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Love Match - Jim Elliott

June 1, 2004 10:44 AM

Ernest and I go back a long way as doubles partners. Longer than either of us likes to remember the way time is passing these days. We have shared the ecstasy of many wonderful victories and the agony of more defeats that we would like to admit. The victories are remembered forever and get better with time, but the defeats are blamed on bad line calls, poor playing conditions, or anything except lack of talent, and are soon forgotten.

Recently Ernest and I joined an open division team tennis squad. Our average age is 70. The first team we played probably had an average age of about 30. Needless to say that is one of the matches that was soon forgotten, so don’t ask the score.

One of my saddest memories is playing with Ernest in a team tennis match in New Orleans at City Park many years ago when we received word that his wife, Pat, had suffered a very serious stroke and was not expected to live through the day. Pat not only survived, she struggled and regained over the years much of her speech and movement. However, it seems that for each step forward, Pat suffered a step backwards.

If anyone has suffered more than their fair share of serious illness over the years, it has been Pat. Ernest has been a saint as her primary caregiver and I believe that the joy he has derived from his tennis has helped him cope with these responsibilities.

Thanks for the memories Ernest and Pat.





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