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How Deep the Father's Love for Us

Enrique Salazar-Samper
(April 7, 1918 – April 30, 2013)

For the last few days, I have been humming the first few lines of the beautiful hymn, "How Deep the Father’s Love for Us." I cannot help but make the connection between how much my earthy father, Enrique, loved us and how much our Heavenly Father's love flowed to us through my Dad. 

I don't want this post to be about me, but I also cannot help but see my Dad's love for me these last five years that I have been Lisa, as evidence of just how powerful love is, that it can overcome even what seemed impossible, that a man at the age of ninety would be able to accept his fifty-eight year old son as his daughter. I am so grateful and blessed—it overwhlemes me.

Dad lived ninety-five years and twenty-three days...he was the last remaining member of his family to depart. The youngest of seven children, he had no memories of his own mother, who passed away when he was only two.

Along with my many cousins who are scattered throughout the United States and Colombia, we have been imagining the amazing family reunion, which also includes my older brother who pre-deceased my Dad by twenty-eight years. 

Dad recently said that he would be waiting for us, he knew his days were numbered and he made sure we all knew he was at peace with that reality. He wondered if he would reach one hundred, yet he accepted each day with gratitude because it was one more day to spend with the love of his life, my Mom, Yolanda. They were looking forward to their 70th anniversary this October!

It was very moving to see how many people attended the memorial service for my Dad yesterday, exactly one month after his 95th birthday (when the photo above was taken). The service made me realize how we all have our own spheres of influence—our separate little worlds—which we don't get to see or appreciate until we have moments like these.

Dad had a deep and private faith. He said confidently to the priest who came to visit him at the hospital that he was not afraid. The priest said, "I'm sure of that, Enrique, you've said that many times before." 

He was a self-effacing, quiet person—he never wanted the spotlight to shine on him. Yesterday he received all the honor and respect that he deserved. His friends who came to offer their condolences and pay their respects made sure of that. Dad would have been embarrassed to receive this much attention, but it was a fitting way to say "A Dios" to Dad.

A Dios Papi. I love you.

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