A Day to Remember

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

I stood six foot two inches, young and muscle-bound, wiggling my toes in the warm sand. As I gazed out at the shimmering sunlight reflecting off the aqua blue ocean I could hear seagulls and the thundering roll of a breaker as it crashed against the shore. “Life is good,” I thought to myself, with a smile. Little did I know, in a matter of moments that my life would be forever changed.

It was March 17th, 1980, 34 years ago today. My brother, Mike, and I were enjoying our Spring Break in southern California. It was there that we were to celebrate his 13th birthday on March 16th and my 18th birthday on March 18th. I remember the feeling I had when my brother and I stepped out of my car. The beach scene was breathtaking; it was the perfect day to conquer one of our goals: the surf.

We laid out our towels in a prime location on the beach. I turned to Mike and our eyes made contact. I felt the urge for the first time to tell my brother that I loved him, but I was too “cool” to go through with it. I decided to go for a swim. “I’ll be here working on my tan,” Mike said as he lied back down on his towel. I headed towards the surf as I watched the waves roll in. Suddenly, a big, powerful breaker beckoned me. I began to sprint towards the oncoming wave and dove. Like two male goats slamming their heads together, I crashed headlong into the current.

The force was immense, violently sending my body downward, my head hitting the sand bar. I heard a loud crack and I lost all sensation from my neck down. The impact had broken my neck and I was left instantly paralyzed, floating motionless in the unforgiving ocean. I tried so hard to move, but I couldn’t swim. I was going to drown. No one had seen me go in and no one knew where to look for me. “Oh, God!” screamed my soul, “I don’t want to die!”

My brother, Mike, sat up from his towel. Somehow, he knew in his heart that something was wrong. Without delay he rose to his feet and ran into the churning surf. Miraculously, he found my limp body. With all the strength that he could possibly muster, he pulled me to the surface. My prayers had been answered.

As my head popped out of the water, my lungs pulled in air. Exhausted from several minutes of desperate struggle, Mike made it to shore, holding my head in his arms. He cried, “What’s the matter, Ron? Why can’t you move?” I told him that I may have broken my neck and there was something that I needed to say. “I…love..you…Mike,” I then asked him to give Mom a hug as I faded into unconsciousness.


My brother endured the painful uncertainty as he waited anxiously for the ambulance to arrive. The paramedics loaded me into the ambulance and in the confusion they didn’t realize that Mike was my brother and drove off, leaving him behind. Mike recalls much of that day standing on the unfamiliar beach, in an unfamiliar town, not knowing where to go and not being able to drive.
As he stood alone, a kind woman slowly approached him. She called him by name and told him that everything was going to be okay. He wondered how she had known of so many things, having never met her. The woman invited him to her beach house so he could use her phone. She watched over him until friends of our family found him.

Being a parent with children of my own, I can only imagine what it must have been like for my mother to receive the call 34 years ago. The hospital worker on the other end, told her that her son was in a terrible accident and needed life support. She needed to fly in to California immediately to sign paperwork. The news drove my poor mother her to her knees. My father tried to comfort her uncontrolled sobbing as he, too, felt as though his heart had fallen out of his chest.

When my parents walked into the ICU, I was scared and I asked my mom for a hug. Dad placed his hand on my head and earnestly prayed. It was then that we felt a sense of peace in the midst of our despair. It was March 18th, my 18th birthday.

I celebrate the memory of this day, as tragic as it was, for it reminds me that in the midst of human tragedy God’s love can find a way. Even if it’s through the arms of a little brother, in the words of an angel, the hug of a mother, or the warm hand of a father, I believe it is our faith in the Lord that sustains us. When I was under the water, I remember thinking three things: I didn’t tell my brother that I loved him, I didn’t hug my mother goodbye, and I didn’t do what God created me to do which was to help others.

Thank God for second chances. For the last 34 years, I’ve made sure to tell people that I love them, I won’t pass up a hug, and I have worked diligently to help others. I have missed the mark more than once and the obstacles still come my way, but I am truly grateful for another day. May you be reminded through your own experience of the true purpose for the gift of your special life.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me on my journey with your prayers and financial support. You truly make a difference in my life. Let’s keep changing the world.

Recently I’ve realized the impact of my speaking in public schools. It is more necessary than ever, and the exciting thing is, kids listen to me as I inspire them to believe in themselves. If you’re able to help me on this journey financially, please visit us by clicking below.

