Memory of Roses, Mom

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

As far back as I can remember there has not been a place I’ve lived where there were not roses in the garden. Let’s just say, it’s my favorite flower. This fond affection towards this particular flower stemmed from the experiences that I had with my mother. She, too, loved the wonders of its soft, delicate petals balanced against its thorny stems.

I recall, as a child, watching her create lovely bouquets to adorn our dining table. As with any good relationship she took time and care to nurture growth. She carefully pruned, deadheaded, fertilized, and watered her roses, paying careful attention to its needs. She would say, “Roses are like friends. You get out as much as you put in.”

Indeed, it takes time; you don’t just give up on them. Struggles in life are like the seasons to a rose. There is a time when its beauty is brilliant and heavy with perfume, but when the seasons turn they are left to wilt and withdraw. Unfortunately, I have allowed a lot of my relationships to wither and die. I have neglected to nourish them and instead have given little attention and care. Despite this, I desire a vibrant, meaningful experience with another person.

With each stroke of my brush against the canvas, I visualized the perfect rose and once again I was reminded of the wisdom my mother had imparted to me. While my neck became sore from hours of careful attention, a tremendous burst of color played across the canvas creating the radiance of a rose.

It took me nearly 50 hours to paint the roses that I’ve enclosed in this blog. Not a day went by that I didn’t think of my mother and how she would have enjoyed my painting. I miss her probably more than anything else, but then again, I miss a lot of things: relationships, friends, people that I’ve neglected or hurt. I ask myself: is there a friendship I need to attend to? Is there a phone call I should make—a connection long overdue? I must remember that like a rose, friendships or love must be physically nurtured; a connection face-to-face, heart-to-heart.

I ask you to remember, as well, that love involves care, attentiveness, compassion, consideration, forgiveness, time, energy, laughter and tears. Lay your technology aside and tend to your roses. They are waiting for you.

roses

To your inspiration,

Ron

Maui Miracle

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

Brilliant colors burst across the sky as I sat confined to my chair yet mentally free. The Maui sunset; what a spectacular sight to behold! With immense gratitude I thanked God for my eyesight. It was like a rush of creative energy, faith, belief, aloha. It is difficult to restrain the feeling of love you experience in Hawaii.

The older I get, the more I realize how important people are. Friendships are beyond value. I have not only experienced many blessings from time with my friends, but I have also been a lot of places as a result of those friendships. Maui is a prime example.

As most of you know, I had a dream, a vision if you will, of a camp that was fully wheelchair-accessible. In this dream, I saw children of all colors and creeds, disabled and not, hanging out together in the majestic outdoors. There was a wheelchair-accessible tree house that even I was able to enjoy. Children, teens and their families were smiling. They felt connected to one another through nature. Each individual special; disabilities did not prevent anyone from having a good time. Barriers came crashing down and everyone was included. It was like a little piece of heaven, but like any good dream you eventually wake up to face reality. However, with every idea there are creative juices and mine were lit on fire by the desire: “I must see this type of facility being built.”

With years of passion, planning, and the necessary people, kids from four different states streamed into the first fully wheelchair-accessible camp in the state of Oregon. I felt that I had died and gone to heaven. As I watched kids roll into the tree house, fishing from their chairs in a pond full of trout, slowly drifting into the sky in a hot air balloon or smiled as they floated down the pristine waters of the Santiam River, I realized that my dream had come true.

A few weeks later I was sharing this experience to a group of business leaders in Los Angeles. Afterwards, I rolled into a restaurant to grab a bite to eat when I heard a voice speaking my name. I turned to see a lovely Filipino woman who insisted that I have lunch with her. She shared my enthusiasm for life. Her attitude was amazing and her story was riveting. “I grew up in Hawaii where my dad worked in the sugar cane fields. My parents believed in me and encouraged me through the challenges of becoming a professional. I am now a middle school principal.” She went on. “I think your next camp should be in Hawaii.” “You’ve got to be kidding!” I thought to myself. Yet, in a few months I would be sitting in front of over 500 of her students at Iao Middle School in Wailuku, Maui.

During my stay I had the opportunity to visit many incredible places and take in breathtaking sights such as 30 foot waves pounding the north shore and whales plunging into the ocean. There were people in love walking along the sandy beaches, majestic volcanic mountains that penetrated the clouds. This would be an awesome place for anyone to be, but I thought, could you imagine a wheelchair-accessible ocean? To have the ability to float in the soothing salt water and feel the gentle waves lap against you? My dream was not yet complete. I now knew it was necessary to explore the possibilities of a new retreat. I prayed, “God, make this a reality?”

Then, it happened. I met Peter Martin. That story I’ll save for a later blog, but I want to thank Peter now for continuing to believe in giving us an opportunity.

Over the last 10 years we have been working on obtaining the necessary permits in order to proceed with the development of the camp. Last month I spent a week in the most amazing house located right on the ocean with views of two islands and a rear canyon shot of the volcano. Although it was still under construction, Peter wanted me to be the first guest to experience the house. Of course, I graciously complied and am truly grateful for his generosity. I was blown away by the beauty of every minute and am fully inspired to ensure that as many people as possible, particularly children with physical limitations, have a taste of that paradise. To have a place to overcome pain, losses, struggles, and go beyond life’s limitations. A place to dream big. It’s time to build Camp Never Give Up Maui and make the ocean wheelchair-accessible.

maui

Stay tuned for the Maui Miracle and of course, if this is something that interests you, please let us know. I wish you many inspiring sunsets as you begin your new year!

