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.
3 thoughts on “Teresa’s Memorial Site”
Oh how I loved Teresa! I think of her often as
I ponder upon the time we spent in Deutschland. I remember her as you described. Kind, loving, and always serving. What a beautiful memorial to her. So Christlike, with outstretched arms waiting to comfort and love another. Happy Birthday Teresa. I expect a big hug from you when I get to Heaven. Love, sister Hoopes
What a beautiful sculpture and tribute to Teresa! We only met once but she had a great impact on me with her kindness. Both of you were so kind to my son, Daniel, when he was on his LDS mission in Augsburg. I’m sure Teresa is singing with choirs of angels today!
I was really sad when I saw this story abt Teresa. Didn’t know ( Br Toni and Michael and mother passed away also ) I remember youre wife singing at rockoko sal in Augsburg. Also remember that you 2 made me feel welcome in church as well. Sometimes church is more family than youre own. Hope youre doing well brother. From Br Sailer in Philippines ( Sweden )