MEMORIES OF JERRY
A few thoughts and memories of a good friend who unexpectedly passed away at far too young an age
- •A dreamerJerry was a dreamer and not in the negative sense. He dreamt big and chased those dreams from a childhood in a smaller Chinese city to an education in Shanghai and a global career already in his young life. He wasn't afraid of new challenges. I think that's what made him so great. He sought happiness and never let fear get in his way. Jerry dreamt big and lived an amazing yet short life. He lived more of his dreams in his time than many do in much longer lives.
- •An example of selfless serviceShortly after first meeting Jerry I needed somebody to drive 4 hours round trip to pick me up from the Tulsa airport. Jerry was happy to do so and refused any offer of gas money despite having just bought his first car and gotten his driver's license. Jerry was the kind of guy that would truly do anything for a friend and his definition of a friend was wide and encompassing.
- •A respecter of all livesOn our way back, an armadillo ran out in front of us and was killed. In Arkansas, it's very common to see dead raccoons and armadillos throughout the year so my initial reaction was laughter. When I turned to say something about it to Jerry, I could tell he was visibly upset by the death of even such a simple creature. I was taught by example a powerful lesson in the value of each and every life. Something I've often reflected on since this memory with Jerry.
- •Calm under fireIn our roles as difficult as it seemed to be in front of customers, I did not envy Jerry's role. Each week he was the man who stood ready to fix whatever disaster may have taken place. He was pulled in every direction on Monday mornings but you would never know it from talking to him. He methodically worked through the issues and kept me apprised of progress. There was a reason he was chosen to support one of our company's most difficult businesses and that was because he's calm under fire.
- •The best dinner guestI'm no great cook but when Sissi arrived in the US I invited her and Jerry to my house for dinner. I made a green bean casserole that I learned to make from the packaging on the fried onions. I'm no Anthony Bourdain. I tell you though, the way Jerry kept going back for seconds made me feel like I could actually cook. Jerry and Sissi brought gifts and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening spent in their company.
- •A loving sonJerry spoke often of his mother and her health. He worried much about her well-being and cherished the time he had to spend with her in China accompanying her to the hospital. His example made me wish I had been more like him through my own mother's illness. Despite the distance, Jerry's mother and her troubles was never forgotten to Jerry. A better son could not have been asked for.
- •An amazing husbandI can't speak too much of his married life as all I knew about Jerry's marriage was that he deeply loved Sissi. As difficult as the first year of marriage can be, you would've never known from talking to Jerry. I never knew him to say a negative thing about his wife. He was loyal to his wife and did anything for her. Jerry worked hard to provide a better life for his wife and family. He truly was amazing in how much he loved Sissi and I am grateful Jerry was able to experience such love.
- •A great friendJerry was always a pleasure to speak with. We oftentimes discussed the peculiarities of each other's respective culture. We would find laughter in many things. I never knew Jerry to be down. He always greeted me with a cheerful "早” (zao) in the mornings. My life was better with Jerry as a friend. Yes, we worked together, but our friendship extended far beyond just coworkers. I consider him one of my best friends from my time in Arkansas and I've cried knowing he's passed.