Category Archives: General

Articles on general topics

A Dream

Today we celebrate Teresa’s 55th birthday. As I always used to take a day off from work to do something special with her, so I did this time. We usually went on a hike to the mountains. Today it came to my mind to write down a dream I had about one and a half years ago with Teresa playing the leading role. I should say that I am dreaming of her very rarely. In addition, after waking up I have either very fragmented memories of my dream or I even do not recall at all what I have dreamt. This is the dream I had in January 2016:

I dreamt of Teresa the other day. In my dream I visited her in hospital. She seemed to be doing quite well actually, and we spoke about going out for lunch. Then a nurse joined us and asked Teresa to follow her to a different room. She said it will only take a short while, but then both of them were gone for a longer time and I began to worry. Eventually, I decided to look for Teresa.

Soon after, I heard loud voices. When I finally found Teresa I realised the nurse was yelling at her. Hearing this, I rebuked her and told her she is not allowed to yell at my wife. However, the nurse reacted very aggressively, and so I tried to push down her hands. As she appeared to be very strong, she resisted and we struggled with each other for a while. The situation was very difficult, and Teresa took advantage of this short moment to pass by me and rescue herself. When I knew Teresa was safe, I let up on the nurse. After this undelightful experience, Teresa and I went to another hospital.

In the other hospital, Teresa had a very small room. At first, she had problems with unlocking the door with her key. She eventually managed to open the door so we could get in. Then we discussed our plans to meet for lunch frequently. I had to cry all the time and told her how happy I was because of her. However, Teresa replied it does not look like I am happy. If I were happy I would not cry without interruption. This answer caused me to feel even unhappier, and I had to cry even more.

Then I asked her about her lymph nodes. Teresa said everything was much better already, and the cancer was not so obvious any more. Of course, she continued, there is not much to be seen, since the cancer is hidden inside of the body. Anyway, after hearing this, I felt great hope that she would be able to recover at last. Together we searched for a place where we could have lunch, but at first we found nothing convenient. There were only shops for household goods and similar stuff, no restaurants.

At this point I woke up. What could be the meaning of this dream? I imagine the nurse represents the academic medicine Teresa deeply distrusted. She found a refuge from academic medicine at a small clinic south of Pirmasens in the Palatinate Forest. There she was given hope for recovery which hope however – as we all unfortunately know – eventually did not come true. On our wedding day, February 12, 2014, we went on a date for dinner for the last time. On a very winding road, we drove across the nearby border to France. I had to drive extremely carefully to not let Teresa feel sick. When we returned to the clinic, however, she felt very weak and eventually had to vomit. At that time I did not realise it, but it has been our last date, and she had been very valiant.

Teresa’s third anniversary of death

On April 14 2014, the Mission President Richard L. Miles and his wife Brenda visited Augsburg and came to the ward meeting house. Both of them wanted to talk to me after the meetings were over, and so we went to an adjoining room where they presented me with  a precious gift: Besides a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD (“Peace like a river”) they also gave me an album with the testimonies of many missionaries who knew Teresa. Some of them even did not know her at all, but have heard of her during their mission. Most of the testimonies and accounts moved me to tears. It became clear to which extent Teresa had internalized her love towards people. This love was her inner motivation and enabled her to achieve exceptional results. I am very grateful for this precious album.


Teresa’s Memorial Site

Today, September 29 2016, is Teresa’s birthday. The creation of her memorial site on the Stätzling cemetery took more than two years, but to my opinion, it has been more than worth waiting for so long.

Recently I took a friend to visit the site and explained to him beforehand that he would get to see a few things Teresa really loved. His spontaneous reply: “That must certainly have something to do with music!” Hearing this made me chuckle. Describing good music in proper manner by words  is surely difficult enough already. But to express it in sculpture would require even more complete artistry. However, besides music other things have been important to Teresa as well. This may be the right moment to mention her cat Mao-Mao. Teresa was not only kind to animals, but she had the gift to empathise with animals in a most special way. And she had a very intimate relationship with him as can be seen on some of the following pictures:

Whenever Teresa left the house, Mao-Mao followed her, accompanied her to the bus and waited for her in front of stores. He indeed was some kind of a soulmate, and she was able to communicate with him on a spiritual level. Following a serious illness, Mao-Mao had to be put to sleep in December 2011. Teresa was deeply convinced she would meet her cat again in the afterlife.

Although Teresa devoted a lot of time to the music, the animals, and finally yet importantly her husband, her life always focused on Jesus Christ and His Gospel. When I thought about how to design Teresa’s memorial site, I found it appropriate to depict those two aspects of her life. Therefore, while discussing with the sculptor, I outlined a combination of sculptures with Christ as main character. In opposite of Him I pictured a kneeling woman holding a cat in her arms and looking at Him. After a long period of planning, I finally was satisfied and granted approval for the manufacture of the sculptures. The Christus figure is an exact replica of the famous Christus Statue of Bertel Thorvaldsen, which can be visited in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Christus he created is kind and opens His arms to welcome all those who want to come unto Him. No other depiction of Christ can compare with it, and I know Teresa loved it a lot. The woman on her knees with the cat represents her. She wears a humble dress, carries Mao-Mao on her arms, and awaits her Redeemer, whose faithful servant she has been throughout her life. The tombstone is elegantly curved, and reads in German and in Chinese: “Thy Will be done.” In fact, these words are her life motto and were her last words before she gradually lost control over her body and consequently also over her language due to her illness. They are an expression of her unwavering and solid faith that deeply imbued her.