To your inspiration,

Ron Heagy

To donate to Never Give Up: http://www.rollonron.com/donate-never-give-up.php
To donate to Ron personally: http://www.rollonron.com/donate-ron-heagy.php

For Grandma

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

Over the past 50 years, I’ve had the privilege of being the grandson of Theresa Buckmaster. Although my stories are different from others who knew her I know one thing is true for us all: we love this caring, kind, compassionate, and strong woman. The name Theresa comes from the Greek word for “harvest.” Although she assured me that her love-making took place less than a dozen times, she did have nine children.

Those nine children gave her nineteen grandchildren and those nineteen gave her 33 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. Mother Theresa at 91 lived, laughed, loved and left a legacy for us all. She was a woman who valued faith, family, and friends.

She loved animals, gardening, knitting, and all types of crafts. One of my prized possessions was created by her, a handmade porcelain doll. She passed on these creative talents to her children and then to their children. It is because of Grandma, that I became a mouthpainter.

We all have memories of Grandma; here are a few of mine. Three weeks ago, Gracie and I went to visit her in the nursing home. We talked for awhile, with no response. Finally she said, “I love you, too. My bottom hurts, and I think you should go home now.” It is hard to see your grandma like that, and it stirred up many memories, including Grandpa’s passing. I will never forget the way she stroked his hands during his last days. Although he was a rigid man, he loved my grandmother. I was there the day he passed away and I remember her looking into his eyes as she spoke softly to him.

I remember the trips in Grandma’s trailer from Girabaldi to Wisconsin. Grandma believed in me and on those trips would let me try things that no one else would. She once let me go out in Grandpa’s boat alone in Girabaldi Bay to fish. Unfortunately, the tide changed and I nearly was swept out to sea. However, I remembered their instructions and made it safely to shore.

On another trip with them to Wisconsin, Grandpa was sick, so Grandma drove the Ford Escort with no air-conditioning (thanks to Grandpa’s stingy nature) while I drove in my cool new van. Late one night as we were crossing South Dakota, I hit a deer, crushing the front end of the van. It was Grandma who drove into the nearest town late at night and found the necessary help. I must say, it was scary being trapped in my van on a lonely, dark highway with a deer lying underneath the rear bumper. Not to mention being stuck in the van while it was being towed, bouncing along behind the tow truck.

Grandma was always there for me–she was there for all of her family. She made me laugh and she loved to kiss me. After her stroke it became a little more challenging to get her to her feet in order to “plant a good one” on me. She loved chocolate and during a family gathering, she ended up with chocolate all around her mouth. My brother, noticing this, said, “Grandma, did you kiss Ron yet?” With a big, chocolate-coated smile on her face, she was helped to her feet. I think he did it on purpose, but while Grandma leaned in she lost her balance and fell face-first into my lips. It was a big one, all right, chocolate and all! But I must say, it was the best chocolate kiss that I’d ever received.

These stories could go on and on, but I’d like to share my earliest, fondest memory in closing.

When I was six years old I was crazy about motorcycles. My Grandma Heagy worked hard to keep me from the Honda shop; she thought Grandma Buckmaster was up to no good. But one day somehow there I was, in the show room. The smell of new motorcycles truly excited me. I was told that I could look, but not touch. That’s when it caught my eye; its chrome gleaming in the light. It was the toughest-looking bike I had ever seen. It beckoned to be broken by me. I crawled onto the seat and reached forward to grab the handles. I was riding, blowing slobbery sounds, and imagining places I wanted to be when all of a sudden the front wheel shifted and the bike fell, crashing to the floor with me on it. I was not hurt, but very scared and began to bawl in remorse. What had I done? I felt like a failure. I went to Grandma in tears to confess my little boy sin. However, she knew that I was remorseful and that I had a good heart. She hugged me and I’ll never forget the words she said: “Ronnie, I forgive you. Everything is all right.” “Maybe I could sweep the floor?” I asked. We laughed; it was the first time that I felt forgiveness like that until 10 years later. My life had become a mess and one day my dad gave me a Bible. Reading the Book of John, I found Jesus. I prayed for Christ to forgive me and to become a part of my life. Like that moment of forgiveness with Grandma, it changed me forever.

