We had a delightful surprise visit from my sister last week. She flew in from Hong Kong without telling us, and literally just showed up at our front door one night. For those who know my family, this probably doesn’t shock them, as we’ve been very much into surprises for as long as I could remember. My mom use to come home from work with little surprises for my sister and I, and we would have so much fun trying to guess what she had in her hands behind her back. Ever since my sister moved back to Hong Kong, she’s “surprised” us countless times by showing up on our doorstep on a random day. I still remember one birthday over 10 years ago where she flew in from Hong Kong, hid, and jumped out of nowhere to surprise me with a “Happy Birthday sis!” It never gets old with us. 🙂

My favorite surprise of all though, was one that I took part in planning. It was about 6 or 7 years ago. My parents were in Hong Kong and my sister planned an impromptu trip with them to Taiwan. The plan was for Alan and I to fly directly to Taiwan from San Francisco to meet up with them for this trip, but it was meant as a surprise for my parents. So, they arrived one day ahead of us, and when they were having breakfast at the hotel the next morning, my sister casually said, “Wouldn’t it be so awesome if Jubi and Alan were here with us?” Ofcourse, my parents sighed in agreement, wishing that we were indeed together as a family. Then, hardly able to contain my giddy laughter when my sister gave me the subtle signal to come, I walked right up to their table side with Alan and yelled, “Surprise! Wish granted!” To this day, I still remember the look of disbelief on my parents’ faces. My mom became just as giddy and excited as I, and my dad kept shaking his head which is really is way of saying “You guys are crazy.” 

Our 2004 trip to Taiwan

Even after all these years, my sister and I are still scheming to surprise one another from time to time. I’m awaiting for the opportunity to do a “reverse surprise” on her one of these days… 🙂

Bridgette was ecstatic to have Mimi with us for a few days, and we kept it real low key.

I love my sister. A lot. But, we weren’t always this close. Although there was never much sibling rivalry between us, we certainly had our “moments” of hostility towards one another as we were growing up. Living under the same roof, sharing one bedroom…it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows between us. I was the annoying little sister who snooped around her things and put a kitchen timer next to her when she was on the phone with her friends. She was the older sister who hid her clothes inside a wok in the kitchen (so that I couldn’t wear them) and charged me $10 for a 5 mile trip after she got her driver’s license. We knew how to press each other’s buttons, and there was definitely a period of time where our wrangling was a part of everyday life.

But, once my sister moved out of the house for college, the physical distance between us changed our relationship. We began missing one another, and cherishing the little time that we did get to spend together. After college, she moved even further away, to Hong Kong, and as cliche as it sounds, the distance did make the heart grow fonder. We emailed constantly to keep up with each others’ lives, and I found myself turning to her for “big sister advice” all the time.

Mimi has always been the more mature and responsible one while I’ve always been the carefree, happy-go-lucky little sister. Although we may not always see things eye to eye, we’ve really grown to love and respect one another on a whole new level during the past 10 years. I admire her greatly for her intelligence, dedication, and endurance. She says I inspire her to be creative, and to live life to its fullest. We’re so very lucky to have each other, and to grow closer and closer as we age together. Although we can’t expect Brianne and Bridgette to have the same kind of relationship as we do, we really hope that they can grow up loving one another like sisters.

Thanks Mims, for being such an amazing role model for me, in more ways than you would ever know…

My sister and I, circa 1984 ( I think )

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