Tribute to my Parents: Steve & Margie Eckloff

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Dear Mom and Dad,
This is a duel birthday and Mothers/Fathers Day letter. A few weekends ago I was pondering the way you raised us (4) girls. A few situations had arisen, and yes I was more or less comparing, not good I know – but I felt incredibly grateful. I don’t want to take life for granted, you just never know. So, I’d rather say a few things while you can hear them. These are a few specifics that are especially meaningful to me.

*Thank you for raising us in church, Bible in hand and prayers on your tongues. The richness of a long life knowing Jesus is such a blessing to me today.

*Giving me a purity necklace and convenant for sexual purity as a teen. It was a promise I didn’t break and even today God has used that example to inspire teens in our neighborhood to purity.

*Reading! Thank you for countless hours of reading aloud “Little House on the Prairie” and for bookshelves filled with books. I am grateful for the knowledge I learned and the skill of speed-reading.

*Somehow this sticks out: money – there was a couple of times you splurged. I didn’t know the cost, but did know it was costly. Youth retreats and my Letterman’s Jacket!

*Thank you for building our house Dad. Thank you guys for raising us to love the outdoors, to ‘spot game’ and be encouraged to get dirty while playing

*Thank you for teaching us responsibility by allowing us to have and raise our pets. I sure loved my bunnies.

*Thank you for modeling frugaility and by choice or not, to live simply and within our means. Today I’m a coupon-er, thrift hunter, bargain-shopper and appreciate the value for saving and conserving. Although I remember how you would wait hours in the car to ‘conserve gas’ Mom, thanks for your hours of patience.

*Thank you for gardening and camping. These are hobbies I get to consider mine now.

*Thank you for your heart for the foreigner. I vividly remember a meal with the new Russian family at Kent Alliance. I am so grateful for a home without racist behavior, attitudes or slurs. I’m sure this welcomed me into loving different cultures.

*Thank you for being healthy! For both being fit and not overweight or sedintary. For vitamins. for always encouraging and supporting our involvement in sports. I’m striving for this as well and just signed up for my first half-marathon!

*Blessing us with love for music and musical knowledge. Violin continues to be a creative outlet and even side-job. Music enriches my life and those around me.

*I know there was so much pain and woundedness in your marriage. In that trauma, I am so grateful I never saw physical abuse. I am so grateful I never heard verbal abuse. I am grateful we weren’t exposed to explosive fighting and anger. And in this, that has of course painfully marked my life as well, I can still say, thank you for staying together. Thank you for your long-suffering. It gives me courage to stay put when things are painful. It gives me hope to see you re-define what success in your marriage looks like and work even today to pursue more peace and joy.

*Thank you for adoping the orphan. You are an example to me on how you reach out, love and support the Roddy’s.

*Thank you Dad for how you befriend the lonely. I admire how you reached out to Hicula and visit the elderly.

*Thank you for alwasy supporting me, but not ‘coddling’ I learned the value of hard work in the jobs I had and wanting the privaledges of a car.

*You allowed me to take risks. Thank you for not allowing your fears to hold me back or for keeping me too shletered. Traveling, leting me move to Fresno for college, study abroad, back packing Europe…you loved me with an open hand.

*Thank you for trying homeschooling, even if it didn’t work for us. I appreciate that you took the risks you thought best for us.

*And very importantly, somehow you didn’t freak out when I told you I was interested in dating an ex-gang member with a criminal record, prison past and parolee! Or maybe you did and I didn’t know! You both amazingly walked with us towards marriage and support us today. Ivan loves you guys and I feel honored to have your blessing.

*You both have always told me and shown me that you love me. I feel secure in your love. You have always supported me and I have never doubted that.

Thank you my parents, thank you for the rich ways God led you to raise me up. I love you both and if you have not heard it in other times, I’m grateful for your listening ears and soft hearts.

with much love and thanks,
your daughter Beth

BethTribute to my Parents: Steve & Margie Eckloff

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