It’s Official She has Hit the Big 1-0-0!

This is Ron with your motivational message,

Its been over a year since my dad started taking care of my grandmother Ruth full time with help occasionally from my uncle Billy (with lots of gratitude). Unfortunately, since last year, my grandmother has lost another child-my uncle Dave has passed on. Dave was a great man full of character, love, and I honestly can say he was one of the best men I have ever known in my life.

Ruth’s Birthday 2017

 

2017

Even though my dear grandmother has lost her husband and two of her children she chooses to have a great outlook on life. Grandma Ruth’s fortitude and determination are evident. She loves being outdoors, enjoying flowers, and people. She knows how to see the beauty in things and never complains.

2013

2014

 

                             

 

 

 

         

                                                                                            

Wow to think you have lived 100 years without regret is amazing.

Katie who is one of my friends and a caregiver to my grandmother told me a funny story about her.

She said, “Your Grandma made my day, I almost cried.”

 

“I was giving her a shower and Ruth was joking around  and laughing.”

 

She even playfully smacked Katie with a shampoo bottle!

We better watch out, can’t image how feisty she’ll be at 101!

 

Here are a few minutes of advice from some centenarians, hey they must know something we don’t!

To your inspirations,

 

Ron

Below is my blog from last year about my grandmother Ruth

http://ronheagy.com/my-hero-just-turned-99-years-old/

 

Rolling Down Memory Lane – We Do it for the Kids

This is Ron with your motivational message,

I had the opportunity to speak to two different schools totaling over 2,000 middle school students.  Just the very thought of keeping the attention of so many students for 40 minutes made my knees as weak as jello.  Thank God I’m sitting in a wheelchair or I might have passed out.

I try to keep myself incognito before my speech begins, it’s like a moment of suspense, shock therapy I call it.   I don’t want them to see what’s about to approach the microphone until I’m introduced as the motivational speaker. It’s kind of ironic don’t you think? Being a motivational speaker when you can’t move. You can hear a pin drop; the crowd is silenced from sheer curiosity as they see me approaching the microphone with my chin-controlled wheelchair.

You can hear their minds “Oh Gosh, what’s his deal,” “Hey this is messed up”.  But that’s the golden moment for me to grab their attention and not let go for 40 minutes.  

As most of you know, I am a storyteller and I’ve learned to touch areas that are sensitive to young people today. They’re full of thoughts of suicide, lack of self-esteem, loneliness, bitterness, the list goes on.  I don’t believe it’s because I’m a “great speaker” I think it’s a gift, something magical happens when these kids come to the realization very quickly that I didn’t walk on the stage and I will not walk off.  

This guy’s story they say is “real” and we live out my life with its struggles and triumphs for 40 minutes. Each story affects kids differently and as they identify with my challenges–the impact is what they glean from.

I’m truly grateful that relatively all of my audiences feel something, that I am able to help them make a personal connection in their own life—a spark of hope, a nugget of inspiration, a dose of motivation or good entertainment for the moment.

At the close of my speech, I present a challenge, to change one thing — your attitude. I remind them that you are the master of only one thing in your life.

You are the master of your attitude.

May your hearts be filled with gratitude.  Life is what you make it.

Some kids came to my table where I hang out afterward to talk or to sign books or art. But what really touches my heart, is when a student approaches my chair, enters my bubble and asks me if they can give me a hug. Many times, with their embrace of my shoulders and wheelchair, they thank me for changing their lives.  My hope is that sticks in their mind and they will remember it forever.

Speaking about forever,

The physical education teacher helped me set up the microphone and we got to talking.

“Mr. Heagy,” he said, “This is the third time I’ve heard you speak. The first time I heard you speak, I was 15 years old at a youth group in Salem, Oregon. You spoke about life being an attitude and it stuck.”

“As a matter of fact, because of your inspiration, I finished up high school, got my college degree, and as a teacher I just sat here witnessing the very same thing that happened to me, happen again for these kids. You talk about never giving up, I just want to thank you for not giving up your speaking. 

I actually choked up a bit, I said, “Well how old are you now, twenty…five?” “No close,” he replied, “I’m 35 years old.” I said, “Oh hush, hush, don’t say that too loud! I’m trying to fake my age!”  He reminded me it’s not my age it’s the message, it’s reality, it’s life. Boy did he make my day!

