A Father’s gift to his family
(In remembrance of my father, the late Eduardo P. Espiritu)
By: Katy Espiritu
In a few weeks, our family will gather again to celebrate the life that my father had spent with us. He died three years ago. I recall it very well because it was two days after my birthday. I recall my dad with much love because for me he was a distinctive man of his time.
My father was the quiet type. He kept silent most of the time, but one should always expect that when he had a strong opinion on an issue, he would speak about it – even if his opinion contradicted that of the majority. He was strong in his convictions and beliefs. He was also steadfast in his faith in his God.
He was – and still is – very special to me. He lived his life with fascinating rhythm and pattern. His greatest triumphs and challenges in life concerned his family: his wife and three children. His only son he referred to as his “only heirloom” and his two daughters, the jewels of his crown. We were all special to him, and each of us knew that.
My father lived a full 60 years. Praise God for that! Being quiet, he did not often talk about how he felt for us, but he had his ways to make us feel that he was interested in everything that was happening to us. He wanted us to share them with him. In times when we experienced personal problems or when the family went through hard times, we never felt we had to worry. Dad was there; he never let us down. He was a pillar of strength for us. He was very strict that we follow what he said as he guided us. But it certainly helped to mold us into what we are now; each one as strong as him in his convictions and steadfast in the values we hold dear.
Dad left us with many happy memories, including summer vacations and Bible-reading sessions. He lovingly and patiently explained to us Bible verses.
I looked up to him not only as the best father, but also as a very dedicated and committed church pastor. The dedication to pray for the sick and for all other prayer requests, to study and then share the word of God, and to minister to people showed his deep love for the Lord and the Ministry.
Three years after my father went back to the Lord, our family has now become a survivor of such a trying period. Memories of him kept us together.
Remembering how he prayed for the family when he was alive made us bow to God and ask for the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Remembering his words of encouragement from the Bible which he often quoted for us made us pray that the Holy Spirit would also make us strong in the Word of God. Remembering his life as a Christian made us desire to be filled by the Holy Spirit. He showed us the example; we pray for nothing less for us.
Our Father God has been so faithful to us. While our dad has already left this world, our Father in heaven continues to watch over us. It is His Holy Spirit in us that kept us worshiping and thanking Him despite all the hardships that we had to face, including providing for our material needs. We lost our bread winner and we had to learn to earn on our own in order to survive. Managing time between work and the Ministry became a problem for a time, but it was still by the help of the Holy Spirit that we were able to overcome. In moments when we wanted to give up, the Holy Spirit sustained us. And we stood – and we are still standing until today. God abounds in mercy!
Our father is no longer around, but by the example we saw in him, we continue to serve God in the Ministry. He did not leave us with material inheritance, but I know that we are rich because we have Jesus in our hearts. His legacy of faith is his best gift to us. This treasure can never be snatched away from us.
We will soon visit his grave and I would see again that dates of his birth and death separated by a dash. For me, it’s not a reminder of his death; it’s a symbol that he lived on this earth as a Spirit-filled believer of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Catherine “Katy” Espiritu, a worship leader, from the Jesus is Lord Church – Tarlac City Chapter will celebrate her birthday on September 21. Her birthday will remind her of her father’s death, but it will also remind her of his Spirit-filled life here on earth.