Sunday, June 19, 2011
What did a young farm boy from Oklahoma do in the mid-1930’s? Head to California -- and have his picture taken so he could send it home and prove he got there. That’s my Dad, Elmer Jerry Holley.
He had a cousin, Aurlie Tyler Blackmon, who could not pronounce Elmer correctly, so he ended up with the nickname “Domer” for the rest of his life. Some people thought that was his given name. Here he is with one of his childhood friends, Jim Warren – a friendship that lasted all their lifetime. They both grew up in Oklahoma, and both went to California:
He picked his wife from his home county in Oklahoma. Their courtship was about as long as mine, but their engagement much shorter. He asked her on Sunday, “Would you like to get married on Monday or Tuesday?” She selected Tuesday, which gave him a great joke to tell to new friends. That Tuesday was December 21. So he would tell that "... it was too short a day to do a good day’s work, and too long a night to pass up."
In the 1970’s, Mom spent months and long trips being diagnosed about her recurring problems. Eventually, though she did not fit the usual ‘type’, it was determined she had ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. Daddy was her caregiver for more than twenty-five years, taking early retirement to see to her needs. She went home to our Lord in 1995.
Daddy then travelled, fishing in Oklahoma and Texas, lakes and rivers, making up for those years he had no time for himself. It was scary for me, not knowing exactly where he was on the road at age 81, but the next few years were good for him. During the coldest and the hottest months he could come stay with us. When the weather was right, he told his stories among campsites. Until his health began to fail and he stayed with us full time.
We were able to give him a gift he had not yet received – a cruise to Alaska. We got to see that trip through his 80 plus years, and those of our teenage granddaughter. Awesome!! Here they are in Seattle, before we sailed:
In 2000, he made his last trip, home to be with our Lord. His favorite verse came from the book of John:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:1-2 KJV)
My father was given a vision after my mother’s death. I have no doubt about what he saw. I have no doubt about his beliefs, and no doubt as to where he is. Someday, we will meet again. Under the Tree of Life, by the River of Life, where together we will rejoice and say:
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV)
1913-2000 -- What a journey!