Bob Headings, of Columbus Ohio, was in a ladder accident about ten years ago leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. It had taken alot of determination to get on with his life but with dignity he had done just that.
In March, Headings' three sons and eight grand sons (ages eight to eighteen) took off with the patriarch of the family on a trip to the Grand Canyon National Park. Bob actually had taken this hike once before his paralyzing accident. But this trip was not your usual family hiking trip. It turned out to be the trip of a life time-- a gesture of love for their dad and grandfather.
Having trained for four months in the use of a harness and the trail rider/carrier, Headings' sons and grandsons carried him down the South Kaibib Trail into the Grand Canyon. It was seven and a half miles of rock and dirt to the bottom of the canyon. At one point, a ten-year old grandson took his turn at the harness, and helped to pull his grandfather along on the journey. About six hours later, they made it to the bottom of the canyon itself.
The only real concern Bob had all along, was at landscape's turns-- when he was staring out over the edge. But, he says he trusted his sons. His sons that know him to be a man who sets his sights on something and then does it.
One son said that that gravity of the situation didn't hit him completely, until they reached their destination, and that these type of things just do not happen very often. It was a time to be proud of his family.
Then, after a day of rest, they began the trek back up the exhausting incline back to the top, which would take about twice as long. With a harness and the trail rider, the sons physically hauled, pulled, and carried their dad all the way back up that seven and a half mile trail.
An onlooker said it was fantastic to see this degree of love and determination. Another one made the comment that he was proud of the men, although he wasn't even a member of their family. Even as someone who's merely read the accounts, it's hard not to feel similarly. What a fantastic story of grit, determination, and love.
Image: Commons wikipedia.org