Earlier on the question arose why Teresa did not focus her energy on one of her many talents in order to really cause a stir with it. Her voice for instance always brought Maria Callas to my mind. One single note sung by her was enough to know: This is her! Callas was Teresa’s only example regarding vocal technique, timbre and charisma. It is interesting to notice that Maria Callas grew but a few years older than Teresa; however she passed away as a lonely and unhappy woman, whereas Teresa – as far as I can judge – has been leading a happy and fulfilling life. She would never have wanted to do a swap with her. Though Callas received the applause of the world she was unhappy as she had to subordinate everything to one sole objective: becoming world-famous.
This question is not easy to resolve, but there is one principle behind it: Teresa’s journal entries imply she has used plenty of time to refine her character and to develop christlike attributes with the aim of drawing closer to God. She always felt inspired to learn the will of God and put it into practice without asking lots of questions.
Without any doubt she felt sincere, unfeigned joy when she was able to help others to develop their talents. While she was serving as Stake Music Chairman she initiated many activities causing ongoing excitement among all participants. At about the same time when the Kammerchor Vocalis was established she laid the foundation of the Deseret Vokalensemble. It was supposed to support and to strengthen all units within the entire Stake area with regards to musical activities fostering mission work. Over many years the ensemble performed on numerous occasions in all Stake units. The Deseret Vokalensemble was almost exclusively driven by Teresa’s energy and sustained by the enthusiasm of the participants. She meticulously would plan the rehearsals and make sure everyone who participated was kept in a good mood. She would always bring something delicious to eat when people rehearsed. She relentlessly would travail in order to give a treat to as many people as possible and to plant the seed of the Gospel into their hearts.
Later on she initiated the legendary Musical and Film Score Nights. She managed to motivate a great number of people with varying background to participate and especially focused on the youth. Her organising abilities will forever be unforgettable. Until today it is a mystery to me how it was possible to mount events within a few months with relatively little rehearsal time capturing the imagination of all age groups.
Teresa always stood for enthusiasm. She was the most enthusiastic person I have ever met and she was living for her righteous goals.
Her most essential feature maybe was the ability to look deep into the souls of others and to win people’s sincere and heartfelt friendship. This affection brought about her sharing the Gospel with others. She was involved with numerous conversions without accepting any credit for that. She rather preferred to stay in the background, which is why she could hardly be heard in Church as solo singer. Instead she always would yield to others.
The last three weeks of her life must have been very difficult for Teresa. Her body deteriorated in strength and motivity almost every day, her faculty of speech was increasingly impaired and eventually she was helpless as a small child and had to be fed. However, she did not drink or eat enough for her tortured and aching body to ever recover to full strength again. I was with her around the clock and was animated with but one desire: to serve her exclusively without doing anything else. She eventually passed away in peace in my arms on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 2 o’clock in the morning. She did not feel any pain and passed into eternity with a smile on her face.
A few weeks before while Teresa already was plagued with heavy pain in the cancer clinic in the Palatinate Forest, she wrote a song I discovered in a music booklet lying on the table in her room. Melody and lyrics bear testimony of her sublime talent, of the fierce battle she was fighting, and of her hope to see again her heavenly home. This burning desire of her has now been fulfilled.
Click here in order to have access to the MP3 files of the funeral service with Teresa’s composition Ich komm aus einer Welt.