Thursday, October 3, 2019

Happy 21st Birthday Lelia!

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.
Lelia has developed a great interest in history. I wonder where she got that from? She wants to visit all of the American Civil War battlefields with me. Just Dad and Daughter. We have been to Fort Donelson and Franklin, both in Tennessee, so far. Gettysburg and Antietem are on the horizon.

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.

 Lelia does a lot of volunteer work: PADS homeless shelter, Feed My Starving Children, fund raising for the special needs community. She wants to work with children with special needs when she grows up and has her own job. She has a true gift in working with the kids, having lots of empathy and patience.

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.

 Lelia like to sing and act, participating in school musicals every year from grade school through high school.

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.


  1. Happy Birthday Lelia!
    It has been terrific knowing you for many years when we are at your home with dad for games. Best Wishes and God Bless,
    Bill P.

  2. Happy Birthday Lelia! - Glad to see you visited one part of our Sceptred Isle!

  3. Happy Birthday Lelia . All the best people have their Birthdays in October you know!

  4. Best wishes for a Very Happy Birthday, Lelia. Congratulations also to the proud parents. What a great collection of photos showing Lelia's progression to a great young woman. All the very best. Cheers, Rohan.

  5. Happy Birthday from all of us at the Duchy of Tradgardland!

  6. It great when a Dad remains a hero to his daughter, even into adulthood.
    "Viele glueckliche rueckkehr!" from the Archduke Piccolo. (I'm not German, but he is).

  7. The Happiest of Birthday wishes to Lelia and a great pleasure to see and feel your great fathers pride in every photo you included and word you wrote Jim. Still smiling now!

  8. Happy Birthday Leila. I remember reading an AAR of one of those Teddy Bear battles what feels like only a few years ago, and am now wondering where the time has gone.

  9. Congratulations to both of you on this special day.
    Hope you all have a fabulous laugh & make it a memorable occasion, I'm sure you will.
    Very best wishes to you & your family,

  10. Happy Birthday Lelia!

    Best Regards,


  11. Happy Birthday Lelia!


  12. Happy Birthday to Lelia, the reigning champion of the Teddy Bear Wars! Huzzah!

  13. Happy Birthday kiddo. All of Beerstein is celebrating!!!captbill