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Everyone goes through moments where they think their parents are uncool, but grow up to realize that every moment they spend with them is a gift.

A woman named Richie Anne Castillo lived this experience like most kids do, but she was also bullied in her younger years because her dad has Down Syndrome.

On his fiftieth birthday in 2019, she introduced the world to him on Facebook. She thanked him for all he had done for her and apologized for the times she wasn’t appreciative.

Dear, Dad. Today marks a very special and very miraculous moment of your life. You turn 50 today and I am so blessed…

Posted by Richie Anne Castillo on Saturday, June 1, 2019

Here’s some of her post…

Dear, Dad. Today marks a very special 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.

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 any 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.

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 doing dialysis and a long list of limitations. But you seldom complain.

She went on to call him “the strongest and the bravest” person she knew.

Despite his lifelong health issues, he seldom complained, and she wished she could take his pain away.

She ended the note by apologizing and saying she wished she hadn’t hidden him from her life and had been more attentive and loving She also said it was because him she grew into the strong, brave woman she is today.

Her note, of course, went viral and touched the hearts of everyone who read it. Richie’s loving dad passed away on August 8, 2020, at 51.

How is your relationship with your parents? Have any stories you’d love to share?

Let us know in the comments below!