My precious moments with Tami

by Julie Autumn

 

"Half of my soul is in pain", a Vietnamese song so loved by Tami that she had translated into English. A song that is but a message sent to us from a departed one.

 

I have sung this song so many times, but not once have I felt such a pain, even half of it, that I could have ever endured.

 

I took her cold hand, looked into her eyes. Those eyes filled with pain from not just half, but all of her soul. While the song only describes the pain of an artist, a pain framed in despair from love. An artist who feels half of his/her soul in pain is when he/she lost his/her lover, when love is gone. Then the poem is around just a painful love story.

 

The pain of the human race, a circle of Birth - Sickness - Aging and Death... A sorrow, an endless love so full of life, a regret of love for humanity can never describe such desire.  All of those things seem to appear in those eyes.

 

Tami's eyes, filled with so much sorrow, suddenly brighten. She did not want to see her loved ones witness her pain while she was fighting the nasty illness. Her sharp eyes awoke an invisible desire to live. I admired her so much when I got to see so many things through those eyes, her bravery, her invincible toughness, and sometimes her weakness. She called me over around 6:00AM to let me know that the end is near for her. "I am sorry for waking you up too early."  She said, "But I need someone to talk to. My dear friend, I think I am going to fall, I think it's very close. I'm talking to you now, I want to say so much but I don't have much strength to tell you all everything. I can lose my breath anytime; I need my loved ones around me. But I can't bear to see them worry through their eyes...their sorrow and their despair".

 

I have seen the whole painful horizon in Tami's eyes, with a fainted smile which enhanced Tami's wild beauty at the time. As I was reading a few pages to Tami, she interrupted me and wanted to share her story about life and death, as she was approaching the gate of death herself.

 

At times when she was a little stronger, she would admire the life of the plants that I placed on the table near the patio window. She smiled at the sunray peeking through the glass. She was imagining herself playing under the sun with her lovely dogs Rocky and Rolie. She had plenty of courage to overcome death, but she could not overcome the pain of having to tell her loved ones what she wanted to say.

 

- Goodbye Mother! I have disappointed you for leaving before you. I will owe your motherhood until my next life.

 

- For my daughter Michele. Oh Michele, I have nothing saved for you. I just want to give you what I wish. I wish that you will have strength to endure all the hardship waiting for you in life. And I promise to watch over you all the way through.

 

- For my brothers and sisters, I am so sorry if I had failed you for giving up so soon.

 

- For everyone else, with all the love from friends that I have received, I think I am somewhat satisfied with this short life. So, farewell!

 

Tami continued: "Sometimes I wanted to know what it's like to die. It is too bad that you only gain the experience by going through that, but then you're already dead, and it's over. I think I finally understand the meaning of death being a part of life."

 

She went on: I want to say that I am not afraid of dying. I am not too eager to live too long and to have to die an old woman. I just want to ask for a couple more years, so I can see my lovely daughter graduate, get married, and hopefully I can be a grand-ma in time. That's all!

 

Tami had a very strong faith plus a desire to see the success of her daughter and to also be a grand-ma. All of that is so very simple. But death has taken our Tami away, before she was granted those wishes.

 

However, God is very fair. He has listened to Tami's prayers. And I believe that he will grant Michele all of the things that Tami has wished for. From above, perhaps Tami already realized it. She did not take with her anything, but she leaves so much love in everyone of us.

 

We all miss Tami, and we forever keep her wonderful image in our hearts.

 

So long my Tami, our Tami.

 

Julie Autumn (January 2008)

(translated by Le Toan)

 

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