Saturday, June 18, 2011

Memories of My Father


Apple sent me a message earlier: A reminder to buy a gift from the Apple Store for my Dad on Father’s Day.  They probably didn’t get the memo that my father died at 7:50pm on May 25th 2011.

It however is still  Father’s Day and I decided that instead of moping and getting depressed by thinking of all I would have done for my Dad today (had he still been alive) I would rather remember him and write a tribute.

I have a last name that some associate with rich people mainly because I have some relatives who have done well for themselves.  Usually when people ask me “which Asemota?” I usually reply “the poor one”. After my father’s passing I don’t think I will give that answer anymore.

My father left me with riches. Not material riches but a rich memory and heritage. There is also progress I have made materially (and will still make) in life as a result of his prayers and blessings.
According to Charles H Spurgeon’s version of “The Prayer of Jabez”: “Many a poor man has had no other legacy to leave his children except his blessing, but the blessing of an honest, holy, Christian father is a rich treasure to his son.”

My father lived a full life. He had sons, daughters, grandchildren and also several women. He was flawed in many ways in his youth but he found God late in life and loved God like no man I have ever seen.
Even in our last conversation he still told me to “take the Blessed Sacrament very seriously because it was the most powerful thing on earth”  He was born Catholic, left the church but came back late in life to recognize the power of “The blessed Sacrament” I am a living testimony to that power and I never doubted him.

The last time I saw him I was gripped with fear that he was growing older and I realized that I needed to spend more time with him and tell him a lot of things I had wanted to tell him. I also wanted to borrow from the first chapter of James Wilkinson’s devotional in the prayer of Jabez and ask him to bless me. Bless me like he had never done before.
In “The Prayer of Jabez Devotional”, Bruce Wilkinson told the story of his own son asking for his blessing. An excerpt is below:

I remember the evening my son David asked me for a blessing.…“Dad, I want to ask you a question. Will you bless me?” His mom and sister stared at him. I stared at him as well, as his request appeared to drop out of the blue. “David, you know I do bless you,” I said.  “No, Dad. I want you to really bless me.” Then he stood up, walked to the armchair where I was seated, and knelt in front of me. Then he waited, head bowed, without even looking up. Do you know what flooded through my heart at that moment? I felt a tremendous desire to bestow on him every possible good thing. Here was my own child waiting at my feet, telling me by word and action what he wanted most was what only I, his father, could give him.…In Jesus’ name, I poured blessing after blessing upon him. And I didn’t stop until I was certain that he not only was blessed, but that he also felt blessed!”

It may sound selfish but it is the best gift you can ever give a father. So this Father’s day, instead of thinking of what to buy for your father just simply ask him to bless you. Children’s blessings are also a father’s blessings.

This was one regret I will have but I know one day that I too will learn to bless my children until they are blessed and feel blessed. Even when they don’t ask for it.

There are many things I remember about my father. His perfect handwriting, his unique voice which grows dimmer in my mind…..but will remain fresh thanks to video technology and my youngest sister’s wedding. I will keep remembering him everyday.

The memories of my father will not only be with me till I breathe my last, I will also ensure that they are passed on to my unborn children. My father will live forever both in our genes and in our minds.

Michael Nosa Asemota. March 1942 – May 2011