My dad, was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico in 1939. He married the love of his life, Aida. They remained together for more than 55 years. Their marriage was a perfect example of what true love is.
He was employed with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for more than 25 years. He retired, however, he always kept busy and did not stop. Dad loved traveling and enjoyed nature. His last trip before his passing was in December 2019, when he travelled to Puerto Rico for one last time.
He and mom had six children, whom they loved equally. Dad loved helping us with whatever he could and also taught us how to become independent. He was proud of his children and grateful to God for the mantel of protection over us. He prayed for his children everyday. Dad supported our decisions, but also told us to pray to God and follow our hearts. Your wisdom Dad, was treasured and valued. He embraced every moment he had with us. When it came to his grandchildren, he loved them and was overjoyed when they came to visit or he would visit them. He once said, "you are truly blessed when you could see your grandchildren have children and becoming a great-grandparent."
Dad was determined to have what he wanted and did not stop until he obtained it. His love for God was evident and whenever he had the opportunity, he spoke to strangers about how great God was and how much God loved them. Many found him to be strange, but my dad did not mind. He was not ashamed of the gospel.
Dad was gracious, loving, humble, honorable, forgiving and had a unique sense of humor. His heart was one of a kind and his willingness to help those in need, was truly impressive. His life was a living example of his favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 4:32 - "And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ."
My brother, Jessie once told me the story about a conversation that he had with dad, which made me smile when I heard it. They story was during a visit to our parents house, dad was preparing breakfast and when Jessie arrived dad came out to greet him. They both sat down outside and began talking about the birds overhead chirping on the tree branches. Jessie said: Hey dad, did you know why birds chirp in the mornings? Dad asked why? Because, they are letting other birds know that the branches where they sit on are theirs. Dad's reply to Jessie's statement was; son, that was a great analogy, but let me tell you the real reason why, "they sing because they are praising the Lord as He provides for them everyday. Dad was referencing a passage int he bible from Matthew 6:25-27 "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?
Dad was self-taught guitar player. He loved music and was extremely active in his church. He volunteered many times in events, he was respected and loved among members of the congregation.
One year during his birthday, mom asked me to take her to buy a red guitar for dad. Mom and I were excited because we knew that dad was going to love his gift, especially if it came from mom. I had the privilege of taking mom to the guitar store and there the guitar was purchased. He opened the guitar case, his face lit up and his handsome smile appeared. He gave mom the biggest hug and he thanked her for his gift. He immediately sat down in the kitchen and began tuning and playing his new guitar. Of course, with his new guitar at hand, he began praising the Lord.
Dad was a kid at heart. He attempted doing things that he knew it would not be possible, but he did it anyways. I remember one night when he arrived home from work, he came in smiling. Mom asked him why he was smiling and he began telling mom that he had ripped his pants as he attempted to jump a pole that measured four feet. He did this during his break time from work. "I still remember the laughters from that experience as mom, dad and I could not stop laughing."
Dad had no problems voicing out his love for his family. Being a great father, grandfather and great-grandfather was a huge part of dad's identity, and the ways that he showed his love said a lot about the man he was. My siblings and I respected you and admire you. You earned it because you were the best father anyone could ask for.
Dad will live on and his legacy will continue through my siblings and I. There are millions of great memories that we shall share with those who did not known you. You will never be forgotten Dad! We miss you so much, but we are comforted with knowing that you are in the arms of God; your creator.
Towards the end, you gave it your best to fight diabetes and dementia. I thank God for keeping your mind sound where you still recognized your family. You knew everyone by name, the Lord kept your mind in tack. I will never forget the last time I said goodbye and asked you to get better. I said; "I love you, be well soon" and your replied back was, "I love you too baby."
Mom misses you Dad, she is keeping strong and rest assured that we shall take great care of her. I wish that I knew how heaven feels like. I am happy that you are not suffering anymore. What a privilege it must be being in the presences of God. God allowed you 81 wonderful years of life, and that made you a blessed man. Your destiny was set to bless many, mission accomplished Dad. I could only imagine God telling you, job well done my son!
I cannot not wait to see you again Dad. I know that you will be waiting for your family in the gates of heaven. Love you forever!
A visitation for my father is planned for Monday, June 8, 2020 , from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The visitation will be at the Christian Funeral Home, 3100 Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618. All are invited to attend. The funeral will follow immediately at 2:00 p.m.