Maybe you’re wondering if what you’re doing is going to pay off? Does anybody really care? Does anybody see what you do? Well, you know what I’m about to say….

Keep on and never give up!

“Well I just work a desk job” or “I’m behind the scenes,” that’s maybe true but someone somewhere is sees your effort and hard work.  Your very life and the way you respond to it can change another person’s heart. And that my friend, will change the world.

To your inspirations,

Ron

 

Attitude of Grattitude for kids of Kula

This is Ron with your motivational message,

 

 

Check out my video and see where I paint while I thank the kids at Kula!

Talk about a Can Do Attitude!

Thanks to all of the students at Kula elementary that raised over three thousand dollars to help CAN DO MAUI purchase a can do van. What amazing problem solvers they are.
Just in case you don’t know what the problem is. Each time I travel to Maui to give my various speeches, serve the Maui community, and spearhead the Can Do Maui project– I must rent a wheelchair accessible van.

The costs can be around $120 a day give or take and because it can be hard to find one we have been forced to rent vans that are not completely safe, high mileage, or faulty equipment.

In fact did you hear why the kids became passionate to pursue a Can Do van.
On my way to my presentation at the school— my driver pulled over to check directions and as we sat there on the side of the road he needed to leave the van briefly.
I told him to leave the air conditioning on he stepped out and the door locks took a dive.

Locked in the van with the keys and my driver’s cellphone.

Half an hour later thanks to Siri,

I was able to make a hands free call to get the necessary help.

It caused me to be late for my school assembly at Kula.
Of course I told the students the story and apologized profusely for the faulting van (Rent a wreck) the children and the board of directors
decided it was time to raise money for a Can Do van on the island of Maui.
This van will not only save us thousands in rentals on my returns to the island but also can provide wheelchair transportation for families.
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Thank you so much students, staff, and parents of Kula Elementary school for raising $3000!

It will take a lot more than this three thousand dollars for a wheelchair accessible van but this is an amazing start. The conversions alone to make a van accessible is expensive.

The purpose of this blog is to show recognition to this group of amazing people.

We welcome anyone who wants to get involved or help fundraiser but this is not what this is about.

To your inspiration and with an attitude of gratitude,

Ron

 

She’s what? Where did the time go…

This is Ron with your motivational message,

Roni’s dance video’s, sorry there are so many but the file was too big.

Here is my latest painting!

“Love”
RON PAINTING

To your inspirations,

Ron

Hope is always there

My name is Ron Heagy I am a father of two daughters.

A 17-year-old and a 13-year-old. My oldest daughter Roni, and I were having a conversation. In that conversation she told me that a lot of teenagers think about suicide. I was relieved when she said, “Don’t worry I am not one of them, I have my family, dancing, and great friends.”

Negative thoughts are nothing new to any of us. We all feel down at some point or another. My daughter asked me if I had ever felt depressed or suicidal. I responded with, “I can remember having suicidal thoughts after my accident at 18 which left me paralyzed from the neck down.”
My oldest daughter said, I am glad you changed your attitude and chose to live because if you didn’t our family wouldn’t be here.”

If you are feeling the holiday blues, frustrations, or struggling with hopelessness this time of the year. I want to encourage you by saying if you are breathing air into your lungs, your heart is beating, and your mind can think. LIFE IS GOOD. Today is a wonderful day.

I present to you the following message of hope, the hope rod.

Hope Rod

Happy Holidays! Here is my latest painting.
winter barn

To your inspirations,

Ron

My hero just turned 99 years old

This is Ron with a motivational message,

It was my grandmother’s birthday on the 20th of October. We had a big party with the whole Heagy family. Turning 99 is not something to cry about but celebrate.

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My grandmother Ruth has been one of the most meaningful people in my life as a female, besides my mother Theresa. It was my grandmother that always told me,

“Roni, you can do that,” “Roni you can make that,”

“Roni, you should be an artist” “Roni you can make money with your art.”

She used to say I was a talk drink of water before my accident, When I ended up in a wheelchair I remember her being afraid.

“Afraid of what?” I asked her.

