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To My Dad, Who Taught Me It's OK to Be Different

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Growing up in a family that was focused on hunting and fishing, my dad was a bit of an oddball. He would spend hours upon hours reading history and science books and painting murals and landscapes so detailed they would’ve made Bob Ross jealous. My dad was different from a lot of people he knew. And to him, that’s OK.

To be different means finding a gift you can bring to the world, and his just so happens to be art, like mine just so happens to be writing.

When I was a kid, my dad treated me like any other child despite my disability. He found ways to connect with me. He was my first teacher, opening my world through our hour-long bedtime routine of asking science questions and other things I heard on the news I didn’t understand. He taught me to open up my mind and learn. He taught me sometimes being nerdy had its advantages.

I learned over the years it’s OK to be different, even if the world may not see it that way, for those who are different can have a big impact on the world.

To my dad, thank you for helping me learn the beauty and overall awesomeness that is embracing your differences and finding your true gift. Thank you for teaching me the value of an education and the benefits of hard work and how it can pay off.

I sure hope I made you proud.

Love always,

Your Baby Girl

Follow this journey on Legally Blind Bagged.

The Mighty is asking the following: What is a part of your or a loved one’s disease, disability or mental illness that no one is aware of? Why is it time to start talking about it? If you’d like to participate, please check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: June 17, 2016
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