Children’s Guest Post: Ode To My Father

Today in Spain we celebrate Fathers’ Day, it coincides with the feast of Saint Joseph. I leave you here with a poem that one of my sons wrote for the first anniversary of the death of my husband, on March 6th. It has 56 stanzas: one for every year of life that he lived.

 

Within a large family

You had the luck of being born

Julita and Pablo as parents

A marriage of faith

 

Baptized Jose Maria

Everyone knew you as Chema

“Good ‘ol Chema,” as everyone said

Goodness was your virtue

 

As a young man, a great athlete

You played basketball with your brothers

You were champion in the triple jump

Everyone knew you were born with it

 

But when God calls, he asks for something

And you were called to something great

God asked a lot from you

And from pain, you could not separate

 

First in your knees

They placed several nails

And all types of sports

You had to put aside

 

Jesus after the nails

Died for all of us

You lived with them

It was your cross, your Calvary

 

After that came the accident

Your back was damaged for life

Continuous pains and operations

God still asked you for more

 

You suffered a depression

Had to stay in bed for a several months

It’s not easy to leave sports

I understand perfectly well

 

Afterward, your father passed away

Someone I was never able to meet

Beloved Grandpa Pablo

In Heaven, I will see you

 

For you, he was a role model

You even wanted to look like him

What happened was very difficult

And once again you fell down

 

But when God sends you a test

He sends the strength to overcome it

You overcame it all

And returned to your daily routine

 

Your life is summarized by three:

God, family, and friends

The three pillars of your life

They were always with you

 

God was always the first

He was the one you went to

In both the joy and in the pain

You knew where they both came from

 

For your mother and younger siblings

You were responsible for taking care

Working and earning money

On you, they relied for their bread

 

Friends you had many

For that, you had a gift

You knew how to care for them

You put all your heart into it

 

You wanted to start a family

But you didn’t find a wife

What has God prepared?

You prayed relentlessly for her

 

“That she might be good and pious

That she loves You as much or more than me

That she is open to life

And that she loves me as I am”

 

You met her in Valencia

She came from a big family

It was love at first sight

Her name was Rosa

 

You told you had a girlfriend

They asked you who was the lucky one

You soon disappointed them

When you said she was from Catalonia

 

You looked for excuses to convince them

But you couldn’t find any

They finally changed their mind

When you introduced her to them

 

Your day had come,

The 15th of July,

The day of “Yes, I do”

When two became one

 

You both promised forever

In sickness and in health

In the good times and in the bad

You formed a single unit

 

Rosa became your way to Heaven

You couldn’t without her

Well, a marriage is a union

They go up together or wherever they prefer

 

Such was your union

That one look was enough

To ask for a favor,

Ask for forgiveness or thanks

 

Your love was so great

That the fruits could not wait

And after only nine months

Carmina arrived in your home

 

She was very sick

Her heart wouldn’t respond

But she could overcome this

It was through the strength of prayer

 

Then came Javi and Montsita

Also with heart problems

It was very difficult to bury two of your children

To offer them up to the Lord

 

“Do not have more children”

The doctors and nurses repeated

Including friends and relatives

God put you both to the test

 

Married young and with dreams

With a desire to spread love

To bring love to this world

What would the Lord want?

 

“But in my bed nobody can interrupt

Neither the minister nor the mother-in-law

How many children to bring into the world

An intimate decision that was solely ours”

 

You did not place limits on God

And the children began to arrive

Eighteen in Nineteen years

For your faith you both were blessed

 

There were days when you arrived late

Tired after work

Even so, you told us a story

Nobody could tell you were exhausted

 

You did not limit yourself to reading one book

You invented a story right there on the spot

You even acted them out in the room

What great stories you told us

 

You did not settle with your family

You wanted to help others

You traveled around the whole world

Teaching others your work

 

You never gave lectures

Only taught others by your example

With your highly contagious smile

You showed what you held deep inside

 

You advised many who were looking

You never said no to anyone who asked

And all of this, without expecting anything in return

Suddenly you became their guide

 

And more trials were to come

Lolita was sick, Carmi went to Heaven

What did God want from us?

It’s difficult to escape this pain

 

Your secret was the Tabernacle

There you regained much of your strength

You went to Mass daily

That’s how you started your day

 

You taught us to pray for everyone

I still remember the prayers

And I continue to pray them daily

They’ve brought me many blessings

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this house

It’s the strength of the Rosary prayed as a family

The weapon that can do all

The weapon that cures all

 

Cancer of the liver

It was your final test

Your last battle

In this life, here on earth

 

God first takes the best

And you were very prepared

You had already done all your homework

And above all, you had loved

 

Those days in the hospital

We all went to support you

You could not leave us

We needed our father

 

Many people prayed for you

The messages didn’t stop coming

Nobody believed it

Please, hold on!

 

Including the Pope from Rome

He sent you his blessing

He prayed for you in the Mass

He pleaded for your healing

 

God’s plans were different

And the 6th of March arrived

In the morning, at eight o’clock

You were taken into His arms

 

I imagine you entering Heaven

The ovation you must have received

Everyone on their feet, cheering

Dad, you deserved it

 

In your 56 years

You did a lot of good

You brought many closer to God

You helped many to be reborn

 

Your coffin was pushed by all

Sons and daughters on each side

It was our last goodbye

It was your last gift

 

The Gothic Basilica

It gave us a glimpse of Heaven

With the dark tone of the clothes

We remembered that you were no longer here

 

4,000 people came to say farewell

In Our Lady of the Sea

Crying and celebrating

You were already in the eternal home

 

It’s been one year since you left

It is painful just thinking about it

And even if I wait, write, or pray

I don’t see you, I can’t kiss you nor hug you

 

Uncle Miguel, thank you so much

Your book was published, it was a gift

When I read those pages

You can’t imagine how much I cried

 

Human vision, I’m made of flesh

If I did not cry, I would not be

But I want to be, without tears

To only think, and give you one more hug

 

Many times I thanked you

But with words, not with works

For this, I write you these letters

For this, I dedicate this poem

 

Thank you for everything

Thank you for so much

I have no doubt

Dad, you are a saint.

 

March 6th, 2018

 

This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on March 19th, 2018.

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