During last month’s visit to the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Maryland, USA, I stopped by the city of Los Angeles on my way home for five days. In those five days, I met a friend for the first time, who drove six hours from the state of Arizona to see me.

Yvonne and Laura and the rides behind them

She was Laura Clancey, an advance practice nurse who became a friend after reading Lee Hom’s writing about me.

Needless to say, Laura and I are both avid fans of Wang Lee Hom. Laura doesn’t understand Chinese, but she likes the music Lee Hom composes and his personality. Besides Lee Hom, we also have a similar passion to serve humanity in our own ways.

Laura met me at Seton Hall of St. Vincent Medical Center where I was staying. Together with my mom, we had lunch at the hospital cafeteria before driving to the Santa Monica Pier in West L.A.

Yvonne and the sunset behind her

We strolled through the pier’s theme park rides followed by the boardwalk all the way out to sea. At the end of the boardwalk was the pier itself, on which we stayed to watch the beautiful West L.A. sunset that I love.

While we were admiring the sun’s gradual descend, a couple was taking pre-wedding photographs on the beach below us. There was the bride and the groom, and their entourage of photographers and assistants.

A bride ans groom posing on the beach at sunset

As I watched the two hopeless romantics pose and gaze into each other, with the waves and sunset beyond, a familiar music played in my mind.

Lee Hom’s Forever Love.

爱你, 不是因为你的美丽
Ai ni bu shi yin wei ni de mei er yi
Loving you, not because of your beauty.

我越来越爱你, 每个眼神触动我的心
Wo yue lai yue ai ni mei ge yan shen chu dong wo de xin
I love you more and more, your every eye contact touches my heart.

因为你让我看见 forever, 才了解自己,
Yin wei ni rang wo kan jian forever cai liao jie zi ji
Because you make me see forever and understand myself.

未来这些日子 要好好珍惜
Wei lai zhe xie ri zi yao hao hao zhen xi
We should treasure the days that are about to come

爱我, 有些痛苦有些不公平
Ai wo you xie tong ku you xie bu gong ping
Loving me, there may be some pain and unfairness

如果真的爱我 不是理所当然的决定
Ru guo zhen de ai wo bu shi li suo dang ran de jue ding
If you really love me, understand that it’s not an easy decision.

感到你的呼吸在我耳边 像微风深情
Gan dao ni de hu xi zai wo er bian xiang wei feng shen qi
I can feel your breath next to my ears as fresh as the breeze.

温柔的安抚, 我的不安定
Wen rou de an fu wo de bu an ding
You softly comfort my restlessness.

所以我要 每天研究你的笑容 ouu… 多么自然
Suo yi wo yao mei tian yan jiu ni de xiao rong, duo me zi ran
Therefore I want to examine your smile every day, how natural it is.

Forever Love, Forever Love

我只想用我这一辈子去爱你
Wo zhi xiang yong zhe yi bei zi qu ai ni
I really want to spend my whole lifetime loving you.

从今以后, 你会是所有 幸福的理由
Cong jin yi hou ni hui shi suo you xing fu de li you
From this moment on, you will be the reason of all my happiness.

爱情, 是场最美最远的旅行
Ai qing shi chang zui mei zui yuan de lu xing
Love is the most beautiful and furthest journey.

沿途遇经泥泞 偶尔阻碍我们的前进
Yan tu yu ji ni ning ou er zu ai wo men de qian jin
There’ll be rains and mud along the way which may sometimes prevent us from moving forward.

感到你的体温在我怀里 像阳光和煦
Gan dao ni de ti wen zai wo huai li xiang yang guang he xu
I can feel your temperature in my arms as warmly as sunlight.

巧妙的熔化 我的不安定
Qiao miao de rong hua wo de bu an ding
You magically melt my worries away.

