My great grandfather, known to all his family as Papa Ñato was 96 years old, he passed away having seen 5 generations of descendants. Papa Ñato was a very easy going person, everyone loved him, he had a good sense of humor (a nice personality trait that can be seen in many of his children and grand children) and in his old age began to study the Bible, he even began to share the little he could remember with others he met. One of the best things he learned was God's name, he was so excited to be able to call him Jehovah or how he would call him "Jehovasito" (to add "ito" at the end of names is a way to show affection for that person), this was his way of showing he loved Jehovah. I have one photo of him which I'll remember for ever, he was sitting at the table reading his Bible Teach book. My grandma told me he spent most of his time reading, as he loved reading the Bible, the magazines, along with the Bible Teach. I asked my grandma if he understood what he was reading, she made a funny comment that most of the time it was all new to him. He would look up at her time and time again and say "really, that's what the Bible teaches, how come I didn't know that before?"
My dad was especially affected by his passing away as he didn't grow up with his father. He had lived with Papa Ñato while he was a little boy for a few years and saw him more as his dad. Over the years dad has shared many funny and many sad stories of their time together, but one thing that has always come across in those stories was how loving Papa Ñato was.
Papa Ñato was suffering from terminal Cancer so the last few days of his life were terrible and very painful. When news got to us that he had passed away we quickly made arrangements to fly to Quito where he and the rest of our family live. The funeral and burial were held the next day.
Most of my family in Quito are not Witnesses, so we wondered what type of funeral they would want. However they were very happy for us to make arrangements for a talk to be given. My grandma really wanted dad to do the talk and the brothers from her Cong arranged to have the song printed out and brought it to the funeral place where the talk was held. Dad did a great job with the talk, although it was incredibly difficult for him. It was a great witness to my non believing family, they all made comments about our wonderful hope of the resurrection and had many questions which we gladly answered later on. The talk finished up with song 111 "He will call" and a beautiful prayer by my cousin Roberto. It was the first time many of them have heard a talk from the Witnesses, they were very thankful for the Bible truths they learned. Many brothers and sisters from the Cong he was attending came, we had never met these brothers and sisters but as it usually happens in Jehovah's Org they looked after us and attended to us like old friends would. Many of my family thought in fact we had known them for years, they were amazed to learn we had just met.
As hard as this time has been for us we are so thankful for Jehovah's promise as found in the bible. We know we will see my great grandfather in the future and teach him more about Jehovah's purpose for us, this time though he'll remember everything he learns. We hold close to our hearts the hope that Jehovah has given us of a resurrection and with tears in our eyes we thank Jehovah for also expressing how he feels about this hope.
"If a man dies, can he live again? I will wait all the days of my compulsory service Until my relief comes. You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands." - Job 14:14-15