3rd June 1961…

3rd June is an important date as that was the date that Mom, Florence Yip was born. Therefore tomorrow would have been her 60th Birthday. Usually, I would send her flowers, get her a gift and treat her to a nice meal with cake of course. This is the first year that we haven’t been able to celebrate her Big Day. It’s been almost 6 months since she left us and not a day goes by without us missing her. We can’t visit her tomorrow because the current FMCO (Lockdown). I’ve made her Rose scented beeswax candle for her. Will have to wait until the lockdown is lifted till we could go visit her. Mom, we didn’t forget your birthday. I hope that you know that.

Mom grew up poor in Ipoh. She was the 5th child to my grandparents, She was the youngest and the cheekiest on top of things as she got my grandfather wrapped around her finger. She was the only one who was sent to an English Convent for her school education. I remember Mom telling me that after her dad passed when she was 12yrs old, she started working part-time after school hours to give money to her mother. She worked as a seamstress and also tutored. Prior to her dad passing away, the family ran a canteen business at the army camp. She even had a pet pig at one point in time.

Despite her circumstances, Mom was an extrovert that loved helping people. She was also very active in sports and represented her school in Volley Ball. Mom was well known as being a social butterfly. I’m pretty sure I got that trade from her. The ability to make friends just instantly. My Mom was always surrounded by her group of girlfriends that she kept in touch all these years. People are naturally drawn by my Mom’s energy. She’s always been very bubbly and her smile is infectious.

Before Mom met dad when she was 18. She was working at a car battery shop and dad saw her walking past daily during lunch break as at that time, dad was a site supervisor and he was high up and saw her. My dad then decided to ask around to find out who Mom was. Eventually, he learned where she worked and he decided to write her a letter. That was how my Mom and dad met and the rest was history.

My Mom always had a huge heart when it came to people and she would never think twice in helping out those in need, I guess she developed this compassion for people because she had nothing growing up. That’s another reason why she taught me to be charitable since I was young and that we should share. Friends and neighbours and family nevertheless loved Mom because she was very friendly and she would always be there for you. Mom was never selfish but always giving. She never demanded for anything but, dad pampered her because she deserved everything in the world.

Dad took good care of Mom from the day he met her until her last breath. He made her quit her job to start a family with him and supported her financially. My dad definitely is 1 in a million. Also, when Mom was bedridden during her last 6 months on earth, dad did everything to look after her. He fed her, changed her diapers and cleaned her while he slept on the floor beside her. It made Mom very sad but if that’s not proof that true love exists, what is? Will I ever be lucky to find love like that?

XoXo, VA

Conversations I Need To Have…

I have been running my own company since 2017. I remember how worried I was and how badly I wanted a partner to do it with me. Back then, it was my ex that I thought would be in it with me but, he hated commitment and he talked me into doing it by myself. So, that was how I became the solo Founder/CEO/Director/Business Owner. I’ve definitely learned, struggled and succeeded by myself through the years. Doing it all alone is definitely not easy as you are both the Boss and also the Worker plus you have to deal and handle everything from A to Z of the business but, that being said; when things don’t workout, you learn from it and you only have your own to reflect or blame for it. Though when you succeed, the taste of victory never tasted so good.

I’m starting to look at my life and realized that since I was young, I was taught to be independent from a very young age. Many might say, “That can’t be true since you’re the only child. Am sure your parents spoilt you rotten…” Reality with the Yip-Atkinson upbringing was, if you wanted something you’ll have to earn it. We’re not going to just give it to you. My parents worked hard themselves to build what they have today – the properties, the cars and the lifestyle. I’m thankful that my parents taught me the meaning of the word, “No”. That was a word that I heard often growing up. When I asked for my first pair of Black Basketball LA Gears with Red LED light at the heel. They flash with each step you take. I remember I waited really long to get that pair of kicks when I was 8. I also remembered that I had to make sure I got straight A’s and behaved well for a really long period but, when my parents finally got them for me, Boy!! I was over the moon and I cherished every step that I took in them.

I truly owe a lot to my parents. The love and patience they had with me growing up. I wasn’t crazy naughty or a trouble maker and I definitely was a good student in school that got good grades and was athletic as I enjoyed playing sports but, that being said I did go through the famous rebellious stage during my teenage years. I remember how I just didn’t want to be in photos and if I was, I’d be displaying RBF (Resting Bitch Face).

