MayaThere are some people who just say things in a way that reaches me. Dr. Maya Angelou was one of those people. Over the years, I have loved her books, poems, and speeches. But above all, I absolutely loved her quotes. The quote on this picture is a new one for me and inspired me to write.

Just simple statements she would make in a magazine or TV interview, I would find myself writing down … taking notes! Life lessons like, “Courage is everything” and “when in crisis, say ‘thank you,’” have been on my refrigerator on a magnet that I painted, since the early 90′s.

She taught to say “thank you” to God for everything … every morning, every moment, every event. She said, and I quote, “Say thank you for the bad day, the break up, the missed opportunity … whatever it is, say thank you … because you know God already has a rainbow waiting in the clouds for YOU … something better is coming.”

She spoke with strength, “There’s a place inside of us, inside of all of us … a sacred space … that no one can touch. Don’t allow anyone to violate that space.”

She spoke with softness, “They can’t hold a candle to the light God already has shining on your face.”

But mainly she spoke with a unique wisdom that always left me wanting to hear more.

“Love liberates. Love doesn’t bind or cling to. That’s ego. Love lets go.”


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A few weeks ago, my Mom brought me a huge box filled with items she had saved throughout my childhood. She cleaned out my old bedroom closet and wanted to give me the opportunity to decide what to keep and what to throw away.

It took us a while to go through the box together but this past weekend, we finally found time. We didn’t even make a dent in the pile! You see, the box was filled with letters! You know, the kind that once came in the mail with stamps? :-) There are some school projects and childhood drawings, but mostly letters.

I remember my first summer spent at Camp ASCCA very well. And I remember the year I had surgery for scoliosis at Boston Children’s Hospital. What I DID NOT remember was how much family, friend and town support I received during each of those events. I remember receiving lots of mail but nothing like this!

As I write this, I am looking at a box full of of literally hundreds of letters sent to me at Camp ASCCA in 1979 and to Boston in 1984. I don’t believe I’m exaggerating to say that every person I knew from childhood is represented in that box, many of whom have long since passed away. Townspeople, right down to the employees of the Camden National Bank, sent hand written cards and letters supporting me through each event. I can only imagine what camp and that hospital thought!

Going through these letters, reading each one, has been a tremendously humbling experience. At the time these letters were sent, I was way too young to understand the significance of that kind of outpouring. But I certainly understand it now. I have said many times how fortunate I am to have been raised in the smallest little town of Camden! :-) That may be an understatement now. Thank you my fellow “Camdenites” for always standing by me! I love you all!

 

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I remember hearing a well known public figure talk about a book she once co-authored. In the middle of writing the book she asked the other writer, “Now, what is the point of this again?” She realized she was pretending to be an authority of something she didn’t even fully understand herself!

Just when we think we’ve got things all figured out, we figure out that we were wrong! :-) One of the cool things about this journey is that we never come to the end of ourselves until the final end. There’s always more to learn. There’s always room to grow. And there’s always another way to look at it. You can change the world by changing the way you see it.

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Once upon a time, there was a sparrow who had been trying to fly during a rain storm that had lasted for many days. Now from a sparrow’s point of view, days can equal years. No matter how hard the sparrow tried to fly, he just couldn’t. His wings were heavy with rain and the […]

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In my last post I talked about how it takes time to make real and lasting changes occur in our lives. For instance, we all know now that with losing weight, diets don’t work. We must make lifestyle changes which take time to learn and time to form new habits. The same can be said […]

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I didn’t always buy into my Mom’s version of events that would happen to me as I grew older. But now with my thinning dry skin and hair, I am a believer! And by the way, it does feel as if it happened overnight – just as she said it would! These changes feel sudden […]

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  • A Message from Allison

    How do you choose to live your life?
    Resilient, adventurous, strong, optimistic, bold OR pessimistic, weak, indifferent ...
    What fills your life?
    Love, beauty, laughter, peace OR conflict, worry, stress, fear ...

    The pages of this website are simply a reflection of my journey and how I choose to live my life, which began as a person born with no arms or legs. Now, however, my life is less about disability and more about the business, or art, of living well.

