Purls of Wisdom

Okay…. Okay… So. I happen to know it is not really spelled this way. Okay? But what can you do when your first grandchild is placed into your hands whose middle name is spelled P-U-R-L? You love her with all your heart and whisper, “It’s not your fault! Blame your parents!” Okay.. Okay.. I did not plant that seed of rebellion into that little girls mind! She’s too innocent to hear that kind of talk from her grandpa. What you do is thank God for your first grand baby and love her no matter what she is called and declare to everyone, everywhere – “She’s the most perfect little baby I have ever seen!”

Have you seen her? Here, let me show you a picture taken just a few hours ago…

So, we all wonder what exactly does a new born think, or hear, or see? Can she sense all the excitement in the room around her? Does she feel special already? Can she ponder the deep mysteries of her life, wondering where she is after leaving the warm embrace of the womb? When she’s crying out is this her way of communicating in a language that adults can often cringe at, or melt into?

A few hours ago, about the time this picture was taken, Emma’s dad (my son! my first born!), Jason, tweeted these words:

Jason Gurley  12/13/11 12:34 AM Just had my first serious heart-to-heart with our new daughter. I imported all of my wisdom at once. What’ll I say for the next 20 yrs?

In my heart I can hear him utter these words! I’ve heard his voice for over 33 years now. I know his heart and can feel the passion, the hope and the dreams in his words. Our conversation about 10 hours after Emma breathed her first breath come to mind when I read this tweet. We were standing outside of the hospital enjoying the cool weather and a great conversation. At some point you realize exactly how intelligent your children are! I have always known them to be smart, but true intelligence is something more than “fact” smart! Even when they have facts wrong, intelligence helps them to search out the answers and be fully open to the idea that they were wrong about something and recenter their direction with intelligence.

Somewhere along the conversational period, I started to get this feeling about Jason …

…He can do this, he can raise a child, he has matured so much from that 15 year old boy that responsibly helped drive the car 5,000 miles from Texas to Alaska, found a good wife (or she found him!!), and has produced my first grand child. Yes! He can do this!

Then my mind turns to Felicia. What a loving person in Jason’s life! So talented with her hands and her mind. To travel across country to a new place and pour herself into learning and earning. To take the raw material of an animals fur (hair?) and manipulate it into the finished products that one can actually enjoy! Then to teach others this same skill. To show Jason how to eat differently and better than he would if he were by himself! To be so thoughtful of everyone around her, and to be green conscious! To turn a house into a home. To excitedly see animals and want to crawl over fences and hold the babies. You see the true mothering spirit in her and all she does! Felicia, I know you are a product of your mom and dad, and with your dad being gone I can only see you from your mom’s image. Akiko is a delight to be around! I see where you get who you are!!

So, as Jason whispered words to his daughter, I whisper words to both of you and pray these words.


…Good parents. Loving. Kind. Caring. Supportive. Firm and not wishy washy (Elizabeth’s words…). Ready to discipline, but to not live by the harsh language of those do not know how to do anything else. Teachers. Givers of room for exploration, but also to help train Emma into living a useful and productive life. Examples on how to correct mistakes and go better directions. Respectful of others even when they do not have your values or understanding, and teach Emma this same respect. Parents who can impart knowledge and help Emma become wise. Lovers of each other and teach this love to Emma. Visionary. Seekers.

Brenda and I love you both, no, all three of you! Our prayers and thoughts are for your family. We love you.

Emma Purl Gurley – 1 Day Old