What is the measure of a man? Is it the size of his wealth? The power he holds Or the success he achieved?
The true measure of a man to me is how deeply he loves, how selflessly he shares, and how consistently he lifts those around him.
By these standards, my father was immeasurable. I lost my dad and a mentor. But in body only and not in spirit as I believe we will meet one day. This is by far the most painful and heat-ripping experience I have endured. I remain grateful and comforted knowing how much my beloved father affected the lives of others.
Summing up my father’s life, I keep coming back to one thought. Never will you meet a man who more faithfully lived his values.
My father wore many hats, but above all he was a teacher. His methods were simple. He taught by example. At any age, when faced with an ethical dilemma, after reflection, study, or even rationalization, I find myself coming back to one simple question. What would Dad do? His character is the foundation of my conscience.
My father’s teachings are endless. Let me share a few.
My father was diligent. In everything he did, he did with passion and to his utmost ability. He would always say to me “Do it well or don’t do it at all”.
My father was affable. On countless times, I saw him walk into a room of strangers and return with them as friends. He left an impact on every person he met. The level of confidence he exudes is one I have always admired.
My father was selfless. I watched him spring to action when we heard robbers had raided the house of our next-door neighbor in the depth of night, putting himself in harm’s way to save not just us but our neighbors. I remember him returning with our severely wounded neighbors to the house to hide, treating their wounds until the robbers had left and the coast was clear before driving them to the hospital.
My father’s work ethic was excellent. He was not one to give up. He was working in every way to provide for those he cared about. Throughout his sickness he still worked. He would say “As long as he could move, he would work”. He did not slow down easily.
My father was loyal. His faithfulness to the faith and his calling as well as important people in his life could be seen in the way he steadfastly demonstrated his love towards the body of Christ, prayer and people. He was a student of the bible, evangelizing and planting church wherever he went.
My father gave us a parting gift. The gift of prayer, knowledge of the soon-coming Christ, and the amazing power in the word of God. He would always say to me, “My son, I leave nothing to give you but the word of God”. He held on to the faith till the very end. He would quote Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. And his favorite quote “Good is the will of the Lord”. He constantly reminded us that this world was temporary and would quote 1 Corinthians 15-19 “if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”.
My mom, my sister – Ama, my sister – Lily and my brother – Israel and I are comforted knowing that my father did not live in the hope of this fleeting world and that he pressed on toward the mark for a prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:14.
Till we meet again, Farewell Pop. You did good. You did real good.