I think that sometimes we get really down on ourselves for our flaws (real or imaginary). We are so hard on ourselves, more so than anyone else. I am guilty of this.
That’s why when my husband said he was writing about me for one of his college classes I couldn’t believe it. Why would he choose me out of so many other amazing people he could write about?! The reason is he sees me differently than I see myself.
When I read what he wrote it brought tears to my eyes because it was kind and sweet. It just showed me that even if we see ourselves as a sum of our failings, the people we love are there showing us the reflection of our true hearts. So just remember, you may not see the greatness in yourself, but those who know you do!
A Beautiful Soul
“It’s a luxury being a writer, because all you ever think about is life.” An English writer named Amy Tan said this and it fits this shoe perfectly. Reading someone’s writing is like looking at their soul on paper. When you read the writing of Alyson T you will not only see her soul but live her stories as well. Transforming lives and outlooks through passion, intelligence and love is what Aly does every single day.
Ever since Aly was six years old and took her first poetry class she knew that the life of writing was her own. You may say “Six years old? Isn’t that a little young to know what you want to do for the rest of your life?” Now, 20 years later she has a master’s degree in creative writing and is working on completing her memoir as well. Many people who have read her words have had restored feeling of love and happiness for themselves and others. Through writing Aly can take a story that would bring the crickets out and morph it into something that can inspire and encourage. When you hear the commonly known quote “the pen is mightier than the sword” they are talking directly about Alyson. Her total dedication to her writing shows how much she cares about the written word so many of us (including me) take for granted.
Being born at 29 weeks the life of this woman didn’t start easy. Through breathing machines and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) she prevailed. 2 months later she was released into the world with her mother and father. When she was 18 months old she had Achilles tendon lengthening surgery because she wasn’t walking yet. When she was 2 years old she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Now fast forward 6 years and here is a young girl running around with her leg braces, notebook and pen interviewing everyone with a voice. Through all the trouble and pain she still would show the world how great it is. When she would walk around children would ask her why she walked the way she did. Instead of running away every time and crying she would explain to them her condition and carry on. This true display of courage is common with Aly.
With a GPA of 3.9 Aly had the choice of going to most any college. When she was choosing her college her dad was very ill and diagnosed with colon cancer. She applied to schools only in the area to be close to her father while he went through this troubling time. In March of her senior year her father passed away. When most people would have curled up and gave up because life was unfair Aly stood strong. Life was crumbling around her, the odds were against her and yet she not only overcame those odds she gained ground. She helped raise her brother, finished college and continued to become what I see as a magnificent writer. She dusted herself off, wiped the tears away and carried on. This display of selflessness, strength and perseverance are what make my wife the woman she is today.
Aly often shows me that life is better when you have fun while living it. She never says that directly but through all of her merrs, meeps, and other random noises it shows me how to lighten up and live life. When times get tough Aly always has that little smile on her face. The smile that makes you feel like you will never be alone in this world. When I met Aly at her house for the first time ever she looked at me and almost forgot to breathe. Not because I’m good looking or something but because she had so many things going through her mind she forgot to speak! This lead too many little jokes and a constantly amazing time. When we got married she said one thing to me among others that stood out. “I will always love you no matter what.” Little did I know she meant every word she said. To love people unconditionally is no easy feat. We all have some sort of condition on our love for one another in this world. When I say Aly has none I mean none. When she loves someone she will love them forever. Scolding and teaching come natural to her but love is always present. Our 17 month old daughter is a prime example of this.
Becoming parents is not easy by any means. This is magnified when you are in another country, with no family except your spouse. We had our baby in Okinawa Japan at 23 and 25 years old. We were alone and afraid. The hope of a future generation in your hands is enough to make the toughest man or woman cry. Aly sobbed and sobbed and cried tears of serene happiness. I tell you this because the other half of the family (Me) was freaking out. I had no previous experience with raising children and didn’t know if I would be up to it when it came time. She held us together like glue holds little noodles in a macaroni art project.
Although there were many trials faced, and overcome, Aly does have one weakness. Her inability to turn away from those in need. With the biggest of hearts comes the most pain and in Aly’s case it is no different. When we first moved back to Maryland in the summer of 2014 we settled in quickly. A few months later I got my first job in Baltimore city. I am telling you this because every day I would drive to work I would see homeless people begging for change or clothes or something and every day I wished I had something more for them. After telling my wife about these people she suggested I do something. The next day we put together a fundraiser called baskets for the homeless to aid some of the people in the city. We collected clothes from companies, money on gofundme.com and donations from family and friends. I tell this story because Aly didn’t seek recognition in all of this. She probably doesn’t even know she was the motivation behind the entire thing starting. She has a way with words that inspires people to become the best they can be. When most would say very big she would say vast, when most would say you should try she says you can do it. That motivational thought process she has helps inspire everyone she comes into contact with. When you see the worst she sees the best and elaborates as to why you are amazing. With dedication to any cause that she sets her mind to she lets the problems come at her and counters with a solution.
Through thick and through thin Alyson Turner will always be there to lend a hand when a hand is needed. Her kindness, love, passion and selflessness make her stand out in a crowd. Her favorite quote that has been attributed to multiple people is this. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
To my dear husband,
Thank you, my love. For everything, especially for always reflecting the good you see in me. I love you, Richie.