Sunday, May 05, 2013

I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Grady

There is a big hospital in Atlanta called Grady. Apparently a lot of babies get delivered there, hence the bus stop shelter signs and highway billboards showing some ordinary person claiming "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Grady." If you are a "Grady Baby," you are a native Atlantan for sure.

But this blog post is Part 3 in a short series about my brother-in-law named Grady who is still not fully conscious after a February 3rd bicycle-versus-truck accident in Florida.

From what I've learned while getting to know Grady the past several weeks, he is quite an influential man. Not in a profound or infamous kind of way—but rather in a simplified, utterly human way. It is in his nature to inspire others to be better people and live life as if God and the Truth within you comes before everything else. It's a simple yet sometimes trying way to live.

Grady is a smart man, a "numbers guy," as his wife Joanie says, with a natural gift of persuasive people skills. He is the kind of person who has learned to laugh at himself and live in the present. Being the type of person who would give anyone the shirt off his, back, Grady has been a positive role model to his children and nieces and nephews, ensuring they are thinking about their futures and planning for them. According to Grady, by the time you are 17, you should have your five-year plan honed to perfection.

If you are on the verge of quitting something because you are unsure of your goal, a talk with Grady will get you back on track. Marriage falling apart? Grady will tell you to read Emmet Fox. Interestingly, things work out and your world is right again.

Of course, he's not perfect—far from it, in fact. He is a genuinely caring, unique and inspirational individual. Even in his coma, he somehow manages to change the lives of others for the better. I've seen it myself. This isn't just something I'm spouting off about—it is what everybody who knows Grady is saying.

One day a while back, a sharp young man who works with Grady came into Grady's room at Shepherd Center for a visit. There lay Grady in his coma, potentially able to hear the conversation in the room, but unable to respond. I asked the fellow how he knows Grady, and he was happy to tell me all about how Grady had been his "mentor" at work but taught him so much more than how to do the job. Without appearing the least bit uncomfortable about Grady's condition, he talked about how Grady changed his life. His faith that Grady would come back to us one day was immediately apparent and went without saying.

Everyone who comes to visit Grady says this about him. What is it about him? How did he become so inspiring to so many people? I have watched and listened carefully over the past nine or 10 weeks, slowly figuring out the answer....