it’s a love story | tamara & leon

Need to Know Prelude Notes:  Tamara is one of my oldest and closest friends. She’s always been a little shy and aloof, but she was the first girl at Avondale to invite me over for a play date when I arrived in year 3. We’ve had some serious hang out time over the past 23 years; we watched Pulp Fiction 53 times in the school holidays and basically lived in an attic for a week watching movies, sleeping, talking and laughing without thought to the outside world. We make up funny & imaginative stories about our parallel lives as superheroes, we do our nails and read magazines on the grass, we cook, we talk about books and films and music, but often its the things that Tam doesn’t say that I pick up on the most. She doesn’t talk about her feelings much, but I have seen her cry (which is rare outside of closed doors) and I know about her frustrations & hurt with her family (both true and biological) and even though she isn’t outwardly affectionate to anyone and everyone like me, she has a beautiful tender nurturing interior that you get to see if you get through the exterior. She is an amazing Mum who takes the time to explain things and nurture her children’s individuality. She doesn’t mind that I shower her with kisses and give her hugs and am sometimes a bit too rough with her delicate Korean feet! We don’t agree on some things (such as religion & politics), but we have a friendship that understands and accepts that people have different experiences and beliefs. She has a beautiful heart  and a creative spirit. That’s my Tamara. And this is her love story.


“Why was your wife so special?”                
“How long is your program? It was a million little things.  When you added them up, it meant we were meant for each other.” 
(Sleepless in Seattle)

I have been asked, often by nosey students in Korea, to tell the love story of how I met my husband.  They wanted to know, because they thought that Leon got little love hearts in his eyes when he spoke of me.  I’m often stumped at this question and I’m likely to come up with a different version each time.  There was no lightning bolt moment, no remarkable tale of coincidence and no grand romantic gestures in front of bemused bystanders.  And thank goodness, because it is possible that I may one day die of embarrassment because of a public display of affection.
Fans of The X Files may remember how the tension between Mulder and Scully was built up for seasons, only to be resolved OFF SCREEN.  The audience may have felt cheated but it was quite true to the understated nature of the characters.  An outpouring of emotion would have been weird.  So too, goes the relationship between his Mulder to my Scully.  You will have to infer what we are feeling, rather than listen to a flowery description of what we mean to each other.
So The Story has four parts.
Part 1: Mel points out some guy that she thinks is hot at Tuggerah.  I paid little attention.  Mel was always pointing out some guy that she thought was hot.
Part 2: I accompanied Grace to a pre-party gathering at Geoff Crews’ flat.  He lived with Jared; they were friends with Leon Dawes.  We spoke a little but he didn’t speak to me the next time we crossed paths at the coffee shop.  I thought it was a bit rude.  He was just a bit shy.
Part 3: Lindy had a party at her house and we spoke a little bit more.  We agreed to meet at the coffee shop.  The next time we crossed paths, he actually sat down at the same table with me for a coffee.
Part 4: The Whitlams played at uni.  He nearly didn’t go, but Lindy talked him into it.  I didn’t want to go either, but Lindy made me because I was staying at her house that night.  So it was meant to be…
FF fourteen years later.  We’ve travelled together, worked together, had a family together, been through it all together.  I hate questions like, “Why did you fall in love with your husband?”  I honestly don’t know the answer.  I feel like an idiot trying to quantify either of us.  We work with what we’ve got and try to learn something along the way.  There’s more to learn; much, much more.
The children are jumping on me and pulling their pants down for a laugh.  I don’t set too many goals for the future, other than nurturing a proper relationship with my husband and children, and make some warm memories so that I’m not cold in winter.  In the end, relationships and memories are the only things that count.

Leon Dawes & Tamara Esau
Mr & Mrs Dawes
Their girls: Willow (L) & Finley (R)


  1. Thank you for such a kind and generous introduction. It’s so thoughtful, I think you should read that at my funeral (I am serious). PS that photo makes me want my long hair back!

  2. OK, but by that time I’ll have to add some significant other stuff to it too!
    that is THE hair photo that I love! Its my favourite – you look like a beautiful Amazon jungle woman, albeit a small one!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s