To your inspiration,

Ron

In Time for the Holidays

Hello, Friends,

If you are looking for a unique Christmas gift that is sure to inspire, we have one for you! For the first time ever, Ron is offering original, one-of-a-kind artwork “mouth-painted” on Christmas ornaments. For $60.00 plus S&H you can purchase an ornament with a bird of your choice painted by Ron himself. Be one of the first to own a Ron Heagy original!

To purchase, please contact heagyoffice@gmail.com with your name, address, and what bird you would like to see painted on the ornament. This is on a first come, first served basis. Thank you for understanding; Ron can only handle so many.

ornaments 001

Dream Come True

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

The light came on at 5:00am which interrupted an intense dream. I was holding a small child in my arms who was paralyzed. In one hand I held her head softly against my chest and I could feel a great love. In the midst of my dream I was frantically searching for a baby wipe to clean the mess her frail body had made. I recall the smell seemed completely insignificant to me because she needed my help and I was there. I was there, all right, awakened by the smell of my own mess.

My caregiver gently began to clean me up, washing my armpits, hands and feet. She turned me from side to side to clean my back. She then helped me into my jeans, sliding in one leg at a time. Next came the range of motion to all four limbs; stretching my muscles, tendons, and joints. She sat me into an upright position with my legs over the bed and on the count of three transferred my body to the wheelchair. After a few adjustments, leg bag in place, she brushed my teeth, shaved my face, washed my hair, and put on my shirt and sports coat. She strapped me into my chair and I was ready to face the public. “Oh, can you help me with some coffee and maybe a plate of vegetables for energy will do.”

I texted my driver to make sure that he was on his way. Once he arrived he fastened my wheelchair to the floor of the van and pulled the safety belt across me. Thanks to Dan, I was on my way.

I was invited once again to speak to a group of over 70 Oregon State University students. As I rolled my chair in front of them, it amazed me how quickly they warmed up to me. I was more than likely their first experience with a quadriplegic. Over the next 45 minutes I challenged them to take a PMA (Positive Mental Atittude) test. I closed by reminding them as educators they would face children with disabilities on a regular basis. I pleaded with them to love openly and look for the opportunities beyond limitations. It was then I realized my dream of compassion from the night before came true. This eager group of students understood the message and I am confident they will face the next child with compassion. With a belief that nothing is impossible with a helping hand from others, their lives will be enriched. Now go take on your day and may your dream come true.

To your inspiration,

Ron

P.S. I almost didn’t have a driver, thank God for Dan, who not only got me there, but got me a cup of coffee.

Jumped by a Goose

This is Ron with your Motivational Message:

I thought I’d try to be a cool guy and go four-wheeling in my two-wheel drive wheelchair one day. The trail of dirt was beckoning me. I was all alone and put my chin control “to the metal.” Amazingly, I was kicking up dirt and making real head-way when out of nowhere appeared this Canadian “honker.” I came to an abrupt halt to let her pass. To my surprise, this goose had a bad attitude and nipped me in the leg with her beak. “I didn’t feel that, so there,” I said. With a hiss that would raise the hair on your neck, she meant business. Just then I noticed a nest in the long grass beside me, filled with 11 eggs. No wonder why she was so upset. I’d have a bad attitude, too, if I had to lay that many eggs. “I’ll leave you alone,” I thought to myself as I nudged my wheelchair in reverse. However, my wheels only spun and I was stuck in the mud with a hormonal goose.

The next thing I know, she’s flapping her wings and jumping up towards me. Thinking that she would attack my face, I did the manly thing and closed my eyes and screamed like a little girl. Hearing the noise must’ve done something, I thought, because when I opened my eyes she was gone. “Thank you, God,” I said. But it wasn’t God, rather God spelled backwards. My dog had come to my rescue.

Claws had always wanted to get that goose and today opportunity knocked at his doggy door. He had gotten her by the neck while I was screaming. I felt my strength return. “That’s what you get for messing with me and my dog!” I did feel sad for the goose, though, and commanded Claws to cut her loose. She had only been protecting her eggs, it wasn’t personal.

He let her go and put his nose by my hand. “How long have you been my dog? All your life?” I asked him. “You know I can’t pet your fur. You’re only making me feel bad.” The funny thing is, my dog believed in me; that someday I would be able to pet him. Determined to not let the situation get the best of me, I yelled, “Look at me!” Claws looked me right in the eye. “You are the dog of dogs. You are my dog, and I love you.” In spite of not knowing English, Claws began to wag his tail in sheer excitement. He, despite my limitations, could understand the positive affirmation I offered him. He was excited and wagged his tail because I was speaking kindly to him.

Claws and I

Today I’d like you to imagine what the world would be if we do that for one another. Instead of saying hurtful, degrading things, what about words of encouragement? We all face the hissing gooses in life, so I challenge you to go and make somebody’s day. Make their “tails wag.” Positive affirmation can change the world.

To your inspiration,

Ron