Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

On this day twenty five years ago, at 10:59 AM, one of my life's greatest blessings arrived: Elizabeth arrived in my life.

Sarah and I had been married 10 years by then. We had completed our educations, launched our careers, and bought our house.

Elizabeth was a welcome and very much wanted baby.

As well-prepared as I had been to assume to role of father, I still felt awed by the responsibilities that came with parenthood.

Being a parent presented opportunities to grow, to open my heart and to offer to the best of my ability love, guidance, support, and assurance.

The years slid by quickly...

Elizabeth grew in beauty, intelligence, and wisdom....

We shared many simply pleasures close to home, like fishing for crawdads in the local creek with bamboo poles, kite string, and "hooks" bent from paperclips to hold bologna bait. (We returned our catches to their watery home.)

Through her high school years she became interested in horses and then dressage. Here she is on her horse, Kirby. She graduated from high school with many many honors. She went on to an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania....graduated with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa....

And now she's in her final year of medical school at NYU.

Her many successes and accomplishments reflect well upon her and her mother, and, to a much lesser extent, upon me.

Mostly I feel honored, and privileged, and blessed, and grateful to have been given Elizabeth as my only daughter.

Happy birthday, Ishibaba.


steven said...

wow dan!! isn't it all amazing. we just don't know where our children will go and what they'll be and do and that's so much the point of it all. you lucky man!!! i know you're aware of your blessings to a greater degree than most - but you are so blessed!!!! a beautiful day dan!! steven

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Steven— thank you for commenting. I value our shared sense of the wonderousness of the earth.

My feeling of being blessed is partly an awareness of all the goodness that comes my way mixed with a feeling of perplexity and gratitude for so much goodness availing itself in my world.

Sarah Lulu said...

Happy Birthday to Elizabeth.

You are obviously all blessed by each other!
Dan ...if you look at my last post it has photos of my new the friday photo shoot out.

I'm a believer in the power of love.

Your daughter has blossomed in the love that has surrounded her.


Delwyn said...

Hello Dan

Your Elizabeth looks to be a fine young woman with many accomplishments already in her life to date.
Her achievements must reflect the efforts of you and your wife in parenting and loving.

I hope she has a lovely day...

Happy days

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Sarah Lulu—

I saw your granddaughter (and your adult children) on your blog. I was struck by the universality of the baby face...babies do resemble one another at birth. Also I was struck by the family resemblances in your family. I see that a lot in families as a teacher... once children get a bit older you can match them up to their parents more often than not. Also it seems that usually a child will resemble one parent more than the other.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Delwyn—

In the sense that our kids benefitted from having one house and one set of parents, yes, I think that's true. So many of their peers have to deal with divorce, step parents, sometimes serially. That's tougher on children than is commonly acknowledged.

But, having said that, both Sarah and I marvel at how our children turned out. They seem to have their own lives to live, their own trajectories. We both feel parenting is both the most challenging and most rewarding work we've done in our lifetimes.

Alden Smith said...

Dan, I am absolutely sure you have read this before, but I think it says everything about daughters and sons for those like you and I who love our children.

- Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Dan Gurney said...

Alden, I haven't read this poem in a LONG time... I think when my parents gave it to me to read... so it's like new, seen from the perspective of a parent. Thanks. It is a wonderful expression of the parent child relationship.

richard nichols said...

You and Sarah must of done something right! Good people, good parents.