It’s no secret that daughters have special bonds with their fathers. They’re our defenders, our backers, and the best men on the planet. Richie Anne Castillo feels the same way about her father. Despite his handicap, he became a symbol of strength and courage in her life and was a wonderful human being. She never ceased to admire and love her father. Richie Anne also expressed her love for her father in a heartfelt post on his birthday.
Today is a very significant and miraculous day in your life. Today is your 50th birthday, and I consider myself fortunate that you have lived such a long and lovely life. It continues to astound doctors! I realise you won’t be able to see this since I don’t know whether you use Facebook, but I want the entire world to know how proud I am that you are my father. I want the entire world to see how stunning you are on the inside and out.
Dad, it took me so many years to muster the guts to confront everyone since the reality is so perplexing that not everyone will know everything. I didn’t view you as different when I was a youngster; I saw you as my father. I didn’t understand why they mocked me and referred to me as odd. Later on, I realised this, and it made me a coward. You, on the other hand, deserve better than the cowardly daughter I am. You, like any other person with Down syndrome, deserve love, compassion, patience, and acceptance. I’m writing you a birthday message since I’ve never done anything like this before. You are so deserving of so much more.
Dad, you are the toughest and bravest person I’ve ever met.
After a tough day at the dialysis facility or a hypoglycemic episode, you always put a smile on your face. You are the bravest because you have gone through so much and have never been terrified, not even once. I can’t see myself in your situation.
I’ve seen you at your worst, when you’d collapse and declare you were exhausted. Hearing statements like ‘Kapoy na (I’m tired)’ or ‘Sakit kaayo (It really hurts)’ made me cry for days, and I couldn’t stomach returning to the hospital. I’ve seen you cry because the fluid was making your knee pain. I can’t experience your anguish, but I wish I could step in and take your place so you wouldn’t have to. You lost your teeth, yet it never affected you or prevented you from enjoying your favourite foods. Man gud, you always loose your postiso (dentures). HAHA! And I’m sure you do it on purpose! I hadn’t remembered how you looked with your teeth or hair.
No amount of words can express my regret for being an absent daughter, Dad. I apologise for not taking you to the beach as often as I should, for not bringing you your favourite dim sum meal, and for not seeing you as frequently as I should. If there’s one thing I’m sorry about, it’s keeping you out of my life because I’m still that small kid who was frightened of being bullied. But, Dad, I love you more than you could ever know, and you are always an inspiration to me.
Everyone adores you, and you are well aware of this. Everyone’s faces would always be brightened by your smiles and laughter. You irritate folks as well, but we still love you. I recognise that you have good and terrible days (your bad days are our bad days as well, haha). You can be cruel and push others away, including me, at times. But that’s fine since it’s just you. It’s fine to be unique.
I could go on and on about you, but it would be unnecessarily long. Daddy, I wish you a very happy 50th birthday! Thank you for always referring to me as your one and only baby girl; I will always be. Because of you, Dad, I am strong and fearless, and I adore you. I believe I am now mature enough to defend myself against the bullies. Your daughter, many blessings.”
What is your reaction to the letter? What is your relationship with your father like?