My grandma was afraid that I would be sad and different. She made the first trip back in 1981 to see me in my wheelchair completely paralyzed.
She showed up almost crying, I teased, “Grandma what is your problem?” She smiled through her watery eyes. My grandma said, “Are you doing okay?” I said “Yeah, give me hug grandma.”

At that moment she wrapped her arms around me. She explained that she was afraid that my outlook and attitude would affect my life goals and aspirations.

I said, Grandma I lost my body not my personality and will to live.

From then on, my grandma and I had a pretty cool relationship. She even had me fly to Ashland, Wisconsin to speak to a few groups of people. She was proud of me.
It’s grandma I would refer to if I needed my ears pulled because she knew how to get me whipped up and back in to shape-although she is only about four foot eleven. She is one tough women! She raised three boys. One of those is my dad.
My grandmother Ruth has been through some losses. First my grandfather passed away in the 70’s and then she lost her only daughter, my aunt Barbie who died from cancer. She helped my aunt Barbie through the disease as it took her body, helped her through the starvation, and she was even there when aunt Barbie couldn’t drink water anymore and passed away. My grandma has been a solid rock in my life all these years.

Roni straighten up. Oh, horse feathers! You can do that.

I love to see my dad working with her now taking care of her needs daily, helping her to the bathroom and all. My grandma struggles with some of these things.
But she knows that she won’t be in a wheelchair forever, she knows that she will be set free when she passes. For right now she is doing well, and she still teaches me many things.

She is one of my biggest fans when it comes to my art. My grandmother is the one who encouraged me to do something more with it. She used to say, “Roni you ought to do something with your paintings. You could probably make money selling your art of you work on your skill.”

Her voice echoes in my mind, do you hear Grandma Heagy’s voice in your head?

Don’t you give up now. You can do it.

She has always been there to encourage her grandkids to make the most out of what god has given us. To have faith, believe in your family believe in others, help someone, be kind, and don’t dwell on things.

I love my Grandma Ruth and so will you.

I dedicate my art to my grandmother Ruth.

All my art and all I do will be dedicated to the love, direction, message of hope, and compassion she instilled in her family.
Grandma Ruth’s birthday
To your inspirations,

Ron

We all need encouragement

This is Ron with your motivational message

First off,

I want to thank you my friend for all your support and prayers. As I continue to roll on,
your lives and your stories are making a positive impact on the lives of the kids I speak to by your involvement.

The encouragement and the stories I receive, has shown me how much we are all a like more than we are different.

“Mr. Heagy I found your smiley face guy and decided to not end it all”

Have you ever had an experience where you have been in a situation that was fearful, life threatening? Almost trapped by your own negative thoughts?

But then you felt the calming presence of your mind-voices from your past from individuals you have respected, admired. Or something you see reminds you of some very wise words that resonant with your soul.

I received a letter some years ago from a young lady who was experiencing so very bad times. She described in this letter how she felt that there was no help and went into her closet to make a choice that she could never take back.

“Don’t jump” “Don’t do it!” “Don’t run, you can do this!”

As she stepped inside, she recalled how she found a plush smiley face guy that I had signed and given to her years before. The young lady reflected upon how in that moment, she squeezed it, inspected it, and fondly remembered the school assembly. She spoke about a part of my presentation that really stuck with “Life is a choice, so never give up!” She recalled in her moment of darkness how I said that everyone has a purpose and a reason to live. And it saved her from making a very sad choice.

– – – – – – –

Just recently I received a call.

I was talking to a friend this week, that said that she was on her way to visit a nearby lake on a beautiful sunny afternoon to let her dog romp and play.

On the way there she said her car started driving weird. Swaying a bit-to and fro. She pulled over and her tire was nearly flat. My friend was in no position to change a flat tire and was fifteen miles passed what could have been called a gas station. She wasn’t sure if she should go forward or to go back to the gas station. And being alone, she did not want to be caught stranded on the side of the road in unfamiliar territory.

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She recalled as she told me this story; A portion of my book, a simple story of how I solved a problem when I too, had a similar situation, a flat tire in Los Angeles, California with everything I owned in a trailer at 11pm. My story of problem solving and ultimately driving down the road searching for a gas station in my wheelchair with my flat tire strapped to the feet rest. She told me by remembering that story in the midst of her struggles it helped her figure out what to do. It turns out a gas station was available a few miles ahead and she managed to get her tire inflated. She thanked me for telling my story in my book and how it helped her solve her own problem.

