A 13-year-old girl named Athena Orchard died of bone cancer. She left behind a heartbroken family comprised of her mother, father and nine siblings. When Athena’s parents, Dean and Caroline, were tasked with going through their beloved daughter’s belongings, they never expected to make such an astonishing discovery.
Days after Athena’s passing, Dean and Caroline moved the full-length mirror standing against the wall in her bedroom. That’s when they noticed something on the back of the mirror — and when they realized what Athena had secretly done, they were absolutely floored. Scroll down to see what Athena so bravely left behind for her family.
Athena Orchard was 12 years old when she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Her life became a series of operations, surgical procedures, and rounds of radiation and chemotherapy.
On May 28, 2014, Athena passed away at the age of 13.
Even when Athena was sick in the hospital, she made sure to keep her family’s spirits up. She remained positive, and even made sure her loved ones remembered to eat and smile.
Days after Athena passed away, Caroline and Dean had to force themselves into the heart-wrenching task of going through her bedroom. When they moved the full-length mirror leaning up against her wall, they found a 3,000-word inscription.
After she was diagnosed with cancer, Athena had secretly written a message to her family on the back of this mirror.
In Athena’s own words, she describes what love meant to her; the meaning of happiness; and the importance of living each day to its fullest.
Here is Athena’s message in full:
“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.
Love is rare, life is strange, nothing lasts and people change. 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. 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.
Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. I want to be that girl who makes the bad days better and the one that makes you say my life has changed since I met her!
Love is not about how much you say I love you – it’s about how much you can prove it’s true. Love is like the wind, you can feel it but you can’t see it. 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… Life is a game for everyone but love is the prize. Only I can judge me.
Sometimes love hurts. Now I’m fighting myself. Baby I can feel your pain. Dreams are my reality. It hurts but it’s okay, I’m used to it. Don’t be quick to judge me, you only see what I choose to show you… you don’t know the truth. I just want to have fun and be happy without being judged.
This is my life, not yours, don’t worry about what I do. People gonna hate you, rate you, break you, but how strong you stand, that’s what makes you… you!
There’s no need to cry because I know you’ll be by my side.”
Athena’s friends and loved ones scribbled tribute messages of love and remembrance on the Orchard family’s home.
I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for Caroline and Dean to discover Athena’s secret message. What a beautiful, bittersweet and breathtaking story. Please SHARE it with your friends on Facebook.