A father whose daughter with Down syndrome recently got married has written a letter for the new bride that will tug at the heartstrings of every parent and child.
“Do you remember all the stuff they said you’d never do, Jills?” Paul Daugherty, a sports columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer, writes in the letter, which was posted Wednesday, Aug. 26 on the website The Mighty, to his daughter Jillian. “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,” the letter continues. “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.”
ABC News reported that Jillian, 26, married her friend of 10 years, Ryan, whom she met while playing on a soccer team for teenagers with disabilities.
“I don’t know what the odds are of a woman born with Down syndrome marrying the love of her life,” he writes. “I only know you’ve beaten them.”
Daugherty, who has also penned a memoir about raising his daughter, called “An Uncomplicated Life,” described the newlyweds’ Saturday, June 27 nuptials as dreamlike.
“I see you now. The prep work has been done, the door swings open. My little girl, all in white, crossing the threshold of yet another conquered dream. I stand breathless and transfixed, utterly in the moment. ‘You look beautiful’ is the best I can do.”