>> Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Since Father's Day is this Sunday, I wanted to tell you about my Dad, Tony Elliott, whom I lost this past April to an aggressive form of lymphoma. I can think of no better way to celebrate what will be bittersweet day for me than by sharing a little bit about him.
As the baby of my family and the only girl, I was always a Daddy's girl. (Mike says more than a little spoiled! - but I think I was just well-taken care of!!) As every little girl believes, I had the best Dad in the world. But I really did have a precious Dad. I have numerous memories of him taking time for me. He read Mother Goose stories to me as a child. (He got so tired of that one book he made a tape of it for me which I have to this day.) He taught me to ride a bike and went with me on afternoon rides on our farm.
He took me on the chair-lift at Gatlinburg, TN every year on our family vacation. He taught me to drive a 5-speed, a truck (pulling and backing a loaded grain wagon) and a tractor. He took me to high school football games long before I could drive, and he wasn't a football fan - I was. After I married, Dad still looked out for me - repairing a house window that I had broken, building a cabinet when I needed (wanted) it, and so much more.
In his obituary, my brothers and I wrote that Dad was a Christian first and foremost. It's a true statement. Dad worked as a farmer and served as minister of the Gospel, but he lived as a Christian. That example of a Christian, godly life is my most precious memory of my Dad. His life and ministry greatly influenced my faith in Jesus Christ that began as a child and continues today.
Once Mike & I moved to the Inn, I didn't get to see Dad as often, but several times Dad was able to come spend a week or so here with us. Some of you may have met him. He loved to put puzzles together so there was always a puzzle out at the end of the Inn's kitchen table that he worked on while he was here. He enjoyed the Inn's grounds and went for walks each day. One of my favorite memories is Mike taking Dad for a ride around the Inn's property on the 4-wheeler. It just delighted Dad to do this and of course it is now one of my favorite pictures from our time here at the Inn.
I am thankful to have been blessed with such a special father. Thanks for letting me remember him in this way.
Happy Father's Day to you and yours,