Little did I know two years later that I would become paralyzed from the neck down. Our faith in the Lord is what has gotten me and my family through the struggles associated with my confinement to a wheelchair. I may never ride a motorcycle again, but even with that immense change in my life, Grandma always made me feel like a million bucks.

She passed many lessons on regarding faith, family and friends. My life would and will not be the same without her. In fact, I will finish what she started. I will inspire and encourage others to pick up where she left off and keep the torch of her spirit alive. The painting below was started by Grandma, but when she could no longer paint, I was fortunate to finish it.


Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother Theresa, you have a great heart. We love you; we miss you and please give Brock, Bruce, Doug, and my mother Theresa a big hug. We will see you soon.

I want to thank all of you for allowing me this opportunity and honor to recognize one of the greatest women in all of our lives. Grandmother Theresa, you have sown a bountiful harvest.

To your inspiration,


Noah’s Ark

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

I recently saw a preview for the movie, “Noah,” with Russell Crowe starring as Noah. I was blown away because it wasn’t more than a week prior to seeing this preview that I had begun my newest painting, which was of Noah’s Ark! I found it a little ironic that out of all the years I’ve been painting, this movie would come out at the same time I chose to paint the famous ark.

Most of us are captivated by the thought of a man, who has never seen a flood, building an ark in the middle of nowhere because he believed that God told him to do so. Even if you don’t believe the Biblical story, you have to give credit to such a man of faith. Noah was driven, passionate, and believed that it was possible. Can you imagine the ridicule he must’ve faced? No matter how big the defeats, architectural challenges or lack of ingenuity, Noah pressed on and finally, in spite of all the odds, he constructed a monstrous boat the likes of which had never been seen before.

This narrative found in Genesis Chapter 6 has given me great inspiration and I personally believe that God has given us talents and abilities so that we may accomplish amazing and seemingly impossible dreams. No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, you are capable of completing your mission.

What is our mission? What are we passionate about? What do we need in order to get back to making our dreams come true? I’m encouraged to keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish the task that God has given us. Like Noah, let’s make the impossible possible. You, my friend, have a purpose, so let’s stay focused and enjoy our task.

I may not be able to build an ark, but I can paint one.

To your inspiration,


Roni, A Dream Come True

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

As I sat gazing over the freshly planted grass surrounding the first structure of Camp, Attitude, I was proud. I watched as a group of teenagers who, in spite of their own challenges, offered their physical labor to build a facility so that kids with all types of disabilities could roam and play freely. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a lady approaching. “Boy, those kids did a good job. It sure is nice to see teenagers working with a positive attitude.” Reflecting on that statement, I jokingly said, “You must have some of your own.” “Yes, I do and have I had some challenges lately. In fact, you have probably heard already that my fifteen year old is pregnant.”

Little did she know that my ex-wife and I had been trying desperately to become pregnant. We had done just about everything, but the doctor’s final words were, “Ron, we’ve ran all the tests and you are not able to have children.” Lying in my bed that night, wide-eyed staring at the ceiling I pondered, “Maybe God doesn’t want me to have children.” To put my anxious thoughts to rest I said a prayer and slowly drifted off to sleep.

I had a dream that night in which I gave speech at a local high school. After the event I sat at my table, autographing books and talking to kids. The line of students was long and the problems they told me of were enormous. The last girl in line approached me. She had a beautiful smile, but very sad eyes. She told me that she was pregnant and was struggling with bad thoughts. The speech changed her thinking and she wondered if I knew of someone who wanted to adopt her baby. “This is it!” I yelled as I woke up to the same dark room. Yes, it was only a dream, but I knew in my heart that God was telling me that he had prepared a special child for us; a child already in this world in need of a good home with parents that loved her.

Weeks later, here I was sitting with Janice at the camp talking about her teenage daughter. As we spoke she added “Oh, yeah. You even spoke at her school.” Remembering the dream, I immediately blurted out, “Is she thinking about adoption?” She thought I was joking at first and then with a big smile said, “Wow. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

The day Roni was born was by far the most exciting and emotional day that I had experienced. We were with the young mother through the nine months; participating in the process, from ultrasounds to foods that she craved. When the day came, we sat inside the delivery room waiting for that moment. Suddenly the door opened and the nurse was holding our beautiful new baby. With tears streaming down my face, I asked the nurse to put the baby’s little face against mine. I softly whispered in her tiny ear “Daddy’s here.” It was an amazing moment and the bond with her was immediate. This is my little girl. She would be called, Roni, and she would always be a part of me.

