by Allana Luta
In A Triumphant Detour, author Racquel Sarah A. Castro narrates her experiences in life with cerebral palsy, from birth to present. There’s a lot to learn from her story and here are the top three lessons I gained from reading her autobiography.
Faith can give you strength.
If there’s one overwhelming theme throughout Racquel’s story is that her faith in God, in her family, and in herself has helped her live a fulfilling life. Her faith in God, particularly, is admirable. Not once did it seem like she wavered in her belief that God had set her on this path for a reason, and whatever reason it is, whether she fully comprehends it or not, will ultimately lead her to a better life.
Her faith keeps her motivated and willing to accept all the changes and challenges that came her way. And from what she has written, Racquel has always arrived at the other side, stronger, wiser and more faithful than ever.
It’s very difficult for able-bodied individuals like myself to truly imagine going on about life with a disability and yet Racquel has stated that her own disability has made her stronger and that if she were given a choice, she would choose the life with cerebral palsy any day.
Be thankful. Stay positive.
The book is filled with nothing but positivity. In almost every chapter, Racquel enumerated the things she was blessed with and thankful for. She would thank the people that helped her in a particular time in her life, whether it was her immediate family or relatives, teachers or classmates, friends or neighbors. She mentioned everyone by name, highlighting their importance in her life.
Reading her book, you might think that Racquel has mostly had good things happen to her with the way she lists all the circumstances that have made her a published writer and meeting friends and shoulders to lean on along the way. However, there are a couple of times she mentions having to go through hardships, getting hurt by the careless words people sometimes threw her way. But the fact that she hardly elaborates on these moments, choosing instead to focus on the good things just shows where her mindset is at. Everyone goes through difficulties. It’s how we deal with them that matters. Racquel, for her part, was constantly positive and grateful for the good things.
Appreciate the small stuff.
Tied-in with the previous lesson, this one is something Racquel consistently displayed throughout the book. One could tell that she has, more than once, stopped to smell the roses. Like what was said, she thanked everyone that helped her through hardships and she was also thankful for challenges that shaped her to be a better person. No kind deed goes unnoticed.
Reading through her book, one can tell that part of Racquel’s strength is being able to appreciate the little things in life. If there’s something to complain about, there’s also something else to be thankful for, no matter how small. ☁