“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Eph 6:2, 3)

Today is Father’s Day and I remember my father, Prof. Albai Ion. I want to honor his memory. He went to heaven about 15 years ago. He was my loving father, my history teacher and the principal of our school. The best thing I remember about him is that he loved his wife (my mother), my sister and I very very much. He was very protective of his daughters. I loved to be his daughter. My mother was a disciplinarian. My father was the mediator. Each time my sister and I misbehaved and our mother punished us, he always ‘begged’ on our behalf. Because of that we decided never to misbehave and hurt him. It was not the punishment that changed us it was his constant love! I remember that… His love was the greatest encouragement for us to be good!

He encouraged us to be the best we can be. As a father, he was an ‘action man’. Until he died he never left us alone in our time of need. For example, when we have to wake up in the night to go to the train station to travel somewhere, he always insisted to come along. It did not matter if it was cold winter or heavy raining. He said that he can’t sleep when his children have to go out in the night. When I was in the Medical school in Timisoara, if I received any letter or a parcel at his home address in Orsova he will not wait for me to come home. He will travel 6 hours with the train just to bring that letter saying that he is sure I will be happy to see it sooner than later. He heard that princesses play a musical instrument. He insisted that my sister and I go and take piano lessons two times a week. The piano teacher lives far. He will always come and take us home. His presence was always comforting. Other men wanted sons but my father never ever made us feel inferior. He was very proud of us his daughters!

When I told him that I want to marry a colleague who is a Nigerian, he was very upset. He said that going to Africa is too far and he cannot help me there. But once he met my husband he loved him immediately as the son he never had. He did for him exactly what he did for his daughters. My husband loved him very much too.

Like all the teachers during the Communist Romania my father had to say that he is an atheist. Later, I discovered that he was a silent believer in God. Six months before his death he gave his life to Christ and openly confessed his faith. He died and was buried with a smile on his face. His unconditional love helped me to understand the love of God the Father. I am sure that he smiles in heaven seeing that I am saved now… Oh, Tata…

‘Thank You Lord Jesus for saving my father! Thank You Lord for giving me such a wonderful heritage! Thank You Lord for saving my family! To You alone be all the glory! In Jesus name, amen!’

(in the picture is my father and I as a baby)

Tata si eu

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