So, there I am in my front yard. Walking around with a bottle of ant bait and it hits me like the acorns that squirrels throw when you get too close to their stash in your garden. . .I look like my father right now.
One of the most vivid memories of my dad from when I was growing up was seeing him walk around our property with white powder ant bait and spreading it. He did this nearly every evening or at least it felt as if it was every evening. He would simply walk, inspect, and spread the bait. That image is permanently in my memories. It’s the moments that seem to be the most minute that stick with you, huh?
Some days I look like the spitting image of a Ramirez, but nearly every day my Islas features are a bit more prominent. I have my dad’s nose. Our eyes get really small when we smile big. We have the same dark hair and the list can go on. Then, there are days that I take after my dad in every single way that we live various parts of our lives. We only trust certain paint brands. We can’t get on the same page as people who use “maybe” for when it comes to working for God. We need to maintain our yards to a certain perfection (I’m still working on that). We tighten our lips when around others when we really don’t agree with what they’re saying. We sigh with some melodramatic flair that the Spanish soap operas need to take note of. And, the list goes on. . .
You know, for years 23 to be exact, my dad was my only minister. I learned about scriptures from Him. I learned how to tell my Sunday School kids “every eye closed and every head bowed” before final class prayer. I learned about giving tithes and then some. One time he literally held the offering plate until it was full because we had come up dramatically short for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering. I learned that His ministry needs to come before anything else in your life. Even if it means being the first to arrive and last ones to leave. I learned that even if it’s just you and your family in that small church because membership numbers have dwindled, you stay and worship God for how good He is every single moment.
I’ve also learned that He’s far from perfect. You know it’s true, dad. But he constantly seeks God and that’s what matters in the end.
And, so here we are, after 27 years together, celebrating his 57th birthday. Wishing you many more, dad. I’m blessed when people say I look and act like you.