José Rodulfo Gutiérrez Quintana
I did not have the privilege of knowing him. I heard about him whenever the family gathered at the table to talk over dinner, coffee or when they met in the balcony of the house to “remember the good old days”. The little they told me about him captivated me. How I would have liked to meet him. To hear his voice. Learn from him. His name is José Rodulfo Gutiérrez Quintana. My paternal grandfather.
Many years ago, in the search of my identity, I wanted to discover more about my grandfather. They told me about his only living sister at that time; Natividad Gutierrez Quintana. I went looking for her. I found her! The minute a step onto the balcony of her humble house she looked at me and started to cry. “My brother came to visit me,” she said between tears. She told me a little bit more about my grandfather. A smart man. Graduated from the University of Puerto Rico. Educator, poet, lover of literature. Reddish hair, freckled complexion. Tall, elegant and handsome! I had found my identity! ?
Searching for identity
Many of my doubts about my identity were dispersed while listening to my great-aunt describing my paternal grandfather. How I would have liked to meet him in person. How I longed to sit at his feet to listen to him, learn from him. I longed to be able to tell my daughters: “from my grandfather I learned …” But it did not happen that way. I only have that black and white photo and a copy of his poems by which to remember him.
The absence of both my paternal and maternal grandfathers, and the emotional and spiritual absence of my father impacted my life leaving a sense of emptiness that I have carried with me for a long time. Even today, at my age, there are moments in my life that I wish I had the experience of a father figure who was modeling my life as a man, as a father and eventually as a grandfather. John Eldredge in his book Wild at Heartquotes the words of Robert Bly: “Not seeing your father when you are small, never being with him, having a remote father, an absent father, a workaholic father, is an injury.” A father may be present but absent in many aspects of their children’s lives. A father may be permanent in a house, but absent in a home. Both are injuries!
Identity in Christ
Over time I discovered that my true identity is in Jesus Christ. That I have received the Spirit of God, and now I call Him Abba, Father, “For his Spirit is joined with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:15-16). Isn’t that wonderful? My identity in Christ. I am a son of God and I sit every morning at His feet to hear His Word and learn more from Him guided by the Holy Spirit.
My grandfather, Jose Rodulfo Gutierrez Quintana, died at 29 years of age. A double pneumonia took his life leaving five young children. The story continues …
My dear friends, what is your story as a son, a father, and perhaps as a grandfather? Are you willing for God to write a new story in your heart as a child of the Heavenly Father? Contact us. We would love to hear from you. We would love to hear your story.
If you want to know more about Abiding Fathers/Padre de Corazon teachings and my testimony as a son, father and now as a grandfather, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 214-533-7899.