True Blue Hayley

Too often I feel like I’m holding back the full extent of my feelings. I get misty-eyed in movies, watching baby product commercials, and when I see small furry animals. I can be shy, and I get my feelings hurt easily. I feel as though I’m constantly holding back a tide, just enough so I don’t look crazy or embarrass myself.

Being emotionally vulnerable and honest with people can be scary and I guard my heart. But I know I’ve missed opportunities to show people I care and to develop relationships because of this.

This concept of holding back or downplaying emotion Hayley - UT 2would never occur to my sister Hayley. Happy, sad, afraid, frustrated, enraged, devastated, disappointed, enamored, proud, convicted, impressed, or full of joy — she doesn’t filter her emotions. You always get true blue, unadulterated Hayley. I feel so blessed that despite — and perhaps because of — her Autism, she expresses her love freely and without fear or hesitation. Her love is unconditional and without cynicism.

Hayley and sisIt is quite a thing to behold, the purity and sincerity in her voice when she tells you she loves you. I love that she strokes my hair or cheek when she tells me. I love that she wants to link arms when we are out walking. I love that every time we are together and a prayer is given, she rests her head on my shoulder. She gives compliments and means them. She is a constant reminder to me that it’s okay to feel deeply, and let it show.