    So, welcome to my little corner of the world! It's my hope that you find something here that blesses yours.

    All My Love,
    Allison

  • What People Are Saying

    Thank you so much for making the trip and speaking with my students at Cleburne County Middle School. The children were in awe of you. I believe that you have inspired them to work harder and longer to accomplish their goals.
    Jennifer Swafford, Heflin, AL
    Allison, I got my book today! I have already read the first half! I cried and cried (good tears). You write beautifully! I was reading it in my car while I was waiting on my kids and a friend of mine came up to chat with me. I know she was wondering why I cut her off so quick! I had to get back to the book! I can't wait to read the second half tonight! This book (and you) are just what I needed today!
    Teresa Furman Grey, Orange Beach, AL
    Allison makes me want to be the best I can be. I found that I have no excuse to not do or try anything. Not to mention that she can captivate any audience she is in front of.
    University of Alabama Student
    Wonderful! Well written & an inspiring read! You must buy this book! Really compelling story- it wil make you laugh and cry and come away with a new perspective on things!
    Comment posted on Books~A~Million
    I am so proud for you, Allison. You've come into your own.
    Patsy Pettus, Florence, AL
    This is a remarkable story. The word 'inspiration' is so often used to describe people that it has lost some of its meaning, but Allison Wetherbee truly is an inspiration. She tells her remarkable story with honesty and grace, yet her humor and positive attitude abound throughout. This book is a great reminder to focus on the blessings in our lives despite great obstacles and circumstances. It would also be a wonderful book for teenagers.
    Comment posted on Amazon
    'I know few so-called 'able-bodied' people who live, let alone succeed, on the level Allison has!'
    A.J. Doody, Clanton, AL
    I bought several copies of this book for gifts. Most people with her condition would be absorbed in self pity, but she has persevered and has achieved more than most people with arms and legs. If you ever feel sorry for yourself, read this book and be thankful for what you have!!!!
    Comment posted on Amazon
    'Allison is the most capable 'handicapped' person I have ever met.'
    Lucille Chartier Jaco, Huntsville, AL
    Thank you for visiting our club. It is always an uplift to see your shining face!! What a true light of inspiration!!
    Starke Irvin, Daphne, AL
    Just wanted to say thanks for coming yesterday. We all loved having you. Kenneth and I have not stopped talking about you and what an inspiration you are!
    Toni Brooks, Montgomery, AL
    Allison, your wit and openness put the audience at ease. Our members came to see you as a person in your own right who, by the way, has disabilities.
    Jan McDonald, Demopolis, AL
    I found your book to be both very inspirational and heartening. I often read sections of the Devotions and Inspirations in my morning devotional time.
    Kathy Barr, Huntsville, AL
    I wanted to thank you for traveling to speak with us today. I had many great comments from employees regarding you and your wonderful outlook on life.
    Jeremy Wyckoff, Dothan, AL
    Allison, you were a wonderful speaker – so well prepared and confident. (and you looked great!)
    Judy Powe, Camden, AL
    Your book is wonderful. You are certainly being an angel's messenger in those pages.
    Georgia Buettner, Tuscaloosa, AL
    The more I read your blogs, the more I am amazed with your ABILITIES. You are simply an amazing person.
    Warry Sexton, Alexander City, AL
    "I also wanted to congratulate you on your autobiography! I finished reading it a few nights after bringing it home and really enjoyed your stories. Your drive to succeed is inspiring. I have shared your book with others and will continue to do so!"
    Cory Edwards, Chelsea, AL
    Allison, WOW! I read your book cover to cover as soon as I could tear it out of the Amazon box. You write beautifully and the book is and will be a great blessing to all who read it. I am so proud of you...not for what you've accomplished (though wonderful), but for the person you are.
    Neile Chesnut, Atlanta, GA
    Allison, you rock! You did an awesome job today. You really are a natural speaker.
    Julia Ann Handly, Sardis, AL
    You truly have a very inspirational story to tell. Your accomplishments are remarkable and your positive outlook is heartwarming.
    Amy Huff, Dadeville, AL
