Another Day More, Please !
Helen Tio '69

On February 28, 2005, my old pal and classmate, Spud Tai Leung Sum(Class of 1969), sent a heartfelt e-mail to me, my sisters and his dear friends. He requested a favor from us to send his wife, who was battling cancer, a surprise birthday card.

He wrote:
From the Oscar-winning musical, "Oliver", 1968:
"Food, glorious food¡KOne boy, boy for sale, it's only 7 guineas¡KConsider yourself part of the family¡KI do anything, for you everything¡K Who will buy this wonderful morning¡KI'm reviewing the situation¡K"
I saw this movie at a Causeway Bay theater in Hong Kong in 1969 with a St. Mark's schoolmate. It was such a memorable performance, with their unforgettable songs, dance, screen play and marvelous production.

All these years I have not been able to locate a DVD or video tape of the movie. Sally saw the advertisement of the special Oscar-winning movie, "Oliver", on the movie channel late Saturday night for the early morning broadcast. She set her alarm clock to get up at 5:00 am on Sunday morning to record this movie.

With her feeble physical condition from a stroke suffered a month ago, her left arm and leg mostly non ¡Vfunctional and with difficulty opening her left eye, she still had the sharp mind, love and care to focus on one of my few favorite things. I was awakened that morning by the sound of her struggle and came downstairs to see what was happening in the early morning. I was left speechless and in tears from her thoughtful deed.

There are not many ways to re-pay my soulmate for the last 20 years of our joyful journey together. I know I could humbly request a big favor from you to send her a card by e-mail to SleeplessSally@xxxxxxxx@net; or a birthday card by the old-fashioned way by March 12 to our address: (No present needed)

Sally Tai
(address, USA)

Sally always cheers up when she hears from old friends, church people, neighbors, colleagues, schoolmates, etc.. She would enjoy hearing from you.

I am so thankful to be a part of Sally's life.


Tai 2/28/2005

P.S. Note1: The photo attachment was taken yesterday. She was practicing driving her first powered chair and going up and down the newly-constructed ramp (built by my thoughtful neighbor, Paul, & his son, Josh).

Note 2: Even though this is not a Leap year (with February 29), the last day of February always brings back memories of how we first met in October 1983. She surprised me by proposing to me on February 29, 1984, and I have been ever thankful I said "Yes and a thousand yes" that day.

On March 10, I offered to post his story in our Alumni newsletter and this was his reply:

The movie was some 35 years ago¡Kand it was like yesterday. I simply could not forget the indelible image of Oliver trembling and stumbling to the front, asking innocently¡KPlease Sir, can I have ¡Kmore!!! At times and on many late nights, I often wondered whether I could ask the same question: Please Sir, can Sally have¡Kmore(days with us)¡K

Many thanks for offering to post my story. Please proceed as you have suggested: those who want to contact Tai can e-mail Helen Tio for his e-mail or home address.

Thanks again for your kindness and recommendation.

Tai 3/10/2005

Late in the evening of April 2, Tai informed us that his beloved wife had passed away at 5 pm., the same Saturday that Pope John Paul II left the world.

Tai and 9 of our classmates attended the alumni dinner in November 1999 at Century Palace, as some of you may recall. It was also our 30th annual class reunion. Tai also attended the 10th Anniversary Calgary Alumni celebration. Many St Markans in Calgary and Edmonton know him quite well as he was the House leader of Mercury in 1968.

Those who know Sally will agree with me that she was a woman full of affection and passion. Tai summarized his love for her by using the words of the framed paint they bought and treasured from the Minneapolis Uptown Art Festival in the summer of 1985:

I would have missed so many things
If we had never met,
The happiness of moments
Much too special to forget,
The warmth of caring deeply
And sharing as we do,
But most of all,
I would have missed
The joy of loving you

My sisters and I express our deepest sympathy for our dear friend at this sorrowful time. Tai was also a mentor to my sister, Fung Heung Ming (Amy), at St Mark's string instrument club. His parents and ours also became "morning walker" friends who strolled the hills of Shaukiwan after we left as students for Canada and he for the USA. Just as he was a model student, he was also a loving model husband, a Saint Markan whose face lit up when he talked about his wife!