Guest blog from Rica Monzon
This is the 2nd time I’m writing about my dad. The first one was back in college…x number of years ago. It was an article that got published in school and sent a number of friends into tears because of the love-hate relationship I had with my dad and how painful it was for me to see him suffer in an ICU over 10 years ago. Love was consistently his part of the 2 polars of our father-daughter relationship and I was the one switching from one side to the other.
While inside the ICU, we saw how he tried so hard to stay alive. The nurses had to tie his ankles and wrists to the bed for fear that he would fall off from wanting to fight for his life. Though he was too weak to speak and open his eyes, everything about that scene screamed that he wanted to stay alive for us, the family he dearly loves.
In my life, I could recall about 5 instances that really served as a real heart-opener, not from reading a book, but by receiving love-filled words of encouragement from people who believed in me and what I was capable of doing if I would only dare to start embarking on the path that leads to my dream’s field. Back to the ICU again, on his 2nd day of being confined, I was “hanging out” inside his room together with my dear mom and siblings, hoping that anytime soon, we would witness a miracle. Though it was not something I expected to happen, it became a love-filled catalyst for me to change how I viewed myself.
He called me.
In the 4 days that my father was in the hospital, my name was the clearest word he uttered. It was a response to a question I sweetly directed to him:
“Papa, do you know who I am? Papa do you know me?”
And yes, he was able to answer it in the best way he knew how and this changed my life forever. I knew God was behind this and it was his way for me to start getting on the right track with Him. Though he only mentioned my name, for some reason, I felt like it was a call for me to live a life fueled by purpose in such a way that I’d drop the “grave clothes” of a mediocre past and be awakened to the life Jesus was beckoning me to live. God used my dad in bringing about this wonderful turning point…
I know that my dad is very happy in Heaven with God and his army of angels, but there was something that made me shed some. tears this afternoon.
It was his birthday last night and for some amazing reason, it was on the same day that God answered one of my mom’s biggest prayers. To shorten the long story, only a God-sized miracle can answer that prayer and He did it! God answered her prayer on the birthday of her dear late husband. I believe in my heart of hearts that it was not a coincidence. It was delightfully orchestrated by God. It was like seeing an important piece of my mom’s life puzzle fit right into where she needed it to be. I know with certainty that it was a reminder as well from God that we should commemorate how my dad blessed us with the love he so effortlessly showered us with.
This is getting long but I just want the whole world to know that right here right now, no matter what you have gone through with your parents, you can start honoring them and showing how much you love them. Do not procrastinate something that you know must be done immediately.
My dad was able to display God’s forgiveness and unconditional love through how he responded with love to me even if I would return his sweet fatherly gestures with an “air time” filled with childish anger. He was loving us in the best way he knew how but not through something we could comprehend with our childish nature that time. Most of the time, that deep love was too profound for us to understand and appreciate. People say that the best gift any father can give his children is for him to love their mother, his wife. My mom really loved my dad so much and my dad loved my mom so much as well. It was not perfect but I could say we were really blessed in that way.
He was not a perfect father to us but he spent time with us, took care of us and never failed to show us through words and actions, how much he loved us. If he only knew the Lord a lot earlier in his life, he would have risen to be the best dad, but using the simple life he lived, he was able to change my heart and move me to write about him even if he’s no longer with us. Love was his legacy, ladies and gentlemen. He was not the typical father but he was the earthly father God blessed us with.
Unconditional love. He was a lot like how He loved us and it was only now that It dawned on me.
We love you Papa and your legacy of love and forgiveness will live on forever. Happy birthday:-)