:: dad’s voice

Some of you may not know, but my dad passed away on September 2, 2012.  He was three days away from his 67th birthday.  I remember that day clearly.  My cousin Delores called to tell me my dad was in the hospital.  The pain and urgency in her voice were very telling of his condition, and it’s still etched at the center of my mind.  The four hour drive from Burleson to San Antonio was a powerful time of pondering, preparation and prayer.  It was actually a peaceful time, which was completely from the Lord because my brothers and I had some hard decisions to make.

I give you that background to tell you what happened to me a couple days ago on my way into work.  The radio was on and I really wasn’t listening.  It was more of background noise to block other sounds so I could concentrate on prayer and in hearing the Lord’s voice. (Sounds super spiritual, but really, I don’t hear His voice as often as I’d like).  Well, the DJ went into reading a commercial for one of their sponsors.  Toward the end of the reading he ad lib’s  by saying, “Get your kids a cell phone.  They need to hear your voice every once in a while.”  That was a tough moment for me.  I was overwhelmed with emotion.  See, my dad was practically homeless.  I never knew where he was, except for his phone calls.  Every month he had a different pay-as-you-go cell phone.  I never knew his cell number except that it started with “210.”  So, when my phone rang and it was a 210 number it was usually him.  He called on every holiday and on our family’s birthdays.  Especially his own birthday, since I didn’t know how to get a hold of him.  As I pondered all that it hit me that I wouldn’t hear my dad’s voice again.

On the drive in I ran the last conversation we had in my head.  He said, “Mijo, I’m so proud of you and my mija, Paige.  You have the best sons in the world.  I can’t wait to see them again so they can play their guitars for me.  Maybe we can learn a song together and I’ll sing.” (Whew!)

papiAs the holidays approach I have to work through the reality that my dad won’t be calling me on Christmas Day to thank God for us.  He won’t call me on New Year’s Day to wish me a great year ahead.  He won’t be telling me all the Lord is doing in his life.  I won’t hear the excitement in his voice when he speaks of my sons and how he loves that they are all musically talented.  (He always took the credit for their talent).  He won’t tell me how he wants to visit my family and those of my brothers before he goes to the Lord.

I won’t hear him say, “Mijo, I love you.”

Call your kids.  “They need to hear your voice every once in a while.”

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14 responses to “:: dad’s voice

  1. “Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long within the land the Lord your God gives you.”

  2. Words fail me, brother. What a powerful story. I am with you. May you know God’s grace in profound ways this Advent season as you grieve the passing of your father.

  3. Wow my brother. What a beautiful and honest post. Made my heart ache and yet convicted me. I appreciate your heart brother. May our faithful God’s love and grace gently come into your heart and the messiness of your grief as the Christ-child gently came into our world and the messiness of a stable. Much love to you my brother. Grace and peace to you and your family.

  4. My mother finished her race just a little while before your father finished his. I can still feel the sharp edges of memory whenever I come across something that reminds me of her. So I think I know a little of how you feel. But I rejoice to hear your testimony that despite the challenges of his life, your father was able to affirm you as a father in his affirmation of your sons. In his own way, he was able to pass a blessing on to those after him, and in so doing to participate in connecting the coming generations to their heritage. He has taken his place in the great cloud of witnesses who, I am convinced, cheer us on even this very moment. Father in Heaven, I give thanks to you for the gift of Sr. Espinoza. Though his road was hard, he made a deposit in the earth who has risen to become a great father in his own right, and one of my dearest brothers. When I fellowship with Gibby, I will remember him. Amen and amen.

  5. Your dad was an encourager! …and I know from listening to you that he taught you alot…..and you’re passing that on to your sons. May the God of ALL comfort, continue to comfort you and He will! The blog about your dad is a wonderful idea and will bring healing in the long haul.

  6. As I get older, it becomes more clear that one of the very key central questions that will define our lives is how we will respond to suffering and sorrow. Gibby, I admire you. Much grace to you this season.

    • Steve & Lisa, I learned a lot from you two about working through suffering of the soul. You are such a blessing to me and my family. Thanks for being our friends and family. Grace and peace to you.

  7. Thanks for sharing this bro!! Lost my mom to cancer and still feel the loss 11 years later . Praying for you . May God give you peace.

  8. Thanks, Marty. Your friendship is immeasurable and constant. You rock!

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