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What a week!

This has been a very busy week, yet I am finding time to write a few minutes… A few minutes I think is important.

1. This past week was the final week of class for two sections I am teaching. Though the week was okay for me, I know it was a tough week for many students as they juggled their course load and personal life. One student was also a full time student at a university in CA completing a bachelor degree for gainful employment! My tough week is this week while I grade their final words.

2. My dad’s oldest brother, James Alton Gurley, passed away at the age of 88. When I heard he was ill, I drove a 13 hours round-trip to his bedside and enjoyed a few hours with him just a day before he passed away. Now, with him gone, I made another 13 hours round-trip to handle the final details. My thanks to my dad for tracking him down and getting us connected. Alton had been at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day 70 years ago. I remember him passing through our home life when I was about 7 years of age in Seabrook, Texas. Living away from Texas for so long, I have missed getting to know my other aunts and uncles so well. Except for Henry… I thoroughly enjoyed the time he came to Alaska!

3. Jason and Felicia Gurley, my son and daughter-in-law, produced for me a first – Emma Purl Gurley, born 12/11/11 at 4:51pm. When we heard Felicia was beginning contractions last Friday, we planned on leaving to be with them, even while I was driving back from Alton’s memorial arrangements. After 13 hours of driving on Friday, we began the 14 hour trip to San Luis Obispo in California, and arrived within the hour of Emma’s birth. What a joy to have another baby Gurley in our family! I can hardly wait to hold her today.

4. Finally, to my church family. Thank you so much for understanding these past few days and remaining faithful even when my schedule was so convoluted. Evangelist Preston Plemmons preached for me this past Sunday, even knowing there was a possibility I would be traveling – Thanks! Jack Peters was home to help with the service in between his  Alaska teaching – Thanks!

After all of this I am blessed to walk through this life with my true partner of life – Brenda. She has had some mighty tough and mysterious health issues this past quarter, but she keeps pushing through. There are times that I know my load is heavy, but she has been constantly carrying the heaviest load behind the scenes and I am so thankful for her in my life. I love you, Brenda.