不可思议 证明我爱你的理由 ouu… 多么自然
Bu ke si yi zheng ming wo ai ni de li you, duo me zi ran
Unbelievably, this proves my reason for loving you, how natural it is

Repeat *

你感动的眼睛,
Ni gan dong de yan jing
Your touching eyes

我沉默的声音,
Wo chen mo de sheng yin
and my silent voice

仿佛就是最好的证明
Fang fu jiu shi zui hao de zheng ming
are the best evidence of our love for each other

就让我再说一次 I love you …
Jiu rang wo zai shuo yi ci, I love you…
So please let me repeat this. I love you….

直到永远
Zhi dao yong yuan…
Until eternity

Lee Hom holding Yvonne for a photo together

Oh, I am moved to tears just reading the lyrics above and correcting the translation. This song was released in the year of 2005 – the year I finally lost my residual hearing to Neurofibromatosis. It’s released as part of an album called “The Sun and Moon in my Heart”. It’s the last of Lee Hom’s albums that I heard with my natural hearing.

When I lost my hearing, I was sad that I would never get to hear his music naturally again. But I learned something interesting lately. From the comments I read about his recent compositions, I gathered that the music he composed which I knew and heard prior to 2006, were among his best.

In a way, I am glad. I am glad that I have, at least, learned his best music to date by memory. They are immortalized in my mind forever.

I have faith that he can compose such wonderful music again.

Lee Hom’s music compositions – those that I have heard – touch people across culture and geography because they spoke about life. They spoke about the natural processes and experiences of life which everyone goes through and experience at different times. His compositions then, had an element of hope. Many also had the element of faith in life. Some song lyrics may have described a regrettable life experience, but the music behind them was always fluid. They carried a sense of continuity in them, which made listeners feel hopeful. Like someone who did something wrong and confesses his or her mistake, with the hope and self-belief to do better. Anything positive and hopeful attracts people, and these were reasons why many people across culture loved Lee Hom’s music so much.

I have faith in Lee Hom that he can compose such great music again. They can be as great as, or better than, those that I have heard.

I am not patronizing Lee Hom. I am saying this from experience.

Do you know that, after I lost my hearing in mid-2005, my self-expression improved? I used to be a music vocalist. I also played the piano and violin. After I lost my hearing, I could not sing or play music anymore. It was saddening initially. But I did not dwell on it for long, because I had more important things to concentrate on. I was desperately raising funds to remove the brain tumor that robbed my hearing, in order to continue living.

In that desperation and pressure to survive, I could not dwell on the loss of my hearing. I must communicate with people. I must communicate my cause any other way I could.

I could no longer sing. I could no longer hear. But I could still talk, and talk I did. No one was there to teach me on how to be an effective public speaker. But because I was once a stage performer and vocalist, I could stand on stage, before an audience, and project my voice coherently even though I could not hear myself while everyone could.

My written expression also improved by leaps and bounds like magic the moment I lost my hearing. Those of you who have followed my blog since many years ago would be able to recognize the change and maturity of my written compositions. I do not use bombastic words or complex sentences, yet people have been saying that I write very well.

I think it is not that I write well. Rather, I can express my inner self well. Yvonne Foong today is a lot calmer on the inside and matured with control over her life. My writings reflect my inner self. I am expressing my inner self when I write. I accepted and made peace with my hearing loss within two years. I have also made peace with the fact that I am living with Neurofibromatosis. You are in truth feeling my inner self when you feel encouraged and touched from reading my words.

But just like Lee Hom, there was a short period of time after I lost my hearing, that I felt frustrated and upset. My relationships with people were affected. My expression wasn’t very nice. But it was temporary. That phase gradually came to pass when I found out that I could still express myself well by other means – by writing and speaking. It came to pass as I gradually regained control over my life in spite of circumstances, when I found inner peace and stability. When I rediscovered my purpose and direction.

Hence, I have faith in Lee Hom that he will pull through this phase and be able to compose beautiful music once again. Meanwhile, continue to support Lee Hom personally and enjoy this old song from him which, to me, is timeless.

