I mostly remember Gordie before his ALS diagnosis as a tall man with a very gentle spirit. Whenever I saw him, he shook my hand (in that large bear paw of his), crossed his arms, sort of leaned back a little, and acted like I was the most important person in the world. He has always been a good listener.
Before his life with ALS he loved to play the guitar, and we watched as he went from standing up, to playing on a stool, to strumming while sitting in a chair. It was a sad day indeed when his fingers could no longer work a pick.
But if there’s one thing I can say about Gordie: in the six years that he has had ALS, his physical stature may have become smaller, but the man has become a spiritual giant in my eyes. I know he has had his share of depression and weariness. I’m sure there are days when he wants to give up. But he doesn’t, he keeps going. And I think we can all use that kind of inspiration from time to time: someone who forges ahead, believes, and fights, even in the midst of overwhelming odds.
Here is a video of the speech he gave at a recent fundraising event. He can no longer speak, so he used a computer program to deliver his words to the crowd. Please take a moment and listen to a very wise, very strong man.
“Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” David Grayson