Today lies a man on his bed, dying. Only days and hours remain of breath numbered by Heaven. Possibly by the time this letter is finished, words may need to be rewritten.

No, he is not an ordinary man. This man has a legacy you want to know.

As a young man, Arturo Robledo Sr. enlisted in the U.S. Marines and soon after boot camp; he was deployed to fight in the Korean Conflict in late 1952. While in combat, he was knocked unconscious by an enemy mortar explosion; he sustained no physical injury, but was disoriented for a few days.

Correspondence from home he received news that his newly wed wife Trinidad had a miscarriage losing their first son; a small blanket gift he had gotten for his baby was no longer needed.

Upon returning from duty in Korea, he resumed life with his wife Trinidad, and soon started a family. He shared a deep desire to have a large family and was delighted to have been blessed with four sons and two daughters. You can say he is the type of man who is dedicated to loving and caring for his wife and children.

Arturo was raised from humble beginnings and lived in a small home originally shared with his parents in La Paloma neighborhood in south McAllen. Their home was small but cozy and their joy revolved among each other. He later bought and built a new home in south Mission for his family, even though he was very hesitant to leave his old neighborhood, and would not heed the advice of his children. During the night a rainy storm saturated part of the roof and it collapsed on their bedroom while they slept. By then, Mr. Robledo knew it was time to move out and move on. The new home was soon built by his youngest son Felipe and everyone was very proud of it. His wife Trinidad could not have asked for a better provider and husband than him.

Arturo has a passion for music and was part of a “Tejano” music group playing at different locations throughout the Valley, Corpus Christi, and elsewhere as a way to earn extra income. He has impacted this passion for music to his children and grandkids, most of whom are still musicians.

In 1994, Arturo accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior while he was hospitalized at the Veterans Hospital in San Antonio. The doctors had diagnosed a series of illnesses and had very little hope that he was going to live. After so much sought out prayer by his family and acquaintances from the church, he was miraculous healed and doctors could not explain what had happened.

God began to move through his conversion and soon began using his life to bring other family members to salvation.

Today this couple completed fifty eight years of being married and once again they decided to renew their wedding vows. The ceremony was held at their home and by his bedside, and Pastor Joe Moreno read the wedding vows choked up by emotion. He ended the ceremony by saying “You may now kiss the groom”.

It was a joyous moment followed by words of love from both Mom and Dad and rekindled relationships between their sons and daughters, grandchildren, and family. Everyone in the room had tears running down their cheeks; suddenly their oldest daughter Espi made the exclamation “I love you daddy” followed by others.

Even though Mr. Robledo has been struggling to utter words due to the pain in his body and his difficulty talking, at any given opportunity he has been witnessed to any unsaved family members, in a last attempt to turn them to the Lord for salvation.

Some people make excuses why they cannot go to church, but not this man, no, not him. Now that he has been confined to bed due to his illness he repeatedly wished he could be at church to listen to the sermons and be around his spiritual family.

He always insisted that commitment is a serious decision and whatever you start in life, you should finish. He has always told his kids that you should always do your best no matter what.

Mr. Robledo is one of the kindest and most giving people you’ll ever meet. His home has always been filled with people and he has had an open door to welcome family, friends, or even strangers at any given time. He is liberal and quick to meet a need even when it means sacrificing.

He has a contagious smile and loves to joke around all the time, trying to make people laugh.

Arturo cares very much about his wife and family. His children are very attached to him because of the closeness and unconditional love he has taught them at an early age and while growing up.

His testimony has been a powerful example to all of us. His fruits bear the evidence of how significant he is to all of us and how much he loves God.

During his last hospitalization, countless numbers people from his church visited everyday, and became a problem of having too many people around and in the waiting area. Mr. Robledo is very thankful to everyone who visited. He believes that the people from church are part of his family.

We all have mixed feelings as we do not want to see him go. Tears will come, but Jesus Christ is sufficient for all of us. He is our comforter.

This man whom I talk about is my father -in-law.

By: Blake Kelley, April 8, 2009