What Do You Cherish?

The Older I Get…

2016-04-18 21.22.16Yes. That’s the problem. Getting older. The older I get the more I cherish certain things, and memories, and places. Things that have been in my possession for most of my life, whether I remember them or not as a child… Well, they are special, and old. And at some point in my earlier life they were special.

Add to those old memories, I am also enjoying newer things that I’ve picked up along the way. I think it’s a good thing to find some things that you can carry into the future to represent some special memories.

With a unique last name I have faced the taunts of those who are not equally endowed with a special name. After all, how many “Gurley’s” do you know? But at the same time the name is unique enough and there are a few memories of last name, and family, that gives me things to collect that I can really enjoy.

2016-04-18 21.22.34A few years ago I began picking up a few things with the name Gurley attached to it. Survey equipment out of NY, flour sacks from a milling company in the Carolina’s, books by relatives in Texas and Oregon, magazines with articles of family out of Mississippi, pictures of towns with the same name (Nebraska, Alabama), a street in Arizona, a hat from a dealership in another town of Arizona, blog posts from the Pacific NW… and this oil can from a refinery in Arkansas and packaged out of Memphis, TN.

Along the way, I’ve enjoyed researching others with the same last name…

  • Helen Gurley Brown was a far off cousin (I think that’s the correct designee) and was a famous author, and editor of Cosmopolitan magazine for over 30 years. She passed away in 2012.
  • I would love to own something from Phineas Gurley. He pastored the NY Presbyterian church and was the Chaplain of the US Senate. He preached (eulogy here) President Abraham Lincoln at his funeral.
  • Of course, Todd Gurley is currently big news in the NFL…
  • There is a Gurley that went down on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, and he’s from California.

This is a long list of people I have researched. Some are related. Others are not. But there is a history to this I enjoy, and it’s my mom who loves to do the genealogy research and keeps it going.

This gives me pause to consider our history. Where did we come from? Who is in our family tree? What have they done in their lives that makes me find them interesting, or not? How far back does the tree go with the name Gurley? Does it really begin on the Isle of Mann? Before then?

This takes me, in thought, to a scripture…

And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’ ” Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”  (Joshua 4:1-7 NKJV)

What do these stones mean to you? Every tribe had one stone that represented them. It makes me wonder if those stones still stand along the Jordan river. I know after I’m gone my little collection of Gurley Memorabilia will probably not last very long. I’ve heard the word bonfire mentioned a time or two. But until I’m gone, I’m proud to say that I will continue researching and remembering where my name is connected, and dot to dot collect the history of where we came from.