As many of you know, Gamma Sigma Sigma recently suffered the terrible loss of our sister and our own Beta Gamma alumna, Kim Hume. She pledged in 2009 as a member of the Beta Gamma pledge class and graduated in 2012. Kim had been bravely fighting cancer and sadly lost this battle and left us too soon. Everyone who knew Kim remembers her as a kind, caring, and optimistic young woman who brightened every life she touched.
An anonymous sister wrote in an exceptional tribute to Kim, remembering her life and the incredible impact she had on everyone around her:
“I would like to take the time to tell the Gamma Sigma Sigma community how fortunate I was to know Kim Hume.
Kim was my Big Sister in Gamma Sigma Sigma, although in a very unconventional way. I pledged in my sophomore year of college and was in the Beta Zeta pledge class. I decided to join this organization because I had a strong desire to perform more community service. Once I started the pledging process, I will be honest, I hated it. I was broke, shy, and felt overwhelmed all the time. As the days went on in my pledging process, I slowly stopped getting signatures of current sisters, something that is required to receive a “Big Sister”. I didn’t have the time, money, or, frankly, personality to go out and meet all of the current sisters. Since I did not get these signatures, I would not get matched with a Big Sister. I felt like a failure, but I knew I still wanted to be a part of the service project. I went to my pledge mom Amanda and told her my plan to join GSS without a Big Sister. She was very understanding and told me if that was my choice, then to go ahead and do it.
On the last service project before my activation, I volunteered at a huge charity event at the River Front in Wilmington. Like usual, I rode in another Sister’s car to the event, this time the driver was named Kim Hume. I usually sat in the back seat, looking out the window and not making a peep the whole ride because of my extreme shyness (how I got through college, I have no idea). This car ride and project was very different from all the others, however. I instantly felt a connection with Kim. She was older, kind and friendly, and was a natural leader. I felt at ease around her and clung to her the entire event. My shy self followed her around like a lost puppy. She never got annoyed with me, instead she got to know me and treated me as though we had known each other for years. We talked as much as we could, but mostly focused on the task at hand. I never felt pressure around her to be anything other than myself.
On the car ride home, the other girls in the car were getting Kim’s signature for their books, and when it was my turn to get a signature I told her I didn’t need one because I was not collecting signatures and was not going to get a big. She looked shocked like everyone else at first, and I was thinking “here it goes, the lecture about not taking a Big again” but instead Kim’s eyes got bright and she perked up instantly and told me she didn’t have a real big either! She explained to me that she did not get enough signatures so she got a pseudo-Big Sister named Siobhan. She also revealed to me that although she had been in Gamma Sig for a while, she never took a little. This may sound cheesy, but at that point, we knew we were made for each other. It seemed like a match made in Heaven, I had found my Big and she had found her little.
When she heard I wasn’t going to have a Big at activation, she instantly offered to be mine. She only knew me for a day and offered to be my Big. It meant the world to me someone would do that for a complete stranger. She walked me in to my activation and gave me such a beautiful basket full of wonderful gifts, when I was literally a stranger to her. I would have felt so awkward that night walking in alone and being the only one without a basket and family to celebrate with. I am not exaggerating at all when I say she was my superhero that night and made me feel like I belonged when I never felt that way beforehand. Even now, several years later, I still think about the kindness she showed me that night. It takes a special person to think of others the way she thought of me. I will never forget her kindness and to this day I always try to treat people how she treated me.
After she became by Big, she went inactive, and then later on I went inactive, so we did not interact much with Gamma Sig, the organization that brought us together. Once she graduated we went separate ways and it wasn’t until last June that I found out her battle with cancer that had begun in college was not over. Just like she was my hero back when I was in college joining Gamma Sig, she has once again become my idol. She literally went through my worst nightmare and stayed so strong, even strong enough to share her battle on social media.
Kim was truly an amazing person. Things were so rough for her this past month, yet she took the time to reach out to me when my cat of 17 years passed away. Seriously, right?! She was worried about me and the loss of my cat, when she was suffering beyond measure. Even in her hardest days of her life, she was worried about other people. She was so selfless and genuine, two very rare qualities of the hundreds of qualities that made up the extraordinary person that she was. She once told me that she enjoys surrounding herself with people who are more skilled than her in a particular aspect. She said, “For example, I value when someone is of extraordinary intelligence, or has a specific athletic ability, or is just really funny or talented in a way that I don’t possess. I generally surround myself with others who have something that I can’t offer”. I hope before her untimely passing, she realized just how much she offered to other people.
I want everyone to know how much this woman touched my life. She made such an impression on me and we barely saw each other. I can only imagine how many other peoples’ lives she has impacted; from strangers she may have only met once, to the people she saw every day, to the people reading about her story after her life has ended. I will never forget her,the kindness she showed me, and the way she selflessly lived life. I am sorry I didn’t make more of an effort to be an impact on her life as she was on mine. I have so many regrets, but because of her, I am going to make an effort to end each day with less regrets. I will miss her forever and hope that the stories of her life, that will no doubt continue to surface, will influence each and every one of you to lead a more meaningful life. I read somewhere a while back, that you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time. Lets keep Kim alive forever.”