If I could turn back time or visit Young Valerie, what would I tell her? I think I would say this, “Life will get better with time. You will work in many companies but, the role that taught you the most and groomed you the most would be the role you had as A Business Development Executive/PA to your Director. That would be the most stressful job you’ll ever experience but, you also learned the most with all the projects and responsibilities that your director put on your shoulders. That being said, if it’s possible to change your career path, you should get into Recruitment once you graduate from College as you’ll make tonnes of money from it compared to the rest of the jobs. Also, control your shopping habit and safe more money and invest your money wisely. You will meet many interesting people along the way and you will get your heartbroken countless times. It may hurt a lot when it happens especially the break up that happened in 2013 that took the longest to get over and heal. 5 years to be exact but, that’s alright because it only meant that you were truly inlove and that it mattered. Because of that, you turned into a workaholic to mend and guard your heart. You will meet someone great in 2018 and it would feel like he’s your soulmate. You will later get engaged and married but, you will not get the happy ending you always wanted. He will break your heart and shatter your dreams but, you will not hate or blame him because he gave you happiness once and also because he proved to you that someone wanted you to be their wife and he also gave Mom the opportunity to see you get married in 2019 before she got really sick in 2020. 2020 will be tough for everyone because a pandemic would hit the world. Mom’s health will start deteriorating in mid 2020 because her cancer would have spread rapidly and she would lose the battle she fought so hard for 5 years. To prevent this from happening, make sure Mom gets her yearly check ups and screen for cancer in 2013/2014, You might be able to change the course of her history and safe her because losing her in December 2020 will leave you devastated and ever so lonely than you already are. The pandemic will still be around in 2021 and life would be very different from what you’re used to now but, you will meet many new people this year and you’ll learn who’s your true, real friends when you need them the most. You might eventually meet someone special to. Just don’t overthink things and just go with the flow. You’re such a thinker Dear Valerie that sometimes you worry over nothing. You will be okay at the end of the day. You have to be because you are Valerie Atkinson!!…”

XoXo, VA

Tribute Ink…

Most of you may know that I was very close to my Mom. We used to chat and talk to each other on a daily basis. We had disagreements of course but, we still love each other nevertheless. That’s what unconditional love truly is. One will learn to know the meaning of unconditional love when you have children. That being said when she left us on the 18th of December 2020, she took a huge part of me with her. I know that she hated it when I got inked but, I decided to get a tribute piece for her because I wanted to always have a piece of her with me and also as most of us know, getting an inked esp. a huge piece can be painful. The pain of getting a tattoo done to me has some form of therapeutic “treatment” to it. It still can’t compare to the pain of losing someone you love so dear for sure.

The session with Apoh, my tattoo artist was 3hrs this round and she will complete it by filling in the colours on my Mom’s birthday this year. This is the first piece ever that I needed 2 sessions to complete but, the diamond part of the piece is definitely intricate and it took alot of focus and time. She even took about an hour plus just to redraw things to make it right before she made the stencil for it.

Was it painful? Yes, it was but pain in a good way though. I know that not many people enjoy pain but, for me sometimes, feeling pain is a good thing because it reminds you that it’s real and that you’re still breathing. Btw, I love that Apoh was patient enough to make the piece awesome and that she leap out of her comfort zone to make something so beautiful. You can check her work out at: http://www.instagram.com/apohapoh

XoXo, VA

My Thoughts Go Out To You…

As most of you now know or are learning about my Mom. Thursday, 18th February 2021 is exactly 2 months since she left us to be with The Lord. Not a day goes by without me thinking about her, our moments together and our conversations which I miss so, so much. I don’t think the missing will ever stop especially when you were so close to someone.

That being said, whenever I hear someone mentioned that their loved one is battling cancer, I feel a knot in my throat as I know that the Big C sounds like a death sentence. Atleast, it is to the most of us. It affects not only the patient but, also their loved ones. I remember when I first heard that Mom was diagnosed with lungs cancer 3rd stage in November 2015, I didn’t think of it badly but, instantly was “We’ll fight this to the very end and we will win this!!…” and we’ll get all the necessary treatment done which we did for the past 5 years. The journey was definitely a long one with many twists and visits to the hospital monthly.

Cancer grows and spreads fast which is scary but, staying positive and having a good doctor and support from loved ones is super important. Giving up in my opinion is not an option atleast not until you’ve given it all you have. We all deserve a fighting chance. I know that Mom lost the battle after 5 years but, everyone is different and I can testify that she fought hard over the years and never did she give up until the end.

I want you to know that you’re not alone. That there’s many people in the world who has gone through it or is still fighting it daily. Get the support you need. It’s always better to have some form of help as it’s not easy.

To set the record straight, I’m not mad at her for leaving. I just miss her so much. Her energy, her kindness towards everyone around her. She was the best mom anyone could ask for. Despite only spending little time with my Hubs, JR in 2019. She still loved him as her own son. I miss the daily conversations we had because with her, I could be real. I could talk to her about anything under the sun despite sometimes we had our disagreements but still we were mother and daughter.

Her last words to me when she was in the hospital was, “Don’t cry, don’t cry…” as she reached out to touch my hand when I broke down and cried when I saw her in the fragile condition she was in barely able to open her eyes or talk. Mom, I’m sorry that I’m still crying. I’m sorry. I know that you wouldn’t want to see me like this but, I just miss you so crazy much and I can’t help it.

XoXo, VAS