her assessment books back in primary and secondary school and her poor sister always had extra to do.

27. Kim was someone that you could count on, responsible, reliable and fast worker. She would always produce high-quality work because she sets very high expectations for herself.

28. Kim was a great listener and she was always there for you if you had a bad day.

29. Her  favourite line to me would always be ‘ You stupid fats’ and I hope you will take this time to think about what was her favourite line to you.

30. Family and friends mattered the most to her. She is fine if you insult her but if you insult her family members, it takes a lot for her to forgive you. I remember when we were younger, there were several times when she was really angry because someone made an insensitive comment and insulted her family members.

31. And lastly, this tribute is never enough to describe how much Kim means to us, but maybe just take some time to remember your favourite moment with her, and if she was still alive what would she nag at you about?

In another 2 months, it would have been 5 years since we last saw/spoke to Kimbo. How has your life changed over the past 5 years? If you had promised her to go for that full body check-up, and you have not done so, maybe it’s time to get a referral from the polyclinic.

Happy 31st Kimbo!