|Lelia and Tiberius|
Twenty-one years ago today, at 7:30AM in the morning, Lelia Jane Purky was born. Everyone tells you that becoming a parent really changes your life. You think to yourself, "yes, I can handle this" and then the reality hits you like a two by four to the head.
Lelia started life having colic and had her nights and days backward, so we were up all night and she would sleep all day. Then at three months, a miracle happened: she stopped crying all night. Sleep is a wonderful thing.
|Lelia at 3 months old with Der Jung Fritz|
Over the years, Lelia has taken an interest in her Dad's war gaming hobby. She likes to give him strategy tips and roll his game dice for him in key situations. And then there are the famous Teddy Bear war games. The all time running score is Lelia - 5 and Dad - Nil.
|Lelia often helps Dad win war games by rolling dice for his morale checks.|
|She started war gaming early in life, defeating Dad every time in our famous Teddy Bear Wars game.|
|Another victory in the Teddy Bear Wars.|
|Our trip to Fort Donelson in 2018. We like to visit ACW battlefields together (her idea, not mine).|
Though born with Cerebral Palsy, Lelia likes to participate in adaptive sports, especially in swimming. She's a better swimmer than her Dad, truth be told. When we were in Hawaii last year, we were hiking on a trail that took a sudden downward descent into a canyon. I thought that it would be a good idea to turn around, as the descent looked physically challenging. Lelia insisted that we climb down into the canyon, telling me "I'm not going to let Cerebral Palsy get in the way of my hiking!"
|Lelia's hike in Maui, December 2018.|
|Competing in the regional Special Olympics track meet.|
|Lelia and friends at the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Assoc. swim meet.|
|Fashion show to raise funds for children with disabilities.|
|Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children (with Mom)|
|We have to show a cake on her birthday.|
|Lelia, cousin Jessica and Mom|
|Our family - I think that Lelia was about 5 years old in this picture.|
|Somewhere in Florida during the "born again phase" of life.|
|Getting ready for her song recital|
|She had the lead role as Princess Aurora in the "Sleeping Beauty" play at school.|
|She played the role of The Cupboard in Beauty and the Beast.|
Lelia enjoys traveling (who doesn't) and she has been to such diverse locales as Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Canada, and Great Britain. She will be visiting Japan with your school group in March 2020.
|Lelia in Maui - December 2018.|
|Lelia at the Tower of London in 2016.|
|Stratford on Avon in 2016|
|William Shakephere's House|
|London - Buckingham Palace|
|At Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the Guard|
|Waiting for a phone call in Oxford.|
|At St. Paul's - it's been a long day of walking and we're a bit tired.|
|Teenagers gotta be teenagers!|
|Thanks a lot Dad. Now put that camera away.|
|My little girl is all grown up now - Happy Birthday.|
Happy birthday Lelia. I am so proud of all the things that you have accomplished, of all the obstacles that you have overcome in life and of how poised and kind you are. We have many more adventures ahead of us, especially as we do more and more world travel.