Shay Gibson is the Corporate Paralegal at Shearwater Health, Inc., a company that provides global healthcare solutions through clinical expertise in order to improve healthcare outcomes while lowering costs. Shay also volunteers with Reading Is Fundamental, a non-profit children’s literacy organization through which volunteers promote reading access and opportunities to kids in low-income schools in the Nashville metro area. In October of 2017, Shay's wife, Kelli, survived a life-altering stroke, and so Shay selflessly took on the role as her primary caregiver. Throughout everything she’s been through, Shay continues to be a bright light in her community as well as when she visits the salon. Her resilience and strength inspires us, and both Shay and Kelli are truly beautiful inside and out.
On true beauty:
True beauty comes from within. This past year, my wife Kelli suffered a massive stroke. As she continues to work fiercely to learn to walk and talk again, she exhibits such beautiful strength, poise, and courage. Kelli is somehow able to smile through the pain and frustration and it's an amazing thing to behold. She is a shining example of the beauty of the human spirit.
On ‘unconventional’ beauty:
I've learned that pain can be beautiful. The resiliency and fortitude that emerge after something devastating can be breathtaking - like a beautiful sky after a storm.
On beauty in human beings:
Selflessness and kindness are the most beautiful qualities. Being kind to others, especially when it's hard or inconvenient, reveals a persons true beauty. And kindness never goes out of style.
In the wake of my wife's stroke, I learned the importance of taking care of myself. Putting effort into the way I looked helped assure Kelli that things would be okay and that I wasn't falling apart. Self-care was also helpful in putting on a brave face for the rest of the world. I've also learned that taking care of myself helps me be a better caregiver to my wife. Of course, my favorite outlet is a cut and color from Choyer.
On one particular beautiful moment:
I recently joined friends in New York for a girls' weekend. It would be the first time in a year that I had left Kelli's side since her stroke. I told her I was really going to miss her. Despite her inability to find her words most of the time, Kelli calmly looked at me and said "I'm always with you". It was spontaneous and genuine and such a beautiful moment that I will always cherish.
I think it helps to realize that everyone feels insecure sometimes - we all have things about ourselves we'd like to change. I'm never going to be the most beautiful person in the room. But I will always be the only me in the room. So I think embracing your own beauty and your own style is empowering.