As I reflected on my core personal values, I thought it appropriate to find out what my close friends and family thought about me. Below are their responses.
Anthony is an ever evolving man. He always strives to be the best person he can be. His key values for me are honesty, hard working, loyal, and self improving.
Honesty: Anthony’s main love language is words of affirmation. With this comes honesty, whether to tell him something good or bad because of his autism he needs to hear what I and the people around him think or feel in order for him to improve himself. He can never tell a lie. Even when I need some white lies because of what I am wearing or doing he cannot lie. That is why sometimes he gets into trouble with me.
Hard Working: Anthony always puts in 110% into everything that he is doing. Whether he wants to do it or not. He has been in a job he dislikes the past 4 years but he keeps going. He does what he has to do and he does it properly. Anthony never half asses anything. Sometimes he takes longer but he works hard to get it right so it doesnt need to be done again.
Loyal: He has worked for his family’s company for years, even though it made him sincerely unhappy. Out of loyalty he stayed until he was able to leave the company in a shape it can manage without him.
Self Improving: Anthony and my relationship has grown a lot since the moment I met him. He has this super power to improve. I am a highly emotional woman and he is a highly logical man. His actions are mainly controlled by his brain so he has more control of his actions than I do. Whenever he does something that annoys me or upsets me I feel like there is a slot in his brain that takes in that information and he just stops doing it. With me it takes a few tries because my actions are impulsive. He is always changing for the better. I have so much faith in our marriage because I know for a fact that he will never stop trying to be a better man for me. And of course because of that I will never stop being the woman he deserves. He inspires me to also be better.
Anthony, to me you have always seemed sensitive and systematic. You have always had a ability to feel deeply and a drive to order chaos. I think as you’ve gotten older you’ve pushed feeling to the side (as I have) because it is too hard and too much but I have this extremely vivid memory of us as a family watching Touched by an Angel and you just crying and crying for the people in the episode. You have always been extremely sensitive to people and their pain (and their joy) and you have always had this kind empathetic sweetness. I think that trait was discouraged in you by Dad because of his warped idea about manliness. And I hope you can find your way back to that sensitivity I think is innate in you.
I think you are one of those equally thinker and feeler type personalities and perhaps as you have gotten older have spent more time in the thinking camp ie your decisions are driven primarily by thinking it through, not by a gut instinct. And you are a very interesting thinker. Our brains do not work in the same way and it sometimes takes me a while to catch your drift but we usually get there eventually. I am uncertain if your passion for order and systems and logic has come from the fact you get joy from it, or calm from it. But either way, you are very good at it.
When I think of you over the last say 8 years of your life I am incredibly impressed at your resilience. You can be easily demotivated and in these times I have seen you engage with habits and lifestyle choices that haven’t been healthy for you, but no matter what you always pull yourself up by your bootstraps and soldier on. The fact that you have worked diligently for dad these past however many years is a huge testament to you working to better yourself and to be the best you can be. He has not been kind and the work has not been great, yet you have shown up every day and worked hard. I'm so excited for your future and for you to pursue a career that interests and excites you.
I have seen you come to life over the past couple of years since knowing Nicole. You have blossomed. It's amazing what a little love can do. I don’t think you have ever got to experience love before, not proper real love, and she has allowed you to believe you deserve it (and you do). I think it is something you have always wanted, but never thought you could or would have. And that’s not surprising given our role models in life. But you do deserve it. completely.
I have to say, being asked what I think you value is tough because I think we are only really at the beginning of our relationship. Most of our lives we havent been super close. I enjoyed that once you learned you were Autistic, you would often write to me or phone me to help you figure out a pickle you were in, but this is the first time I think we are actually getting to know each other. If I am honest, for a lot of our lives if we were to talk, you were only interested in the conversation for as long as the conversation centered around you. I love that that’s not who you are anymore. That you are so much more present in the moment and part of the conversation. It’s really great getting to know you.
But yeah, things I think have always been features of who you are is your deep feeling, your passion and excitement, your systematic approach, and your intelligence and willpower.
Sister in Law
Anthony Kyle McGrath, my eldest sister’s husband, also known as my incredible first brother-in-law. At first, from the time my sister told me about him, till when we actually met in person, I only really focused on his personality, making sure he was a good person and I can tell you now, that he is one remarkable human being. I truly believe that as he’s been in a relationship with my sister, that he has grown more and more into the individual God has built him to become. Throughout the time that I’ve known him, he would always crack up the mood with a few silly dad jokes and whenever possible, throw in facts here and there, filling the atmosphere with laughs and all sorts of knowledge. He’s not only a smart cookie with a good sense of humor, but is very much skilled. He is capable of doing many things with his two bare hands. Whether that be playing an instrument, building something in the wood workshop, or whipping something away in the kitchen, he can do it all! Yes, those are impressive but beneath all that lays the true persona of Anthony McGrath. A passionate, honest, caring, understanding and soft hearted man, who always strives for the best. That no matter how many storms and obstacles get thrown at him, because of his faith in himself and in the lord, he will stand back up, being the strong old soul he is. That’s who Anthony is to me.
I think you're a well organised person that is very much interested in how things work. You have great recall of technical details and the majority of your weaknesses come in around social skills. You are doing a good job of identifying you own weaknesses in this area and I've seen much improvement in your ability to read people around you. You are much more likely to understand that you are being inappropriate when you are inappropriate these days.