It’s hard to believe that today is her 14th birthday. What a beautiful dream come true. Roni is growing up to be such a fine young lady, and I am one proud dad.

Roni and I would like to thank all of you young mothers who have given the ultimate sacrifice, who did the right thing and considered adoption. Many lives have been blessed beyond measure. Roni will change the world and I’m grateful to be a part of that wonderful process. Happy Birthday, Roni! May all your dreams come true!

11-14-2013 150

To your inspiration,


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,


Helpless, But Not Alone

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

Some of you might remember me talking about my daughter, Roni, who happens to be turning 14 this month. She is a beautiful, talented, and fun-loving young lady. I truly enjoy my time with her.

The day before New Years, Roni became ill. It was about 9 that evening when she got up in a hurry and ran to the bathroom. She began throwing up, and for several hours she continued to make trips to the bathroom. I really felt for her, what a difficult way to start the New Year. Your heart aches when your child is miserable and there is nothing that you can do to help. For me, I can’t even reach out to comfort her, but I am very capable of sitting with her and gently talking. I prayed for her, asking God to grant her peace and comfort.

As a father, it was then that I realized something: my child was out of my hands (no pun intended). It can be very stressful having children even if they are grown and out of the house. We think we have control, but in reality we don’t. We may have influence, but ultimately we unable to take away their paint or make decisions for them.

I have found that the most peaceful moments come when I do what I can and leave the rest to the good Lord. I feel that there might be a lot of you who have experienced stress, worry, pain, heartache and sorrow in regard to your children. I challenge you to join me this New Year in saying a little prayer, “Lord, give me the knowledge to make wise decisions, the strength to do what I can and the willingness to leave the rest in your hands. Protect our children from the negativity and instill a positive attitude.”

If you have a child who is struggling with a chronic illness, my heart and thoughts go out to you. I would like to make myself available this New Year if you ever need encouragement or someone to talk to. I may not be able to lend a hand, but I can lend an ear. In fact, there are a number of you out there that I haven’t heard from in a long time, so please drop me a line at heagyoffice@gmail.com and let’s catch up! Also, if you haven’t visited my Facebook page for my gallery, please do at www.facebook.com/ronheagymouthpaintedart and make sure to “like” it! I have a lot more time to speak in Oregon, so if you know of anywhere my speech would be of benefit, please contact me.

By the way, Roni is back to being her spunky old self.

To your inspiration,


“Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22

“Ripped Off”

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

This last week, my youngest daughter, Gracie, wanted to pick out a special birthday gift for her mother—one that would not be a “Christmas Combo.”  If you were born in December, you can probably empathize with the frustration of getting your birthday mixed in with Christmas.  I took Gracie to a store two doors down from my gallery called Downtown Shabby so she could find the perfect gift.  We looked at various items until finally Gracie stopped and said, “I want to get THIS one!”

It was a cute little candle holder decorated with snowmen.  It was a very thoughtful choice on Gracie’s behalf.  The kind lady at the counter wrapped the items nicely and we left to look for the perfect card to match the perfect gift.  She indeed found a card that said everything that she wanted to tell her mother.  We tucked the gifts away in the back of my van.  For three days, Gracie would wait in anticipation of her mother’s reaction when she opened the carefully chosen presents.

When the birthday came, I sent a caregiver to retrieve the items out of the van only to find that they were missing!  I immediately panicked and began making calls to see if any of my helpers had moved them.  No one knew where they could be, only that they had seen them in the trunk.  In my mind, I tried to retrace my steps from the previous days.  I finally came to the conclusion that they must have been stolen from my van while it was parked outside of the mall the night before.  “How could someone do something like that?” I wondered.

Believing that the gifts were gone forever, I returned to the same shop in hopes of finding a duplicate of the candle holder that Gracie had chosen.  Unfortunately, there was nothing similar.  I left the shop with new gifts, but couldn’t help feeling that it just wasn’t the same.  They were nice items, but they weren’t handpicked by Gracie.  I felt discouraged for letting Gracie down, and also felt violated for having something stolen from my van.  However, things are not always what they appear to be.  Little did I know where the gifts had actually ended up…

They had already been delivered!  Gracie must have thought I would have forgotten them in the trunk, so she took them out that morning and gave them to her mother.  What a welcome twist to a situation that seemed so unfixable.

