I had a rough night last night. So much was weighing on my heart, mind, and body... I wasn't used to it. I really missed Anderson... so much so that I went and watched his videos again just to see him and hear him. I cry all the time, but last night I cried harder than I'd cried in a long, long time. It wasn't so much that my heart was aching with longing... but that it was breaking from the realization that I was falling in love with my husband all over again.
I've gotten so used to living without him. I definitely miss him all the time, everyday, but my life has changed so drastically... and has moved in a different direction and all the love I used to pour into him is now being poured out onto other people around me. Life has definitely changed. A lot.
So I went and found that folder on his desktop labeled "for tiff" and I watched the 3 videos he recorded for me the day before our wedding (January 9, 2009). His love for me and his excitement really showed in his voice and on his face. There were also a few other documents in the folder: his journal, another document written especially for me, and another document full of things he'd copy and pasted from my emails to him. I'd tried reading his journal one other time before and I couldn't get very far that time. Yesterday, I tried again. This time, I read all the way through.
I think I started to understand why some of you still read my writing. I used to wonder why it was even interesting to any of you... especially since almost all my blogs are SO DARN LONG. Especially people who don't even know me... I just didn't really get it. When something doesn't apply to me, it usually doesn't hold very much interest for me. After reading through his journals... I saw how even though I lived right alongside with him... his thoughts, his struggles, his viewpoints were completely different from mine. It was like seeing life through his eyes and it was... enlightening, encouraging, heartbreaking, and yet... lovely. It was like discovering a side of him that I never knew... and discovering it last night... I fell in love with him all over again. He wrote things in his journal that he never told me. He wrote about his feelings... he wrote about his faith... about God... and he always made it a point to write about how much he loved and appreciated me. I always knew that he did but somehow... maybe... I don't know... it hit me yesterday with so much impact... like he was telling me for the first time that he loved me.
By the way... something he was kind of embarrassed about... but I always made fun of him... for saying "I love you" first... just 2 weeks after we'd started dating. It totally took me by surprise. He barely knew me... or so I thought. Somewhere in his writing... he wrote that so many people misunderstood me... but it didn't matter because he understood me and he saw my heart. I really miss that.
Mostly what hit me was how much he'd grown spiritually. His faith... he never really talked about it. All I saw on the outside was frustration... but his writing revealed to me that he really did understand... he did love God... he did have so much peace... a peace that I did not have at that time. He said in his journal... and he's said it to me many times that he was the one most prepared out of his entire family to "take one for the team". God had been preparing him and his character long before brain cancer ever started to plague his life. He really was the best man I've ever known. I'm so thankful and blessed to have known him, to have married him, to have been sanctified by him, and to continually be encouraged and strengthened by his example of love... for God... for me... and for his family.
I can't believe that he never wrote more. I have never read any essays he'd written. He's written me little notes here and there... but man... some of the stuff he wrote in his journal... I really got a glimpse inside his head and in his heart... I wish he'd taken the time to write more. Here's some excerpts that really moved me:
May 11, 2008, Sunday:
Sitting next to Tiff & being close to her is something I can do anytime any day all day. Doesn't matter what it is, sitting at church service or through a 10-hour lecture about the most boring thing in the world, if Tiff's there and I can hold hands with her and stare at her... I'm game. She calms my heart, her heart talks to mine when we're connected and we don't have to say a word.
June 6, 2008:
I was pretty excited to shop for rings. It's something I know that tiff has been waiting a long time for and something that I really really want her to have from me. i really want to marry her and have kids and raise them our way and see their kids grow up too. i want to grow old with tiff, i think we'd make ...... no, I KNOW we'll make a great couple even when we're old and wrinkly. I know i will still love her like i did our first few dates in irvine. I can't wait to marry tiff.
June 15, 2008:
to Tiff: the love of my life. My wish is to marry you. to have kids and own a home with you. remember, home is where the heart is. a house is just a building. i want to raise our kids like us. a little bit of you and a little bit of me. i know we are going to do great. you're the most amazing person i've ever met. and dont think that because you're my one and only, that I haven't seen whats out there. I know whats out there and nothing is as pretty as you. your heart beats for me and I can hear it. I hope you can hear my heart that beats for you as well. either that or you can check my pulses.
July 15, 2008:
tiff, God couldn't have matched us up any better. He knew i would get sick, so he brought me a nurse, a beautiful one at that. this is whats important to me. mom, dad kelly bk and tiff. my beautiful family and wife. this is whats been important to me since the beginning. although no one should go through this, the ONE positive outcome of having a disease is that the dirty worldly filter that covers your eyes are lifted and taken away so you can clearly see whats priority, whats important, what love is. For me, i see exactly that and i'm glad that this filter has been lifted off my eyes. family and tiff, don't cry too much... im ok. really. don't cry ok. cuz im right here next to you guys... watching over you always. im going to take care of you. im going to ask God to do the right things for us so you can all live long and happy lives. it is my duty to make sure someone is ok, and i'll take one for the team and do this for all of us. im probably the best one for the job so thats why God is choosing me. on the other hand, if he doesnt choose me, then thats ok too. just know that im ok. i am at peace. i am OVERLY satisfied with my SO blessed life because of you guys. i love you.
July 26, 2008:
for the record: i just want to state that if anything happens to me during or after my surgery this coming thursday, know that I am 100% content with what i have. with what i have experienced and for everyone that's involved in my life. i am full, as you would say it if you were at a restaurant... well, "i am stuffed" in matters of life. thank you to all.
May 12, 2008, Monday:
Personally, I'm scared about the future, but I have faith I will be with Tiffany forever. Tiff, if you're reading this, know that if I'm not physically here anymore, doesn't mean I'm not with you. I will always watch over you no matter what so always feel secure. Always feel loved. Always smile. Reminds me of my senior quote: "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." -Dr. Seuss
Ok well, there's a whole lot more good stuff but... I figure I'll stop copy and pasting now.
Anderson Chen was a remarkable man. He was so full of love. I'm glad he left this remnant of his thoughts for me to find and I'm glad I got the chance to be refreshed by his love once again.