Tamah Nakamura/中村 テーマ
21 x 14.8 x 0.7 cm
Yoshihiro and I were married for 38 years and were friends for 40 years. Our relationship was created through intercultural communication and love. Yoshihiro was Japanese and I am American. We studied, taught, and lived in the United States, Singapore, and Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan. We traveled to many countries both for international academic conferences and to meet family and friends. We enjoyed learning different languages and cultures and experiencing communication across boundaries.
Yoshihiro Nakamura, my dear loving partner, passed away on May 9th, 2012 after a 10- to 12-year struggle with active hepatitis B (HB). Until 12 years ago, he had been a carrier of HB from before birth, when he contracted the virus from his mother. Congenital HB is historically transmitted through the maternal bloodline, so his mother and grandmother both died of symptoms due to the virus. His
body had no antibodies against the virus and, due to his high viral load, none could be developed through any treatment method. Medicine developed specifically for HB became available only in the early 2000s, so he was just five years too late to benefit. At any rate, we did everything we could for him given the situation of HB research at the time. We parted with no regrets and with boundless love.
After his many hospitalizations, an operation, and countless treatments, the day came when in consultation with his doctor they decided he would have no more treatment. We then had three weeks at home together. Imagine if it were you in that situation. How would you spend your time? How would you act and behave? How would you spend those last three weeks of your life? What would you think about? After you die, what feelings do you think your family will remember you by? What words or phrases can you imagine they might feel after you die?
These are the feelings I had after Yoshihiro died. Through my stories, I want to share these gifts with you to understand our way of living.