I would like to say thank you to so many of you and the love and support that we’ve received over the past week. It has been a rough couple of weeks, and last Saturday we laid to rest Kim’s brother Chuck after his sudden death after complications from neck surgery.
I first walked into the Cordova home at 4316 Willow Woods Dr. in Annandale Virginia in mid March of 1980. I had just asked the beautiful 16 year old Kim Cordova out on a dinner date to Pepper’s Texas Barbecue & I was hoping to make a good first impression to her parents – but, I quickly learned that in the Cordova home, you had better be flexible, because life doesn’t always go according to plan! Her parents weren’t there, Kim was running a few minutes late, and her sister Kesti was babysitting their 14 year old mentally handicapped brother Chuck – who, couldn’t care less that I was there! I came to learn that Chuckie was a gift from God who taught all of us the meaning of 1) Taking Risks – for to babysit Chuck was a risk in itself.
2) Life is about serving others – not your own instant desires.
3) God’s grace is sufficient for all of life’s circumstances.
Below is an email that my brother in law Rev. “Super” Jonny Minns received from his father – Bishop Martyn Minns, that I read during the homily. Couldn’t have said it better than the good Bishop. Rest in Peace Chuck – we miss you, but take great comfort that you are with the Lord, and that you are whole!
Chuck Cordova … Rest in Peace
Chuckie’s life spoke volumes even though he never spoke words that we could understand. Carole and Charlie Cordova followed by their three amazing daughters – Kesti, Kim and Celeste – loved him and cared for him throughout his life and he reflected that love to the people around him. They are an amazing testimony to the power of God’s love.
Angela and I came to know this remarkable family though our son Jon’s marriage to Celeste. We were, and are, humbled by the costly devotion that they have all demonstrated throughout the years. Truly they showed what it means to treat a human life, every human life, as a sacred gift. At this time of year we are reminded of the Sanctity of Life by public demonstrations and annual statements – they are important – but the Cordova family lived it out year-by-year, day-by-day and hour-by-hour. They never sought any special recognition for their commitment but truly God has been glorified by their faithfulness and by Chuckie’s life.
My favorite memory of Chuckie is the day he came to the Truro Chapel just after his mother Carole died. No-one knew how he would react to the sight of her lifeless body in a casket. In tears we all watched him as he walked up to the front of the chapel and then stand at attention – as an honor guard – next to her. In his silence he spoke more eloquently than any preacher. To this day his life continues to speak of the sacrificial love and unconditional commitment of this amazing family.
May God continue to bless them and give them the comfort of knowing that Chuckie is now reunited with Carole and Charlie in the presence of the heavenly Father who loves him even more than they ever could – where there are no more tears, no more death, no more mourning, no more crying, no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Truly Chuckie is at peace and God has been glorified. – Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns