The clock ticking my father’s life ceased. Today at age 87 my father passed away.
I visited my family in Japan this January and that was the last time I saw him. Usually my trip to Japan is about a week, but my mistake that I didn’t notice my passport was expired and had to renew it in Japan allowed me to stay with my father for three weeks. During this unexpected long stay, I could help him dress/undress and push his wheelchair, for which I am now very thankful.
He was born on July 17th , 1923 as the 3rd child out of five in North Korea where was under Japanese rule at that time. As he lost his father at his young age, the family came back to Japan. During WWll, he, who was stationed in Hiroshima at age 21, survived an atomic bomb, but suffered from leukemia for a year after the war. His two brothers were killed during the war and as an only surviving son, he inherited an electric construction business from his grandfather and led the business until he retired four years ago.
As the fist child, I have precious memories of him such as bedside story times, taking a bath together, and going to the barbershop together; these are special memories which my sisters don’t have. He, who would come home with exciting gifts from his business trips, was like a Santa Claus for me who was little.
Since I became a Christian, I always have prayed for my family’s salvation, but about two years ago, after a miraculous recovery from pneumonia, my father finally made a decision to accept Christ as his Lord. I, who could visit my father during that time, suggested for him a home baptism and witnessed his best day! He received his baptismal name “Lucio” meaning “light” through the Catholic baptism.
This New Year I took my father, pushing his wheal chair to church, with my mother. It was a snowy cold Sunday, but after we got home, he said, “ I am so glad I could go.” –I will never forget this with his smile.
As soon as I left Japan, he was no more able to get up from bed by himself and moved to a nursing home and then to a senior hospital. I wonder how discouraging and depressing it was to give up the abilities of seeing, hearing, walking and even eating. Yet, he barely complained ,accepting every new change. I deeply respect him who was always positive.
The only regret is that I could not see him this summer because of my cancer. I wish I had been with him one more time. I can’t even go to his funeral, either.
However, I know exactly where he is now. He is with our Lord. He got into His kingdom where he is happier than anywhere else and I can see him again there!
I am thankful for everything my father has done for us, my family, and for our Lord who took my father to His home.
God is good all the time!
Jan. 1st , 2009, after baptism