Sunday, 12 February 2012

So much done in a short life

Today marks what would have been the 40th birthday of my dear departed eldest sister Nic, who passed away of a brain haemorrhage in late 2007.

Being the eldest of the family, Nic was always headstrong and independent-minded, and would look out for the rest of us. In the early 1990s she met and ran away with Tim, a budding geek and film-maker up north, to the initial dismay of our family. They would later return to Wellington in the mid-1990s to run a computer shop together.

When I moved back to Wellington in 2002 after finishing university, I had the misfortune to seek work during the Tech Wreck which Silicon Valley was still mired in and felt around the world, including New Zealand. I flatted for several months with Nic, and the financial distress I found myself in at the time tested our family bonds, despite working various odd jobs.

Once I found gainful employment, I eventually made up with Nic, who was diagnosed with Moyamoya disease which she is believed to have had from childhood. She was heavily involved in the local Montessori school where my nephew Connor attended, which later closed down after it ran out of money. Later in life, she composed music and contributed to Tim's film projects, including the 48Hours short film competition, where one of our projects actually won a prize. We were able to get together for a major family reunion in Queenstown in 2007, which she helped capture on video. Towards the end, she eventually managed to finish her media studies degree right before her death, and upon graduation, Connor posthumously collected the diploma on her behalf.

One of the last things I shared with her in her lifetime were some slices of orange cake I bought. Now, with Nic's headstone finally completed, I get to share some cake with the rest of our family as an act of remembrance.

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