Teresa’s memorial site on the Stätzling cemetery invites to take a rest and to ponder. It is supposed to remind of a great, faithful, and christlike woman who would not let the adversities of life throw her off the track and who persistently walked her path. It is supposed to remind us as well that death has no power over us. Thanks to Christ, man one day will rise over death and live eternally in the presence of his creator among those who walked the path before or who still have to walk it.

Teresa has left this path behind her and has entered into the rest of the Lord. She has rid herself of her mortal concerns and, with a joyful heart, waits for a reunion with us still dwelling on this side of the veil.

Teresa’s Second Anniversary of Death

Teresa 1989 at Youth Park in Taipei
Teresa 1989 at Youth Park in Taipei

Today is Teresa’s second anniversary of death. The past two years have been exceedingly turbulent, especially in the beginning. Living without Teresa was just impossible for me to imagine. I did not count the nights crying myself to sleep, or getting up full of grief in the morning trying to fulfill my daily duties somehow, however without any hope of recovery. Neither did I count the sudden attacks of misery haunting me over and over during the day, trying to hide my feelings from my workmates. The comforting words of friends and loved ones – that time will heal all wounds and I would one day recover from that tragic loss – they sounded hollow and vapid to my ears. I thought by myself: They do not have any idea what they are talking about, they did not experience this firsthand. Surprisingly, little by little, I received consolation through something totally different.

At the end of April 2014, Teresa had passed away for not even two months, I began with my search for traces. I could not help being struck by a certain thought: I wanted to contact the Augsburg theatre in order to get an audition for being a member of the extra choir. Teresa herself used to sing in this choir for about five years and has been involved in numerous opera productions at the grand opera house as well as at the open air theatre. I followed the prompting, and to my great surprise I immidiately succeeded to be accepted into the choir. So I spent the early summer 2014 on the open air stage singing My Fair Lady, the musical Teresa had sung at the very same location 15 years before. Many of the choir members of both extra choir and opera choir still knew Teresa and had kept her in good memory. I stepped into a world that had been reserved to Teresa, unknown to me and now opening to me a bit at a time.

What an unparalleled adventure! Teresa always had spoken about music’s healing effect, and now I was doubtlessly able to feel it! My heart filled with gratitude, night after night I stood on the stage – first the open air stage, later the stage of the grand opera house – and experienced the master pieces of music theatre firsthand. The overture of Lohengrin for instance is adorably beautiful, and since the choir was staged as a still life and was not allowed to do the slightest move, I was able to literally absorb the music. The effect was almost hypnotic.

It has been the choir where i met Constanze. She answered my e-mail message I wrote to all extra choir members expressing my gratitude for having been received so well. We wrote one another once in a while, saw each other of course on stage and during rehearsals, and eventually fell in love on January 2 2015, when I accepted her invitation for dinner and visited her in Munich. We have been a couple ever since, however we kept it a secret towards our theatre colleagues for a while. Funnily enough, the director of Macbeth, Lorenzo Fioroni, staged us as a couple in this production, and we strolled over the stage arm in arm although nobody knew that we actually belonged together. Fioroni felt it!

Constanze and me were planning our wedding ceremony for August 8, 2015. This is a special day, as Augsburg is holding the Grand Peace Festival – a public Holiday –, but the civil registry office in Friedberg is opened. One day later we took off to the USA for our honeymoon and spent never-to-be-forgotten days in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas. One of the many highlights of our journey was a rehearsal together with the Tabernacle Choir in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City under conductor Mack Wilberg.

Constanze had to turn her back on her beloved Munich. She quit her job and moved in with me to Friedberg, which meant a great sacrifice to her. One of her first ideas about how to beautify our common home was to enlarge Teresa’s beautiful portrait photo, place it in a nice frame and hang it on the wall in the entrance area. Below the portrait also a Christus statue – a replica of the renowned Thorvaldsen Christus statue – found its place. It has become a beautiful and peaceful site, a site of reverence and remembrance towards a woman with an abundant life who had blessed so many people.

During the recent months, not many postings have been published by me on Teresa’s website – the grief just still weighed too heavily on me. Her legacy and her memory, however, have by no means been forgotten. On the contrary: Today, I am more grateful to her than ever. And the great number of material existing from and about her – in the form of photos, journal entries, discourses, notes, music, and videos – will be made available over time, little by little, as she has deserved it and meanwhile I am feeling capable to do it. For me, Teresa is and has ever been one of the truly great women of our time, and I am overly grateful to my Heavenly Father that he granted me the privilege of taking care of her for the course of 26 wonderful years.

Teresa has deceased

Dear Friends!

Unbelievable for all of us, our beloved Teresa has left behind this mortal life forever and has been called home to her Heavenly Father on Thursday,  March 6th 2014 at 2 o’clock in the morning. She only grew 51 years old, and her sudden death was a great shock to all who knew her well. For quite some time she has been suffering from an extraordinarily aggressive type of breast cancer and finally was not able to conquer this dreadful disease.

Teresa has led a very eventful life rich in variety and therefore has left behind a bountiful legacy. Lots of material of her is existing, such as journal entries or other lyrics, photos, audio or video documents. This website is supposed to organize her legacy and make it available to a broad audience. Through her exemplary life, Teresa has demonstrated what it means to show christlike charity, and she has shared this love with all whom she became acquainted with.

It shall be shown that there is no need to being a celebrity or holding a high and esteemed position in order to influence the direct and wider environment for the better. Her life demonstrates that being a good example is worthwhile and so little by little,  day by day, slowly but constantly being able to even improve this world.

Teresa with her family in 1977
Teresa with her family in 1977