Before you read this, please consider raiding a big-box store and stealing all their tissues. You've been warned!
Over at The Mighty, Paul Daugherty, a sports columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, wrote the most gorgeous letter to his daughter Jillian on her wedding day. Jillian, who has Down syndrome, married her love of 10 years and Paul wanted her to know just how much she means to him.
The letter kicks off with this sweet punch to the guts:
You are upstairs now, making final preparations with your mom and bridesmaids. Your hair is coiled perfectly above your slender neck. Your bejeweled dress — "my bling," you called it — attracts every glimmer of late afternoon sunshine pouring through the window. Your makeup — that red lipstick! — somehow improves upon a beauty that has grown since the day you were born. Your smile is blooming and everlasting.
I am outside, beneath the window, staring up. We live for moments such as these, when hopes and dreams intersect at a sweet spot in time. When everything we've always imagined arrives and assumes a perfect clarity. Bliss is possible. I know this now, standing beneath that window.
Excuse me; I just need a moment to wipe the rain off my face. OK, back to it!
Daugherty — who also penned the memoir, An Uncomplicated Life, about raising Jillian — then wrote about all the amazing things Jillian has accomplished so far in her life, and how much more she is capable of:
Do you remember all the stuff they said you'd never do, Jills? You wouldn't ride a two-wheeler or play sports. You wouldn't go to college. You certainly wouldn't get married. Now… look at you.
You're the nicest person I know. Someone who is able to live a life of empathy and sympathy, and without agendas or guile, is someone we all want to know. It worked out for you, because of the person you are.
The whole thing is one beautiful, heart-tugging moment after another. It's the letter that most women would love to get from a beloved family member on their wedding day — or any day, really.
Mazel tov to this entire spectacular family!