Family finds hidden message after daughter dies
Just a few days after she died last Wednesday, parents of 13-year-old Athena Orchard found a heartfelt note hidden on the back of her mirror.
Athena was diagnosed with a rare terminal bone cancer, osteosarcoma, last December. She then started to compile her long note talking about her illness and feelings.
Athena's father Dean discovered the 3,000-word note and started to read it but couldn't finish it.
Athena's parents and some of her siblings with the mirror. CNA
Mr Orchard, 33, said: 'It was a stand-up mirror in her room, and it was always lent up against the wall so we never saw behind it.
"She never mentioned it, but it's the kind of thing she'd do. She was a very spiritual person, she'd go on about stuff that I could never understand - she was so clever.
"When I moved the mirror after she died I couldn't believe it, I saw all this writing, it must have been about 3,000 words.
"It's so touching. When I first saw it, it just blew me away. I started reading it but before long I had to stop because it was too much, it was heartbreaking."
Athena pictured (centre right, with yellow hair ties) in a childhood photo with her brothers and sisters. CNA
Despite having to go through chemotherapy and a seven-and-a-half-hour operation to try to quell the aggressive cancer, Athena's note proved that she had remained remarkably positive on life.
"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."
She wrote: "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."
Athena's mum Caroline, 37, said: 'We knew that Athena loved to write, that was part of who she was, it made her happy.
"When we read the message it blew us away. She was an incredible girl, so bright and so strong, she continually amazed me."
"She was always positive, even when she was in the hospital she would be looking after me, making sure I ate and telling me not to cry. They decided to not move the mirror anywhere and to just leave it in her room.
"Just reading her words felt like she was still here with us, she had such an incredible spirit.
"We found a box of songs she wrote, we didn't know she wrote songs, the words must have been important to her or she wouldn't have kept them."
Click here to read the full letter.
Source: Daily Mail