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