That's my Dad on the right- age 6.
His brother, my Uncle Scooter, on the left- age 8.
He had a great life because he made it a great life.
To tell you how awesome my parents were, I had an imaginary friend named Caddy. She specifically told me to spell her name that way. She was a little older than me and so teeny tiny that she could sit in my hand. That was only when she was in my world. When I would go with her to her world, she was tall, with long light blonde hair, almost white with a hint of cream.
We were inseparable.
My parents, of course, didn't know what to think; however, they remained unphased. They even welcomed this new addition to the home. My mother would tell my father that Caddy was joining us for dinner and he would ask if she could sit by him, between us. A tiny saucer would be set for her accompanied by little accoutrements. When we would watch movies Dad always asked if Caddy was joining us and if so, he would make her a bowl of popcorn too. When he carried me to bed he asked if Caddy was coming as well and made sure that she was in my hand.
It was a magical time and that's how my life began.
Fast forward to March 11, 2019. I woke up to the text/call no one wants to get. "Dad went into ICU late last night, things are not looking good."
I knew. I vacillated all day with what to do- drive, fly, when to leave? Virginia is 12 hours from here by car.
By Tuesday I rearranged most of my clients for the week. I started packing. Decided to drive on Wednesday early. I prepped the car, grabbed all of the old photos, and my pillow. My sisters and mom keeping me informed along the way- the plans to remove the ventilator. What a process, we had no idea!
I was able to connect with my Dad energetically Tuesday evening and he had plenty to say to all of us. It was a touching experience- me sharing his words and thoughts with everyone. He was even funny. He said, "Your mom is not going to like this, but ask her if she remembers our first Valentine." Then he started giggling and had a little smirk. My Mother said, "Oh Goodness, why on earth would he bring THAT up? Of all things!" I said well he is telling me y'all have a story and she said, "Yes, that we do! It was awful." So now my Dad is laughing because he implied that he got better thru their 60 years of marriage, which she agreed he did.
To this day the story is between them only. Neither one is telling us.
On Wednesday morning, I didn't sleep thru the night and decided to just go when I felt I was ready to make the drive. I knew they would be unplugging his oxygen that morning. I knew I wouldn't make it to VA by the time he passed. I was ok with that, knowing I do what I do for a living.
I got on the road about 2 hours later than I had originally wanted. That too, I trusted in as part of the plan.
So as I am driving I am of course thinking about life, my life, my Dad, my family- how wonderful growing up was for me. How we were all (my sisters and me, I am the middle for you curious ones) encouraged to follow our dreams, be creative, keep learning and that anything is possible. We were supported in most all of our decisions and choices and yes there were some hard lessons in those too. Ha Ha
I thought about me starting Rosie Blu in Fairhope- my parents thought I was crazy to leave my awesome job in San Francisco, yet they came here and supported the store. I created a line of botanical hydrosol sprays I called 222 Waters and that too, they supported. 222 is the sign to remember to keep your thoughts positive. Say only positive things and keep focused on your dreams because they are close to manifesting. I called my 222 Waters- Positively Inspired Botanical Mists and sold lots of them in the store for several years. Even today people ask for them. I had some in the car with me on my drive to VA and was using them to keep me focused and positive.
So here I am driving, crying, spraying and laughing and trying to connect with Dad some more.
I got the message the morphine drip was in. One hour to go before they could remove the oxygen. I got the message the ventilator was removed and I am driving, they are waiting. I was right outside of Montgomery.
I drove on waiting for the message that he made his transition. But the message didn't come. Finally my sisters call, they were taking a break and going to walk the dog. One says nothing is happening. Then the other says, "We think Dad is waiting for you to get here." I was close to my dad so I understood. I laughed tho and said well he's got a long wait then cause I am not even to Atlanta yet, but ok, if that's what he wants.
I keep driving. I like to mow thru Atlanta and get to the first rest stop in South Carolina on Lake Hartwell. It's beautiful and peaceful there and I always look forward to the stop.
I keep driving.
I think about how smart dad was, how clever. How many things he made and fixed. I remembered how he loved old classic fun cars and antiques in general. He often showed up with one, surprising the family, mom got used to it. One time when I was maybe 7 or 8, he brought home an old diner jukebox. It was LOADED with records from the 50s thru the current 70s. He rigged it so that we could pop a quarter in and play a song and the quarter would be returned to us so we could keep playing song. It was SO much fun and really showed his playful spirit!
I am nearing my South Carolina stop- I tell my dad how much he would like the car I have now and how comfortable the ride would be, plus it's fun and fast. I tell him I think it is sweet that he wants to wait for me and yet I understand if he is ready to go. I still had 5 or 6 hours to drive. I tell him it's okay that I can still connect with him and I know he has got to be ready.
I pull into the stop. Taking my phone with me just in case. no messages. I have no concept of time. I get back to the car and do a few stretches before I get back in.
Sitting, I look down, there is the next message.
Kelly said, "He's Free! He waited til only Mom was in the room and he left his physical body at 2:22 pm!"