    Allison, I saw you on TV Sunday night at the gym. If your abilities weren't already impressive enough, now you've added being able to lose inches to it. You are a true inspiration! Now, I need to get myself to the gym too!
    Teresa Boyles, Moulton, AL
    'When most people first meet Allison, you can see them thinking about Allison. But in a few minutes, you can see them thinking about themselves... and what poor excuses they have for failing to set and accomplish their own goals.'
    Glenn Phillips, Birmingham, AL
    I believe that Allison was my favorite speaker. She was very funny; a good storyteller. I truly admire her for being so strong throughout her life and for being so open about her story and answering personal questions.
    Auburn University Student
    Iuka loved you! Just loved your presentation. It was a special moment for me . You just touched our hearts inside and out!
    Suzanne Rutledge, Iuka, MISS
    Your presentation is a memorable one with inspiration and motivation for all people.
    Virginia Meeks, Dothan, AL
    Allison, I just wanted to say thank you once again for your taking the time to visit our club yesterday. What an inspiration you are. And I read most of you book last night. Beautifully and concisely written. Could not put it down until I started getting blurry-eyed.
    Carol Malone, Athens, AL
    I couldn't sleep last night, opened the front door at 2am to let in the cat, and your book was sitting on my porch in its FedEx package waiting for me. This is a very very stressful week, and reading your book cover to cover helped me find a little peace. 'I am strong. I am resilient. I was born this way, and so were you.' Thank you.
    Helene Goldson, Gainesville, FL
    Allison, I got your book on Friday and read it that night. It is wonderful. You are such an inspiration to all!!
    Joan Curry Felts, Camden AL
    Thank you for the program you gave our club last night. It was very inspirational. I heard many positive comments after you left, but the one that stood out was a gentleman who said, "The next time I start to complain, would some of you please just tell me I have NOTHING to complain about!" The way you handle your handicap is a great motivation to everyone you meet. You do a great job representing Camp ASCCA.
    Randy Baker, Rogersville, AL
    I very much enjoyed listening to Allison's speech and have so much admiration and respect for her. It is wonderful that she has been able to accomplish all that she has while having such a wonderful attitude. I would love to listen and speak with her again.
    Auburn University Student
    Congratulations on your book, 'I Was Born This Way!' I've almost completed reading it and appreciate your candor when sharing your life experiences. I can hardly wait to get my own copy...my mother loaned me her copy of which you had signed.
    Sara Parfait, Jacksonville, AL
    Allison's not handicapped. The world is handicapped in how it sees Allison.
    Doris Phillips, Birmingham, AL
    This was a great read! I laughed, I cried. It wasn't too short and it wasn't too long. It's a great book to read when you're on a busy schedule and can't read 30 pages at a time. It was divided into nice, short chapters that were easy to get through quickly. Very impressive life!
    Comment posted on Amazon
    I received your book Saturday and finished it in approx. two hours. Great job, I loved it – lots of laughs, a tear or two. As much fun as part one was for me, I think I liked the inspiration from part two better; I plan on reading it again. You truly have an amazing inner strength and insight that naturally blends with a great ability to put that into the written word.
    Drew Johnson, Montgomery, AL
    I have heard many speakers in my life and can say without doubt Allison is,without trying, the most upbeat inspirational speaker….she is so enthusiastic about life and enjoys what she does more than most we run into. I say further, without equivocation, that she is a truly good spirit and light to the world! Allison, God bless and come back to see us soon!!!
    Daphne/Spanish Fort Rotary ~ Jubilee News
    I cannot tell you how much the club enjoyed your presentation and the inspiration you gave us. You and your story are truly amazing. Camp ASCCA is very fortunate to have you representing them.
    Carolyn Partham, Bay Minette, AL
    'A person with such a 'can do' attitude is rare. Allison is extraordinary. She overcomes more obstacles in one day than most of us do in a lifetime, yet she does it with grace and determination. 'Can't' is not in her vocabulary.'
    Mark Benson, Jasper, AL
  • Allison’s Favorite Quotes

    To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson