Leicester, England. 12 year-old Athena Orchard is a happy, pretty young girl with her whole life ahead of her. She lives a full and active life at home with her parents, six sisters and three brothers. But the Orchards lives were about to turn upside down…
Just before Christmas, Athena discovered a lump on her head. Just days later she collapsed on the kitchen floor one day. Her mom and dad took her to her local doctor. The news couldn’t have been worse. She had terminal bone cancer.
A seven hour operation removed the tumor, but Athena eventually lost her battle. On her thirteenth birthday, she passed away. The family were, understandably, devastated.
A few days after Athena’s passing, her father was tidying her room. It was an emotional moment, being around all of her possessions. As he shifted things around, he noticed that Athena’s mirror wasn’t fixed to the wall properly. He looked at it. There was a letter affixed to the back…
“I couldn’t believe it. It was almost 3,000 words long,” Dean says. “It totally blew me away. I started reading the words, but I had to stop after a while, it was simply too much – it broke my heart.”
Here’s an extract from the touching letter:
“Happiness depends upon ourselves. Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.
The purpose of life is a life of purpose. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
Happiness is a direction not a destination. Thank you for existing. Be happy, be free, believe, forever young.
You know my name, not my story. You have heard what I’ve done, but not what I’ve been through. Love is like glass, looks so lovely, but it’s easy to shatter.
Every day is special, so make the most of it. You could get a life-ending illness tomorrow so make the most of every day. Life is only bad if you make it bad.
Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change. Life is a game for everyone but love is the only prize.
If someone loves you then they wouldn’t let you slip away no matter how hard the situation is. Remember that life is full of ups and downs, without the downs the ups don’t mean anything.
I’m waiting to fall in love with someone I can open my heart to.
Love is not about who you can see spending your future with it’s about who you can’t see spending your life without.
There is no reason to cry, because I’ll know you’ll be by my side.”
The family were shocked. Dad especially. “She never mentioned it. Athena was very profound. She loved to write, that was a part of her and had always made her happy. We will keep the mirror forever. Just reading her words makes it feel like she is still with us.”
A sad story. But what strength from Athena. A beautiful spirit. Rest in peace.