They sent me the picture of the whiteboard the nurses write on- yep time of death 14:22 -i was blown away! we ALL were. My Dad was so clever- I think he planned it all along, considering I was leaving later than I planned. And yet- how did he know I would make my favorite stop at exactly that time?! He was a genius and that alone was a sweet gift on his exit. He was giving til the end and so thoughtful. We were all laughing and crying knowing how magical that message was, knowing he was excited to be able to send that last message. He knew. He heard me. He said I see you in that.
And when I did start driving, I was laughing and crying for the next several hours. It was hard to be sad- like he took the grief away in that act.
Magical! He was magical through and through and he punctuated his departure. I was so lifted.
It's only been barely two weeks and my Dad is a fast learner of course. He picked everything up right away. As a matter of fact when I pulled into my parent's driveway, my sister opened the front door as I am parking. Just as I open my car door the front porch light blew in this huge explosion. We knew...
Maybe 5 days after, I got in my car and in between my seat and the console is a french fry. I laughed because one time he gave me one of his cars and it had a french fry in the exact same spot. Along side the fry was a $1 bill. I said, "Ok Dad, thanks for the dollar! I get it" I don't have random bills hanging out in my car as I am very organized. A couple of days later I am on the phone in my front yard and I see a glimmer in the street. We live on a cul de sac so it's quite. I retrieve a quarter. Then I see another coin and another and another. I pick up pennies, dimes and nickles and quarters. Later I dropped them on the coffee table and realized they added to , yep, one dollar.
So I call my mom Sunday, she is a bit of a reluctant believer, it's not her really, it's the Catholics- which I say affectionately- I have a wonderful experience growing up Catholic and hey, it's they who honor the mystics and saints. I mean we pray to St Anthony for lost things, St Francis for our animals and so forth.
I tell mom about Dad leaving me dollars and she gasped! She went to church Saturday and grabbed a hymnal and as she sat down a $1 dollar bill fell out. We both laughed and laughed - He hasn't even been gone 2 weeks! not even 10 days!
She told me when he started to lose his mind more, he would go around saying "I don't even have a dollar to my name." Mom would always fold up a dollar bill for him and put it in his pocket or his cigarette pack- he quit smoking years ago yet as he grew closer to the end he picked it back up until he couldn't figure out which end to light and then he just carried the pack around with a dollar in it, forgetting about the smokes, but joking he had a dollar.
Later that day my girlfriend from CA called and sent me a picture of the sand dollars she found in our favorite beach spot. I laughed. I knew. And after telling a friend in Birmingham about it, she texted the next day asking if my Dad would leave her one? She was cleaning her daughter's room and a dollar was sitting under a box she picked up. No rhyme or reason. And I laughed and said "Yes! Yes! Yes! Dad was so social and friendly and all of my friends loved him!"
So all of you be aware- now that you know- my Dad is John Edward Grady- a brilliant mind and happy soul and he knows who read this. I'm just sayin' watch for those dollars (he is clever too, not just coins or bills and sand dollars as you can see) and please, by all means, let me know.
There really is Life after Life and if you don't believe I bet my Dad can make a believer out of you. I know my stories are just beginning. A new relationship with him is unfolding, growing deeper and he is WAY more Unlimited in this form. Even though I am grieving, I am going thru the stages and have been in a consistent stupor; somehow, I feel more empowered knowing he is there supporting me in even greater ways than he could here. And since he taught me that Anything is Possible, Nothing is Off-limits, I cannot even IMAGINE how my life will change with him in Non-physical.
One thing I DO know, is that it'll be dang good!
John E. Grady
March 1, 1937 ~ March 13, 2019
My sweet Daddy made his transition the same month he entered into this life. He was always happy, generous, kind and playful.
(and still is...)
My Dad was a very involved Dad. He always made time to be with us, driving us to school and playing with us when he got home from work. He was a total genius at everything so we all excelled in our studies- he even made homework and learning fun and inspired my love of knowledge and learning to this day. Keep Learning! Stay youthful ~
Anything is Possible
One of the greatest gifts of having a father who was an engineer and wildly creative, is that everything is a puzzle and all puzzles are meant to be solved. He taught me to believe that Anything is Possible and to never give up on my dreams and visions. I am forever grateful to have been influenced by such a positive thinker.
The above photo is a couple of days after his transition and the day before the visitation. We wanted to show as much of our Dad's life as possible. He was extraordinary indeed and it was truly a lovely gathering.
March is wrapping up. April (my birthday month) is otw~
I am traveling next week to visit my Sand Dollar girlfriend. We are meeting in Arizona and I am looking forward to the break, the desert air, the togetherness of a friend that goes beyond friendship.
I look forward to sharing more stories and hearing yours and I am open for appointments the second week of April. I have a few slots open this Saturday- we can meet in person in Mobile or have a phone session. You pick.
Otherwise, stay aware, stay happy, stay kind and make the most of this life! You have talents and gifts and people who love you-
and like ALL SPIRITS SAY - "Have more fun! Stop taking life so seriously! It's waaaaaaay too short."
~ Love, Betsey
(and my Dad-John Grady)