Death and Life

There’s nothing worse than a blog what only gets updated once every 6 months. That’s not a blog. It’s an occasional diversion. Believe it or not, I’ve wanted to post here several times over the past few months. But things have been tough. I’ve been processing things internally and haven’t been ready to write about them publicly.

Most of you know my mom died unexpectedly in December 2011. This crushed my family. In fact I don’t even think a scab has formed yet. We don’t even understand what we’re feeling much less know how to heal. In the midst of this, my dad was dying of pancreatic cancer. It’s a brutal disease. Only 5% of patients survive it. My dad battled much longer than most, but the cancer finally won on September 7.

So in a matter of 9 months I went from having two parents to none. From the family I’ve known my whole life to an orphan. I have brothers and a sister who are a great support. My wife is literally the best woman I’ve ever met. My kids (2 with another due soon) are pure joy. But there is a new emptiness that I can’t describe.

I am encouraged by the fact that God is a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) so none of us is ever really an orphan. I can truly stand in the midst of so much sadness and say God is good. He has truly given me the “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7).

There’s another thing that encourages me. In the last conversation I had with my dad he confessed faith in Christ as his Savior. I had talked with him about the gospel, but it never seemed to stick. Two spanish-speaking pastors came to meet with him, but it didn’t seem to connect. And finally, on his deathbed he said he trusted Christ to save him from his sins and he’d see me in heaven. My last conversation with my dad was the sweetest.

Now Anna and I move to the next curve on our emotional roller coaster. Baby #3 is due in November. We’re nervous and excited. I know God will use her (and Gabby and Louis) to help us heal.

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14 thoughts on “Death and Life

  1. Cisco,

    I saw your name/blog pop up in my inbox and was so overjoyed and then became very sad for you and the losses you have endured in the recent year. I am so glad that you have God to lean on during these sad, yet confusing times. And what a comfort for you, knowing you will see your dad again (and mom too)!

    At any rate, I will continue to pray for you and your family…and the soon to be addition to your family!

    You really know how to word “things” and I am glad to see you back on here.

    Please keep your head up high and know you are truly blessed!

    T.H.

  2. Cisco – I am sorry at the loss of your mother and father, but I am glad to hear that your father is resting peacefully in the arms of our Lord and Savior!

    You, your family and your ministry are in my prayers.

  3. Your words are poignantly stated. I cannot imagine your sense of loss. Yet, your authentic response in recognizing God is a Father to the fatherless is reassuring and hope-filled. Praying for you, your family and the new church you’re leading from afar (Minneapolis).

  4. So sad, especially when you have so many good memories of your own childhood. I feel your loss. For what it’s worth, I’ve always felt CLOSER to the people I love after death. It varies from one denomination to another but many of us feel that our loved ones are already in heaven or already closer to God, where we all hope to be. And that we can still talk with them and share the love between us. That death is no barrier for either one of us. It sure doesn’t feel like one. If you pray for guidance and peace on this, you know the Lord will not let you down.

  5. Cisco, when I lost my dad I was only 31 and at 63 I lost my mother, 7 years ago. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are, losing a parent, is heartbreaking. The pain of the loss lessens, as the old saying goes, time heals all wounds, is not always true. What the truth is, is we can go from, pain to acceptance. But, I promise you, the Lord will help you get to the next level of grief. One day, you will be speaking to them as though they were right there with you, because you will know that they are. It becomes a comfort to know they are with you in spirit. Since we are spirit beings, we are connected in the spirit world with them as we are with the Lord. Keep on keeping on. God bless you and Anna and your family.

  6. Hi Cisco – I lost my mom on September 25 of this year to neck cancer. She was diagnosed on July 6th, so to me, this was unexpected, sudden, … earth shattering. Her mom died just 6 weeks before she did. My mom had only me and my sister to take care of her and I was responsible for every second of her care. I went from having a mom, to being my mom’s caretaker, to a 44 yr old orphan. Anyway, I know the pain you are feeling. My mom was not religious, but I do believe that she is now with the God that has loved and believed in her this whole time despite her refusal to believe in Him. Death has been a huge part of my summer this year. Like you – there is no scab yet. Things are still wide open for me to feel. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  7. Cisco–What a year you have had. It must be a source of comfort to you knowing that your dad accepted Christ in his life. I pray for the day when you can think of your parents with a smile instead of a tear, and for the day you look into your childrens eyes & see your mom and dad. May God, your family, and your friends continue to guide you through this difficult time. You are in my prayers.

  8. Cisco, Thank you so much for sharing your life, albeit on a small scale, but nevertheless a shared life. The raw emotion and pain that you shared I have not experienced yet, but I am sure I will in the future. I love hearing people emote and even rant or sometimes ‘bellyache’ about what has happened to them. That is why I think the Psalms is my favorite portion of Scripture. I can only say that I am praying for you and my main prayer to God on your behalf is that “God will perfect what concerns you” Psalms 138:8. God speed my Brothah from anothah Muthah.

  9. Dear Cisco,
    We had the same loss in my family three deaths in less than a year. I don’t think we stopped crying. It was a lot to keep greiving and process. We had a couple of things that kept us going, puppies and a new baby in the family. When we all got together we played with a litter of puppies that another family member had and passed the baby around. Life couldn’t be better. Your new one is a reminder that you must keep going and LIVE.

  10. Your babies are lucky that they have you and all your great memories of your wonderful family. Don’t be shy to share those things with your kids as they come up. You can even put together some scrap books, photo books, momentos and other memorabilia. We all know you could write it – which would also be good for you! It might be a long time before the kids really appreciate it but words and memories that flow from your heart are always kept safely in the hearts of our children and the trust of our Lord. Just look inside yourself and you will know this is true. Much love to you and your growing family.

  11. ps – there is also legacy.com, ancestory.com, findagrave.com and myheritage.com. (The last 2 are free). Just in case you’d like to post photos, videos, favorite songs or your own sweet memories. Once you get started, you can keep this up for YEARS! – and it’s fun! (not that you’re going to be having a lot of free time on your hands, of course) xox

  12. Cisco – I think your radio experience should by extremely beneficial. Have you thought of a secular Radio Ministry (Not directly connected to a church to avoid the IRS hang noose) stressing family values, our Constitution, the founding fathers, the dominance of academia by Progressives, Communists, anti-Americans. The Material is Infinite.

    I hope your doing well. You are really admired as a person.
    The very Best

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