Jim Grimm never joined our Million Mind March, he died yesterday quietly in "his" home. He was 42 and he Dared to Live with Cerebral Palsy that captivated him to rejoice in a life few live so strongly. He never uttered a word, yet he profoundly and joyfully touched the lives of all who came to know him. He was an inspiration to all who met him.
Born with cerebral palsy and unable to communicate verbally or move of his own volition, Jim turned his severely isolating lifelong disability into a gift of connecting deeply with others. The community of Chisago Lakes rallied around the family while Jim was in preschool, little Jim went to school and graduated with his class in 1986. He was a friend to all. Independent and strong spirited, he moved into his "own" home as an adult and was surrounded by care givers who became his "Friends." He climbed the first Liberty Ridge.
His Award Winning "The Heart's Alphabet - Daring to live with Cerebral Palsy." Won National Mom's Choice Gold Award for Adult Memoirs. The Heart's Alphabet is Jim's self-told story, painstakingly spelled out, letter by letter, with the assistance of an interpreter is a tale of personal perseverance, a tribute to loving families, and-most of all-a testament to the possibilities that lie within each of us.
- Jim ran the race of life wearing a wheelchair.
- Jim taught life living independently hurdling barriers other placed before him.
- Jim climbed Liberty Ridge - he scaled the impossible as a man
- Jim spoke letter by letter with his tongue - his words and life live on in his book
- Jim loved life, people, concerts, vacation, travel, sports & his dogs.
His dogs was how I was reunited with Jim last year. Jim was looking for a dog and he knew what "he" wanted. After visits with my large size puppies, he clicked with his tongue "No." For Jim his No has always meant no, and his Yes has moved him forward. He never settled for I Can't. For Jim has always been able to work with his family, love with his family, and do with his family and the community he became a part of - He expressed his needs - as a child and as a wholesome and loving man.
His parents, his sister and brother and the community he embraced can rejoice in a life lived with courage and strength. He won the race, he finished his life and I am sure on both feet this man raced into heaven - his job well done! For Jim death was his first step - and knowing him his body free he can now run and jump at last.
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me.
Your right hand will hold me fast."
His website is http://theheartsalphabet.com/
May his family be blessed in their remembrances.