Categories: Wang Lee Hom

Yvonne Foong

As a child, Yvonne Foong dreamed of growing up to help others. To achieve her ambition, she began studying to become a psychologist. But things changed when tumours were discovered in her body at the age of sixteen. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 -- a genetic illness with no cure. Fighting for survival, Yvonne turned to fundraising and embarked on a medical odyssey to the United States. Her experiences since then have transformed her into a motivational speaker; inspiring hope, faith and strength. Yvonne is currently working to establish a humanitarian foundation that provides NF patients in Malaysia with financial and logistical support. Visit Works of Gratitude to learn more.

8 Comments

small kucing · November 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Not only he have talent but good heart too. It’s good through him you met new friend

Yvonne Foong · November 20, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Yes Small Kuchirg he does have a good heart. A down to earth and humble heart.

E · November 21, 2013 at 1:00 am

And like him, you are such an inspiration! 🙂 Your strength and your grit is just so amazing. Thank you for writing and sharing. Keep it up!

Yvonne Foong · November 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

E

And I pray that Lee Hom will find his true voice again by his own inner strength and grit no matter how tough the situation at hand is. 🙂

Vivian Yip · November 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Hi Yvonne,

I am also a fan of Leehom.
I am really touched by your sharing and you are such a brave woman.
I read some of your older posts today and going to spend some time to enjoy it in depth.
By the way, I just have some comments for the lyrics of Forever love
爱你, 不是因为你的, not (美和影), is (美丽) Ai ni bu shi yin wei ni de (mei er yi) Loving you, not because of your (beauty).
所以我要 每, not (年), is (天) 研究你的笑容ouu…多么自然 Suo yi wo yao mei (tian) yan jiu ni de xiao rong, duo me zi ran Therefore I want to examine your smile every (day) how natural it is.

Keep in touch and take care.
Pray for you.

Love,
Vivian

Yvonne Foong · November 22, 2013 at 8:05 am

Hi Vivian,

Thank you for the corrections. I merely copied and pasted the lyrics from somewhere and did not read through the chinese characters. I do recognize the ones you corrected but not the others as I do not read Chinese, so I didn’t bother to go through them. 😀 Thank you.

Thanks for the compliments too. I hope Lee Hom would be encouraged by this article and our comments here too. May he know that there are many of us who sincerely support him even when he is facing challenges.

Laura Clancey · December 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

Yvonne, what a wonderful expression of that lovely day in Santa Monica. Music has been called the international language of emotions. It has the powet to bring people together, even those from the opposite side of the world and from very different cultures. Our friendship is but one example. I made another connection with a group of English teachers in rural Yunnan province in China last week. The English teachers in this part of China are not able to practice speaking in English. So, they were hesitant to speak in front of a native English speaker. I found that the best way for me to overcome this “shyness” was to sing. I sang many songs in English, but the song that was most appreciated was Wang Leehom’s “Chai mi you yan jiang cu cha.” I learned this song by listening to and singing along with Wang Leehom with the help of pinyin and English translations by Ourhome Europe. The teachers were suprised that I could sing this song, and they excitedly started to ask me many questions such as, “where did you learn about a Chinese singer,” ect. A connection had been made between rural Chinese English teachers and an American nurse. Leehom may never know just how powerful his music is but I am eternally grateful that he chose to share his music with the world. By the way, congratulations to Leehom and his lovely bride. I wish them many years of love and happiness.

Yvonne Foong · December 25, 2013 at 11:56 pm

Hi Laura. Sorry that I only noticed your comment yesterday. Did you tell the Yunnan teachers that your tiny friend has met Lee Hom and spoken to him? 😛 Wow it seems that Lee Hom is quite popular in China. I am surprised because China is a big land and they have their own singers.

Few days ago, I suddenly recalled Lee Hom’s “Forever First Day” after attending a school reunion. Do you know that song and its music?

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