This story is funny now, but it wasn’t so funny when I was under the stress and frustration of being, in my mind, “ripped off.”  Sometimes we jump to conclusions really quickly even though we don’t have all of the information.  I pray that during the holiday season with all the pressure of gift buying, fellowshipping with friends and family, that we don’t feel “ripped off.”  As my story illustrates, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and begin to accuse others of wrongdoing.

I believe the secret to a joyful New Year will be facing the challenges in our lives with patience and understanding.  I invite you to join me in looking at the big picture and trying to take the high road.  Being quick to listen and slow to respond.  Forgiving yourself and others, realizing that life is fleeting.  May our hearts be filled with God’s love for all of those we encounter.  We are all created for a special purpose; you are unique and can truly make a difference in this world.  Happy New Year!

To your inspiration,


Snow Day

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

Some of my fondest memories as a child were “Snow Days.”  I remember in particular when I was eight years old and had just moved from Wisconsin to Oregon.  There was two feet of snow, which was almost unheard of in the valley.  My family thought nothing of it, though.  Wisconsin sometimes would see eight to ten feet of snow!

I felt like the King of the Winter Wonderland showing all of my new friends how to survive in the snow.  As a kid, we did not realize how trapped we were.  The stores were closed and no one could drive through the two feet of powder.  It reminds me of life and how quickly things change.  Circumstances and situations can leave you trapped like a blanket of snow.  The secret is: be prepared.  God tells us to fear not because we spiritually know he is in control.  Physically, it’s important to have resources, food, clothing, and tools.  Emotionally, it is good to maintain relationships with friends and family.  Teamwork is much more effective than isolation.  Maybe you can stop for a moment and formulate a plan for how you would make it through life’s crippling circumstances.  During these holidays I recommend spending time counting your blessings and being grateful for family, friends and community.

Please enjoy this video that Gracie and I made:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCpaAggAXKo">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCpaAggAXKo</a>

To your inspiration,


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, Friends,

This is Ron, wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that you have a wonderful weekend, and to those of you travelling: stay safe!  I appreciate you and all that you do.

Please enjoy the following video:

To your inspiration,


Veteran’s Day

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

Monday was Veteran’s day, and along with you I celebrated how grateful I am to those who have given their all for this country.  Gracie and I attended a Veteran’s Day parade here in our little hometown of Albany.  Gracie enjoyed seeing the various marching bands and festivities honoring our brave service men and women.

However, I was not enjoying my time as well as I could have.  I was freezing.  It was so cold and I wasn’t properly dressed for the weather that morning.  I didn’t complain much about it but my discomfort was showing.  As the parade marched on my 8 year old girl took her coat off and wrapped it around my frigid neck.  I told her that it was not necessary as I was sure she was cold, too.  She flipped the hood up and insisted that I was the one who needed it more.  “What a sacrifice that is, Gracie.  Why don’t you move my chin control away from me and you can snuggle up on my tray.  We’ll share the coat.”  That was the best feeling of all; having her close to me, making her laugh by blowing puffs of air into her hair.


I was so moved by Gracie, I couldn’t stop thinking about her actions.  I decided to buy her a small gift to honor her graciousness.  What a kind heart she has and what a prime example of selflessness she gave.  As her father, I should be the one to give up my coat.  Yet, allowing her to give from her heart without being told to, tells me that we are doing something right.

Every day should be considered Veteran’s Day.  If it was not for our veteran’s, there would be no freedom to enjoy the holidays—a freedom that we so easily take for granted.  And, with these holidays approaching quickly, look for selflessness and honor it–do something when you see it.   My heart is still blessed by Gracie’s actions.  I would like to invite you to recite a little prayer that she and I say together:  “Let my heart be filled with love and joy, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness and self –control.”  Make it a blessed day.

To your inspiration,


Grandma Heagy

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

This may be difficult to believe, but my Grandma Ruth is turning 95 years young this weekend.  My grandmother is a wonderful woman.  She grew up in Illinois and moved to Wisconsin where she and my grandfather raised three tough boys.  Not an easy task for anyone, but my 5’2” grandmother wasn’t afraid of anything.  She could tell you stories that would make your stomach turn.  I thought that maybe you’d enjoy hearing a few.

