July 8, 2008 07:20 PM
Please click here to make a donation to the An Ly Memorial Fund.
Dear Family and Friends,
I recently created a tribute fund through St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Please help us make a difference by contributing in honor of our loved one.
St. Jude Hospital has become a world renowned research facility in the area of pediatric cancers such as leukemia. Children from all across the U.S. as well as 60 foreign countries have been admitted to St. Jude without regard for the family's ability to pay.
St. Jude relies on the generosity of people like you to continue vital research and patient care programs, which are saving many young lives. Because of this support, St. Jude has seen the survival rate for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common form of leukemia, increase from 4% in 1962 to 94% today.
Join me in becoming a St. Jude Champion. Together we can become a Champion to thousands of children at St. Jude and make a difference in their lives. To learn more about St. Jude Tributes, please visit http://www.stjudetribute.org.
Please forward this e-mail to anyone that you feel might be interested.
July 8, 2008 07:00 PM
When someone passes away at the age of 31, they say it is untimely. When he is your brother, it becomes unfair.
An meant different things to different people for he was an ambitious person with diverse interests. His colleagues knew him as a tireless worker who often confused home for the office. His classmates resented him, for An was a bright student who always graduated with the highest of honors and first in his class. His friends, including his classmates (and neighbors), adored him for his humor, taste, and imagination, qualities that fueled his passion for singing, cooking, and photography. His relatives, his wife, and his family… we simply loved him for him, every moment that he was with us, and every moment thereafter. We loved him when he was healthy and he redefined our capacity to love when he became ill.
Most acknowledged An for his intellect but I understood him for much more than that. When An graduated from high school in 1993, he collected more than a diploma. He was awarded with multiple shiny medals that decorated his neck, and made him appear like a world-class Olympian for his various outstanding academic achievements. After the ceremonies, An happily lent me a few of his medals amidst the celebrations. I proudly wore them around my neck and proceeded to walk around town as if I earned them. That evening, I was never more popular. I felt like someone who just won the local election in a landslide the people’s overwhelming choice, the people’s champion. An understood the type of recognition I would receive, and he was willing to share his success and his moment for another’s happiness. I tell you this story now because, in truth, An always was my champion.
Late in life, An developed a keen interest in photography. Much like anything he ever pursued, he became a skilled photographer in no time. I never asked him how or why he was fascinated with photography. Perhaps he knew his time was short and wanted to leave tangible memories long after he’d gone. Or perhaps he found inspiration in his subjects, vitality to his life. But no matter the reason, through photography, An had the ability to illuminate beauty from the ordinary. He used his camera to capture that we could not see, and today, I use my voice and speak for all… let us always remember and cherish, he, whom we cannot see.
An, life before you seemed forgetful, with you, beautiful, and after you, meaningful. Thank you all for your kindness and sympathy, and thank you An, the most courageous person I ever knew.
July 8, 2008 07:00 PM
We are here today to honor An Ly and the life he lead.
I met An for the first time almost 10 years ago. I had a new assignment at CA and An was a member of the new team. We hit it off immediately I think it was a feeling of mutual respect. For me, I was impressed that someone so young could have such a good grasp of software development; for him, I think it might have been that he was impressed that someone so old could have such a good grasp of software development. In any case, we had a great time working together.
Over time I continued to be impressed with both his genius and his maturity. I then started to notice that everyone was impressed with An. Not only were they impressed they frequently relied on An he was the team’s technical authority. Whenever you needed help to either understand something or to get something done quickly, you could always go to An. He was always willing to help no matter how busy he was already. He treated everyone with respect. He was a good friend to all.
I don’t want you to think that An was just all about serious, genius and maturity. He had a sense of humor that frequently caught you off guard - a smile, a laugh, a glimmer in his eye. His humor ranged from corny to complex it was hardly ever predictable. I didn’t know until last Christmas that he was a Karaoke singer.
An was a great photographer. A good photograph should portray something more than the image being photographed. An was able to identify this soul of the photograph and share it with the viewer not just the image. His photographs made you feel like you were there that you were part of the whole. When I take photographs of beautiful places I’m always thinking now how would An frame this what elements are important how will the viewer feel when they look at the photograph. He will always be a part of every photograph I take on every trip.
Upon announcing their intention to marry, An and Christina bestowed upon my wife, Elaine, and I the honor of being the god-parents for their marriage, their Ninang and Ninong. It was an incredible gift to us. They became a part of our family and we became a part of theirs. It is one of those special relationships where each side feels that they receive more than they give. It is an honor that Elaine and I have cherished.
I know that each of us have some special remembrances of our time with An. I want to share one of mine. We were sitting together one day a few months ago. I was sadly musing about all the things that I had hoped we would have done together mostly travel to distant lands - things that we just didn’t get around to doing. He looked at me and said “no regrets”. I know as we sit here today he would share that same message with each of you “no regrets”.
Sometimes I’ve wondered about all the things An could have accomplished given more time. We used to kid around at work and estimate the time required to perform a task in man-days versus An-days. We always multiplied estimates from An by at least 2 if someone other than An was going to do the work. An compressed as much into his short life as most people do in a lifetime.
I had the opportunity of visiting An frequently over the last few months. I witnessed the loving care that his wife and his family gave him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I know that he felt their love and devotion towards him.
We all miss him terribly, but without a doubt we are all the better for having known him and shared his life. He has changed all of us in some way. I feel that we all leave here today knowing that a bit of An is a part of each of us.
When I think of An, I will remember
his gentle smile
his easy going nature
his willingness to help others
his ability to do anything
his enthusiasm for learning
his sense of humor
his inspiring photographs
his love of life
Finally, I want to share this poem entitled “Poem of Life”
Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what's to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay...
Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey's quicker,
For some the journey's slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We'll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the Lord