Maytag & hhgregg Salute: Terry Gray
11 May, 2015
Why We’re Saluting Terry:
Living on a farm in a small town in Indiana, Terry Gray spends her time split between enjoying time with her loving family and volunteering at her local Pregnancy Care Center. She also helps care for her father who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
What is your family life like?
I have been married to my husband, Kim Gray, for 35 years. We are the parents of four grown children: Kristoffer, Emily, Kamaron, and Kyler. Also, we have 6 precious grandchildren with another one on the way, ranging from ages 6 and younger. We love the country life, living in a cabin on 35 acres in northwest Henry County, Indiana, where we have a fruit orchard, a big garden, and chickens and peacocks.
Tell us the story behind volunteering at the Henry County Pregnancy Care Center. How did you get involved?
One of my friends was on the Board of Directors for the Center back in the mid-90s, and I was very interested in the ministry there. When I was asked to join the Board, I did so and served a few years before being elected President. After serving my 3-year term, I went off the Board and started volunteering. That was about 15 years ago, and I’ve been a weekly volunteer ever since. I have a passion for helping those most innocent of God’s children, so it was saving unwanted unborn babies that drew me into the ministry, as part of our mission is to counsel young girls facing unplanned pregnancies to help them choose life for their unborn babies.
What is your favorite moment that came from working with the Pregnancy Care Center?
Although there have been many moments through the 15 years, it’s hard to beat the time a young mother who was originally abortion-minded that I had counseled brought her newborn to the Center to show us. Very gratifying!
Tell us what it’s like to have a parent dealing with Alzheimer’s? How long have you been caring for your father?
Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease, as we have no choice but to watch our loved one gradually slip away from us and the father I once knew is no longer here. Dad was a strong, take-charge Marine Corps vet and Golden Gloves heavyweight boxing champion who fiercely and loyally took care of the family he loved so much. Now, at 83, he is still strong and physically healthy, but oftentimes he doesn’t know who his family is and is out-of-touch with the world around him. It is so hard on everyone, especially when he understands enough to know that he’s losing his mind. Dad was diagnosed about 3 years ago and was able to live at home with Mama until about 2 months ago when it became dangerous for both him and her. Although I didn’t live with them, I have helped Mama deal with Dad pretty intensely over the past year and it was becoming obvious that there was not going to be a good choice for us or him. In February we took him to the hospital for evaluation never to come home again, as he was placed in an Alzheimer’s care facility from there.
What do you think it means to be a “hero,” and how do you feel about being nominated?
I certainly don’t consider myself a “hero” at all. When I hear the word “hero,” I think of someone who does extraordinary things and risks their life and well-being for others. I have simply followed my heart and did what I felt God has called me to do. I am so honored that (our son that nominated me) thinks of me as a “hero”….it is the highest compliment I have ever received. I am humbled if my life has inspired anyone along the way, as God has blessed me with many opportunities to serve and I am grateful to have the opportunity to make this world just a little better.
View our collection of Maytag Salutes heroes blog posts to learn more about all of our local heroes, and share stories of your own with #HHGhero and #entry on Twitter and Instagram. Your hero could win a Maytag brand appliance of their choice and a $100 gift card to hhgregg!