I feel like my life relates to the feeling of entrapment. For me it’s by paralysis and it takes a lot of effort to focus your attitude shift to see the bigger picture and not let it consume you. I don’t consider myself a hero, but more like a general of endurance despite the odds and life’s curveballs.

Stories like this remind me how important it is for each one of us to do what we can, in spite of our own struggles-to encourage others.

As I have written before, many young people have expressed the overwhelming feeling of giving up. And then they hear me speak and they feel like if Ron can do, I can do it.

never give up picture

I need your help,

There are many teens and young adults struggling with insurmountable problems, situations, and pain. There are way too many suicides among teens in our great nation and it ranks third as the leading cause of deaths of teens behind accidents and homicides. In fact, teenage girl attempted suicide has double over the last fifteen years. It’s an area that not many of us like to discuss.
Matter of fact we don’t even hear about it in the news anymore.
The one state with the highest rate of suicide overall is Hawaii. You may ask yourself, well how can that be?

The local families of Maui feel trapped liked in a box, on an island without many resources in an expensive economy. Many people that are buying land are rich. Leaving mainly service jobs for locals with high costs of living.

As you know or can imagine traveling to Hawaii is not easy nor is it cheap. I have seven schools lined up to present to this coming November. I personally cannot afford this trip and I am asking that you consider donating to deliver my message of hope and inspiration to the hearts of the youth in Maui schools.

Any amount will do. It takes an army to win a battle.

And I truly thank you for continuing this journey with me.

Simply (click here )and you will be directed to the page on my website or you can donate by mail.

As a thank you for donation, I will send you a Never Give Up bracelet.

For donations of $200 or more I would like to thank you with a mouth-painted print of my latest painting, the peacock.

ron.2017

Gratitude

This is Ron with your Motivational Message,

Feeling hot and bothered I tilted my wheelchair back so I could rest my head against the concrete wall across from my booth. The day was going by slow and the crowds were minimal at the fair. I typically paint all day at events with limited breaks but as this day in particular got hotter I began feeling lethargic and overheated from temperatures over 100 degrees.

The rows of booths and their attendees around me were the only company in the building. Most of the visitors who did come inside crowded around the super fans that blew misted water and air to gain some relief.

After I rested for a while, I rolled back to my booth to take a large gulp of iced tea and to try to focus on more painting.

painting

I was adding color to my canvas with a paintbrush in my teeth when a lady came up to me and asked if I was a speaker.

peacock

She started talking to me about how her mother took her to a youth rally when she was younger in California where I was presenter. She introduced herself as Amanda and continued on saying that I really inspired her when I was younger and touched her heart. Amanda continues to use that strength today to inspire her students..

Your life, and how God has used it, has also impacted 11 years of teenage art students at Ralls HS in Ralls, TX. Your art hung over my desk for all of those years and anytime a student said, “I can’t” I just pointed to your painting and your signature. I didn’t get many “I can’t” repeats… I know that “I can’t ” really means “God can!” I couldn’t always share that part in the public school system, but with some students I was able to. Your life has taught me how God can use me, even through my limitations if I allow Him to. God’s power is limitless! When people say “God won’t give you more than you can handle…” That just isn’t true… Through life we will experience more than we can burden alone. My mom’s early onset Alzheimer’s is proof of that. Yet, in our weakest we are the strongest, because it is then we remember to let Him carry the load. Thanks again!!! Your story forever changed me, and generations to come. I get to share your story with my two daughters now. Anyway, sorry for rambling, I am just so humbled and blessed to cross paths with you again. Thank you for your time! Oh and my Momma still wears the “Attitude” t-shirt to sleep in! She may not remember why anymore but you impacted both of us in a huge way. Until next time…
Love, Prayers, & Hugs,
Thank you so very much! You have truly enriched my life.
-Amanda Stewart

amanda stewart

So keep on doing your dreams and sharing your story.
Even if there seems to be no glory!
You never know just how much you may have impacted others.

To your inspirations,

Ron