Gracie and Her Dunce Dad

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

Today I rolled into the cafeteria of Gracie Lee’s elementary school wearing a handmade paper dunce hat. On the hat was written “Happy Birthday, Gracie.” She tried to ignore me at first until a couple of boys yelled, “That’s cool, man!” The funny thing is…it WAS cool and frankly, I encourage more dads to do it.

This day, nine years ago, was literally one of the most incredible events that I have ever witnessed. Believe it or not, this wimpy dude who is afraid of blood sat and watched the cesarean section that was the birth of Gracie. My adrenaline and immense joy helped me maintain consciousness. As the doctor lifted and turned her precious little body, I could see her sweet scrunched up face for the first time. I was overwhelmed and filled with intense emotion. My mind could not comprehend, nor was it prepared for such an amazing experience.

Within seconds, Gracie took her first breath. I thank God that I could be a part of not only her conception, but her first moments in this world. After all the necessary procedures and safety precautions were completed, they wrapped her snugly in a pink blanket. I had designed a sling that my mother sewed for me so that I could hold her once she was born. Once the nurse placed her against my neck and chest in the sling, I couldn’t stop kissing her warm little head; she had that new baby smell. I lost it.

After I regained my composure, I proceeded into the waiting room, with Gracie secured in the sling. My heart was pounding; I was as proud as a peacock.


Nine years later, I sit with the same awe-stricken attitude as I gaze into the big brown eyes of my baby girl. I have loved and will continue to love all of our special moments together, particularly, today, the celebration of that most memorable day.

I have made many mistakes in the past, although I regret some of them they have made me into the man that I am. Gracie’s life remind me to be grateful and rejoice in how God has taken my painful past and continues to create a positive future. A quote from the Apostle Paul “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal…”

Happy Birthday, Gracie–From a very proud, dorky dad who is not afraid to wear a dunce cap.

To your inspiration,


Posted in Ron's Thoughts.


  1. Loved the story – you are so blessed. Kevin and I hope all is going well for you and know that God continues to work miracles in your life! Blessings, my friend!

  2. Happy birthday to Gracie. She’s an amazing girl with the ultimate amazing father (and mother!). And wow–facial hair. Don’t think I’ve seen you with that before. Fuzzy wuzzy Ron!

    • Paula,

      I’m not sure if I’m the ultimate amazing father, but thank God for kids! The facial hair is new to me. The only problem is it’s difficult to scratch when you don’t have use of your hands. I try to park close to a fence post so I can scratch my face against it like a cat.


    • Greg,

      Thanks, I appreciate your support and friendship through all these years. May you be blessed for all the wonderful things that you do for others.


  3. That picture is the classic “Beauty and the Beast!” 🙂 I can’t believe Gracie is nine already. Are you sure?? That means we are getting really old! Seriously, thanks for sharing this story. You are a great dad and friend. Hope to see ya’ll in March when I come to visit! Tell Gracie happy bday from Uncle Doofy.

  4. It is so nice to see a man who recognizes the miracle of a new life. I realize this is something you never thought would happen for you so that makes it a miracle 1000 times over….So happy for you Ron…Happy Birthday Gracie…count your blessings!

    • April,

      Thank you for the reminder. I am quite fond of miracles. 🙂

      And you’re right; sometimes we forget the small miracles of life. I appreciate your inspiring words.


  5. Thank you for sharing with us Ron and reminding us how to be grateful for all things. And we are getting older, but wiser. But not losing our sense of FUN.

    Happy Birthday Gracie, we share a birth date. It is interesting that all my life I met nobody with my birth date until 2 years ago, you are now the 3rd person I have met who shares Jan. 14 as a birth date. Happy, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Joy!

    • Michele,

      So cool! Gracie appreciates the birthday wishes and loved to hear that someone shared the same birthday as her. Keep praying for wisdom and laughter for all of us.


  6. Ron! Good to hear from you… and what a cute story:) I admire your spirit and creativity. Happy Birthday to your adorable daughter, and wishing you all the best for 2014!

    • Jen,

      Along with you, I look forward to the good things that will come in 2014. May we both continue to be creative! Thank you for the wishes.


  7. Ron – what a blessing you are, and it is wonderful to hear about the what a blessing Gracie is – all children are miracles and it is great to hear what joy she brings to your life.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  8. “Happy Birthday” Gracie As always great to here your words of wisdom Ron Gracie you share your Birthday with my Grandson. He turned 8.

    • Wesley,

      Thank you Wesley for being supportive for all of these years. Also, thank you for Gracie’s birthday wishes–she was happy to hear that she shares a birthday with your grandson!


  9. Ron, I’ve been following you since you first spoke at an AIM International convention and I love your heart to give, to bring smiles, to let every person know that they matter.

    Have you considered hooking up with social media to get your blog and your message out to a wider audience? For example, Twitter & facebook, just for two. Your readership could exponentially grow, your message reach countless more thousands, and your could engage & connect with people you otherwise might never have the opportunity to engage with, perhaps even obtaining speaking engagements.

    Think about it, my brother. in His love, Nancy

    • Nancy,

      Thank you for your suggestion. I have a Facebook page, however, I have not set up a Twitter account yet (although I’m sure it’s not that hard to do). Social media is the big new thing and the wave of the future–thanks for your input! It was nice to hear from you.


  10. Ron, Thank you for your sharing the memory of your sweet Gracie’s birth. This really hit the spot for Greg and made it for a better day for him and I.
    Your fans,
    Greg and Sylvia

    • Greg and Sylvia,

      I guess you never know when something might touch another soul. That post was a bit spur-of-the-moment and I’m thankful that it came at an appropriate time for Greg.


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