Richie Anne Castillo was mocked in school for having a father with Down Syndrome. But now that she is all grown up, she knows how amazing he is.
Almost everyone has at least a few disappointment from our early life concerning how we interacted with our relatives at times. Perhaps there were situations when you became angry at them for not purchasing you a particular toy. Or maybe at moments, you were acting like an unappreciative little spoiled child even after how much your family did for you.
And when you thought about those times, the sensation is so overwhelming that you want to do nearly anything for an opportunity to go back in time and change it.
Part of this story is just like that. Richie Anne Castillo has grown up mocked at having a Down Syndrome dad. Now that she's all matured, and on his birthday she decided to share a soul-warming post and tell's entire world how amazingly powerful her father is, how grateful she's of him, and how apologetic she hadn't been such a caring daughter to him for all of the time.
"Dear Dad. Today marks an extraordinary and very miraculous moment of your life. You turn 50 today, and I am so blessed that you continue to live such a long and beautiful life. Doctors are still amazed by it! I know you won't be able to read this because I don't know if you have Facebook, but I want the whole world to know how proud I am that you are my dad. I want the whole world to know how beautiful you are inside and out," Richie wrote in her post.
"Dad, it took me so many years before I gathered enough courage to face everyone because not all may know the whole truth because it is quite confusing. Back in grade school, I would be picked on and bullied because they said you were different. As a kid, I didn't see you as different. I saw you as my dad. I didn't understand why they were making fun of me and calling me abnormal. I understood this later on, and it made me a coward. But you deserve more than the coward daughter that I am. You deserve love, understanding, patience, and acceptance as an individual with Down Syndrome should. Here I am, composing a birthday greeting to you because I've never done such a thing. You deserve so much more," Richie continued.
"Dad, you are the strongest and the bravest human being, I know. For almost all your life, you have allowed doctors to insert needles in you, surgeries here and there, a lifetime making dialysis, and a long list of limitations. But you seldom complain," wrote Richie.
"You are the strongest because after all those surgeries, procedures, and nights at the hospital, you managed to say 'Wa ko mahadlok mamatay kay ni salig ko sa Ginoo' (I'm not afraid because I trust in the Lord.) You always smile on your face after a long day at the dialysis center, or after a hypoglycemic episode. You are the bravest because you have been through so much, and you, not even once, been afraid. I cannot imagine putting myself in your shoes," the daughter continued.
"I have seen you at your worst when you would break down and say that you are tired. Hearing those words' Kapoy na. (I'm tired)' or 'Sakit kaayo. (It hurts)' made me cry for days, and I couldn't bear going back to the hospital anymore. I have seen you cry because your knee would hurt the cause of the fluid. I can't feel your pain, but how I wish I could take your place so you wouldn't have to feel any pain anymore. You lost your teeth, but that never bothered you or kept you from eating your love. You always lose your postiso (dentures) man gud. HAHA! Wa nuon kay ngipon, and I know you do it purposely! I had forgotten how you looked like with teeth or with hair," Richie said in her letter.
"Dad, no amount of words can sum up to how sorry I am for being an absent daughter. I'm sorry for not bringing you to the beach more often, or I don't bring you your favorite dimsum food or visit you more often than I should. If there is one thing I regret, it is hiding you from my life because I'm still the same little kid who was afraid of getting bullied. But I love you more than you could ever know, Dad, and I am inspired by you always. I'm inspired at how much you love the Lord, and I came to love the Lord myself, and it's amazing at how incredibly intelligent you are," wrote Richie.
"Everyone adores you, and you know that. You could always put a smile and a laugh on everyone's faces. You annoy people a lot too, but we love you anyway. I understand that you have good days and bad days (your bad days are our bad days as well, haha.) You can be mean at times, and you push everyone away, including me. But that's just you, and it's okay. It's okay to be different. I could go on and on talking about you, but it would be too long. Happy 50th birthday, Daddy! Thanks for always calling me your one and only baby girl because I always will be. I am strong and brave because of you, and I love you so much, dad. I think I'm big enough now to defend myself from the bullies. Lots of love, your daughter," Richie ended her post.
Credits: Richie Anne Castillo