One time, my uncle, Dave, thought he could get away from her, but just before he got out of the door, Grandma threw a fork, puncturing the fatty part of his arm and dangling there.  You didn’t mess with Grandma Ruth!

As the firstborn grandson, I spent a lot of time with Grandma growing up.  Although I had a good heart, I sure got into mischief frequently.  I remember Grandma scolding me and a couple of times, dragging me by the ear and planting me on the couch.

When I was 15, we got a call from Grandma.  Grandpa had cancer and wasn’t doing well.  So, all the families made a trip to Wisconsin to visit them.  When we arrived, the grandkids were excited to find that a fair amount of snow had fallen a few days before.  While the younger children were playing, I built a snow cave and told my brother to wait inside.  My plan was to give him a signal to jump out of the cave and scare the younger grandkids.  I went into the house while Mike waited.  During this time the cave began to give way and came crashing down on him, trapping him beneath the heavy snow.  Moments after the cave-in, I walked out with my family and saw his arm protruding from the mound of snow, flailing back and forth.  I dug as fast as I could to get to his face.  He was blue and his mouth was full of snow.  I had to clear it out with my fingers.  He gasped loudly and screamed at the top of his lungs, the color returning to his face.

My mom took me down to the basement, Grandma following close behind her.  Grandma grabbed me, shaking me and yelling, “What are you doing?!  Your grandpa is dying and here you are trying to kill your brother!”  She was upset and rightfully so.  I couldn’t believe how strong she was.  After giving me a tongue lashing, I was passed along to the “executioner,” my father.  I chuckle about it now, but at the time, I wasn’t sure if I’d make it out alive!

Grandma wasn’t always tough.  I’ll never forget the time that I stayed the night at my mom and dad’s.  It was getting late and I asked if I could lie down.  My parents lived in a two-story house and because I was wheelchair-bound, I slept downstairs on the fold-out couch.  As Mom prepared the bed, I recognized that there was a problem—no one was there who could help her lift my body from the chair to the bed.  That is, no one except for Grandma who was nearing 80, at the time.  Grandma overheard our conversation and said, “I can help!  What do I have to do?”  I replied, “If Mom gets under my arms, then you could get under my knees and lift.” “Okay, everybody on the count of three.”  Grandma braced herself, one my knees on either side of her hips like she was carrying a wheelbarrow.  When I said “three” Mom pulled my upper body out of the chair, which lifted my hind end and shifted the remaining weight to Grandma.  The load proved a bit much and we heard a “toot, toot, toot.”  “Oh, my,” Grandma said, but the toots kept coming.  We were in mid-lift, yet my mom and I couldn’t help but laugh.  Mom was laughing so hard that she was beginning to lost strength.  We were all laughing now, and so hard that we collapsed in a pile on the bed.  We laid there laughing hysterically for at least 10 minutes.  I told Grandma that she and her “motorboat” did a fine job.  Grandma never offered to lift after that, but we still find it hilarious every time the subject is brought up.

Grandma Ruth is the reason why I pursued my art.  She would say, “Ronnie, you could make some money selling your art.”  In fact, she held the only piece of art that I had painted with my hands.  When I was six years old, I painted a crying clown and gave it to my grandma.  When she asked me why the clown was crying, I explained to her it was because he had to move away from his grandma.  45 years later, unbeknownst to me, Grandma returned that precious piece of art, which is now hanging prominently in my living room.  It is one of my greatest possessions.

Grandma had encouraged me, inspired me, and believed in me all of my life.  I’m so grateful that I’ve had her influence for the past 52 years.  May you have many more years of impact on the lives of others.  Grandma Heagy, you rock!…and toot. 🙂

Please follow this link to view the crying clown: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5pooaik2e37k9rw/clown%20011.JPG

To your inspiration,


Fear is the Father of Failure

This is Ron Heagy with your Motivational Message:

Fear is the father of failure, so if failure is not your goal, then replace your fears with faith, courage, and belief.  I say this not because I’ve mastered it.  Out of nowhere, fear will attack my heart.  It is then that I ask God to give me faith and strength necessary to overcome my personal fear.  It’s not as easy as I might make it look and at times I lack faith.  Click here to see my latest mouthpainting and hear a short story about my father.   I hope that it inspires you.

If you cannot view the video, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nURNpLSfjbI

To your inspiration,