Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 16 - eulogy

O LORD, be gracious to us;
we long for you.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress. Isaiah 33:2

I still can't find the right words to tell you all about Anderson. I guess I'm looking for words to do the impossible... to bring him back to life...but on paper. I guess it's not totally impossible. I just can't find the words right now. I decided to write a eulogy instead... for now. This is my first one ever and it's mostly facts. Hope it's OK.

Anderson Chen was born on June 27, 1981 to Kenbow and Suely Chen in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. He was also welcomed home by his 9-year old sister, Kelly Chen. Although the Chen family is Taiwanese in heritage, they are also very much Brazilian as well. When Anderson was 6 years old, his father bought a house in Hacienda Heights, CA and the family moved in shortly afterwards. Anderson went to Wedgeworth Elementary School, Cedarlane Middle School, Wilson High School, and finally UCI where he graduated with a BA in international studies with a minor in digital arts. Although Anderson went to school in California, his family kept a business in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He spent his summers in Brazil, keeping up his Portuguese and developing his business skills. Since his parents ran the business in Brazil, he would often be cared for by his big sister, Kelly. Although not part of his immediate family, he grew up very close to his cousins (Sanny, Nelson, and Allan Chen) and good family friends (Alex and Fernando Pa). They all supported one another and grew up together since their parents were mostly in Brazil running their respective businesses.

As a child, he had fond memories of swimming competitively at the Hilltop Sheraton (now Pacific Palms) and playing little league at the field adjacent to his elementary school. He also continued playing baseball in high school for a year. Although his baseball career ended in high school, he continued to play in intramural softball leagues in college and was a loyal Dodger fan. Anderson was also an avid bowler; he would go bowling every week with his good friend, Fernando, and joined a bowling league for a time.

After college, Anderson had considered working for the United Nations, going to culinary school, or going back to Brazil to take over the family business. He chose to support his family and work in Brazil. He met his wife-to-be during his last year at college and they began dating a month before he graduated and left for work in Brazil. Anderson had many Christian friends, and their love convinced him to seriously consider the claims of Jesus Christ and the Bible. While Anderson was in Brazil in 2003, he prayed to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior.

Anderson went back and forth from Brazil to California for three years after he graduated from college. He would spend 3 months in Brazil, one month in California, and then go back to Brazil for another three months, all the while his relationship with his girlfriend, Tiffany Ng, continue to grow with the help of the internet and webcam.

His battle with brain cancer began in California in October of 2006 and ended in Texas on July 22, 2009. While struggling with and enduring cancer treatment through multiple recurrences, his body became weaker, but his relationship with Tiffany grew stronger and deeper. On January 10, 2009, he married his best friend and soul mate, Tiffany. Their marriage was short, but rich. Their sacrificial love was special and precious; it was a love that inspires others to love one another more. It was a love that grew deeper and stronger in the face of adversity. Just as the Bible describes it, their love was from God who enabled them to love because He first loved them.

Anderson was a blessing to all who knew him and always seemed to lighten and brighten everyone around him with his smile, his unique sense of humor and way with words. He had a big heart and always put others before himself. He loved his family and friends very much, and in his battle with cancer, he had no fear of death;.his concerns were for those he would leave behind. Anderson had always been a generous and faithful friend, and he remained that way to the end. He lived a life full of love and laughter despite tremendous physical pain and sorrow for leaving his wife and family so early in life. His motto was to do it once and do it right, for we all only live only once. It is evident that Anderson did it right and did it quick. Surely Jesus welcomed Anderson by telling him “Well done, Anderson, my good and faithful servant!”

We look forward to seeing you again in heaven, Anderson Yi Kwan Chen. (end of eulogy)

I miss you, husband. Can't wait to see you again.

No comments:

Post a Comment