March 22, 2015 marks the twelfth death anniversary of my father–Philippine Marines Sgt. Major Rafael Rodrigo de Sagun.
All I can remember about him was his being a man of few words. Needless to say, he was creative, strict, smart, disciplined, selfless and most of all, a loving father. He was a teacher in and out our home. I have memories of him teaching us sundry life skills–riding a bike, playing volleyball, observing good manners, cooking and even sewing. My mother did teach us many skills too but I am pretty sure that people who know my father well would agree that he was exceptional among other fathers.
His Words of Wisdom
As he aged, he suffered from many health issues which led to complications. He had bleeding ulcer, went through a surgery after having an inflamed gall bladder. He also had diabetes and high blood pressure. I cannot recall the precise number of the medicines he had to take but I knew it was a lot. His physical condition might have influenced his behavior.
Despite his physical sufferings, he struggled with life by faith. He remained supportive to us. He was not perfect. More often than not, people mistook his strictness as spitefulness.
I, as one of his children, understood well that his intentions were purely out of a desire to do things right as much as possible.
Yes, it’s been twelve years since my father passed away and I am writing this to share with you the words of wisdom that will remain inculcated in my heart:
“The sun doesn’t always shine brightly.”–There are days when we feasted on French fries, burger, pasta, and fried chicken and there were also days when we had to eat dried fish and rice or sometimes just rice and salt. He used to remind us that what’s on our table should not stop us from being thankful.
“Who are they?”–Other kids would bully you; that’s inevitable. They would criticize you, misjudge you, talk about you but who cares anyway? Their judgement would not make you less of a human. Go on and live your life. Remember how Jesus prayed for his enemies since they did not know what they were doing.
“Start and end your day with thankfulness”–-After getting up or before going to sleep, he used to remind us to offer prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for our family, relatives and friends.
“Study hard so you can buy whatever you’d like to eat in the future.”–it’s self-explanatory. Hard work pays off. Most of the people who suffer financially suffer not because they don’t have a good fate. It’s sometimes a result of their inability to value their studies when they were students.
There are many other words of wisdom that my father taught us but I don’t want to take too much of your time reading. I hope though that I can teach those I mentioned above to my daughter, Joanna, as well.
My father may not have left us a big amount of money, a vast land and luxurious cars but he left us these legacy of wisdom which we can pass on to our next generation.
His Salvation Testimony
My father has passed away, but I am confident that he is with God the Father in heaven–it was not because of his righteous life. As I said, he was not perfect just like every one of us. I am confident that he is with the Father in heaven at the moment because two weeks before his death, right in front of me, he professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted him in his heart that he’s the One and Only Savior of the world and of him personally. He did that while he was bedridden. He went to heaven because he learned from the Bible that religion, good works and anything he has done would NOT save him from the punishment of sin in hell. He accepted that Christ’s death on the cross paid his sins fully–that’s it.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Matthew 8:36
Here’s the sad news my friend, you can have all the treasures of this world, and still remain unsure whether you can go to heaven or not when you die. Here’s the good news though, you can know how to get to heaven.
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:13
If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, then remember to thank God for His gift of salvation.
To you my friend who haven’t made a decision to accept the gift of salvation by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please don’t ignore this message. Life is uncertain and so is death. Be sure of heaven.