I wrote this for my grandpo Sam's memorial service. I want to thank my sister, Germaine for helping me read it on Monday night.
We are here to celebrate the life of my grandfather, Jose Samuel Archuleta. He had an immense love for his family. He cherished his wife, Florida. Their love story is a great example to their family of what commitment to a lifelong marriage is about. I thank them for being an inspiration to me and my husband.
At the age of 17 he moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming to find work. He would send most of his money to his mom, Escolastica to help her. His dad had already passed away and wanted to provide for his family. Little did he know that back home his mom was saving that money for him. He learned the value of helping his fellow man from the love and example of his mom. He was a hard worker and he was always willing to help anyone whether it be family, friends, or a stranger. One young man he worked with many years ago was one such person. He had just started working with my grandpo at the Las Vegas Medical Center (The Behavioral Health Institute) and he asked to borrow money until paid day. Of course he said yes with no intention of being paid back, but this young man did pay him back and thanked him for helping feed his family. There are many similar stories told by people who knew him.
He had a passion for Spanish music. He begin to play guitar at the age pf 16 with his brother and I believe some cousins of theirs. Later on he played alongside his brother Rafael and his nephews in Los Archuelta’s. He enjoyed those days of playing at quite a few places including The Manhattan and Casino in Las Vegas and Tio’s Bar and Tommy’s Inn in Mora. So many people have told me over the years how much they enjoyed hearing them play. I remember going with my grandma to watch him play. It was a blessing to be able to meet so many relatives and people my family knew during those times.
He also worked as a door greeter at Wal-Mart for many years. He loved people! He made friends everywhere he went. A few of my friends worked with him and all have similar stories – he was always friendly, always had a smile, and sometimes even a joke to tell. Up until recently he would still walk around the store or restaurant we were at to shake hands with people he knew and many people he didn’t know.
Each of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren have their own special memories with him. We will cherish memories we made.
Over the last 5 years I was able to spend quite a bit more time with my grandparents. Sunday Worship here, lunch at our favorite restaurant, sitting in the park, cruising, and we can’t forget the ice cream. In that time I observed the special bond they had and the love they had for each other. I thank God that He blessed me with that time to spend with my grandpo.
My mom, Susan, shared a scripture with me that reminded her of her dad. “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Over the years she has share with me about her love for her dad and their close relationship. They had a beautiful bond, one that every daughter should have with their dad. I know she will cherish every moment they spent together – laughing, talking, dancing, singing, and sometimes just sitting in each other’s presence.
Awhile back I came across a quote that reminded me of my dad and I believe that my mom, aunt, and uncles would agree that it rings true for their dad as well.
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet on of the most valuable assets in our society.” ~ Billy Graham
The night before my grandpa passed away, I was unable to sleep for some reason and a scripture kept coming into my head – and Saturday when my mom called me to give me the sad news the scripture that was in my head made sense – my grandpo had answered the call to rest.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:23)
So, I ask that you take a moment to honor your father and grandfather. If they are still alive, take time to get to know them better, listen to their stories, create a bond, and make memories to cherish for a lifetime. Don’t wait; life is too short no matter how many years you get.