(PIX11) – A young cancer patient wise beyond her years left her parents a beautiful, uplifting message, discovered only after the 12-year-old died.
Athena Orchard, who lived in the UK, scrawled the message on the back of her stand-up mirror, which was always stored leaning against a wall so no one ever saw the back.
But that’s where her family made a priceless find.
“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,” Orchard wrote on the mirror.
She found a tiny lump on her head last December and soon after collapsed at home during Christmas, the New York Daily News reports.
Deeply concerned that something may be wrong with their daughter, Orchard’s parents took her to a doctor. There, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and, in the following months, underwent chemotherapy to treat the cancer in her spine, left shoulder and head.
She died May 28, the News reports.
Her father was stunned to find the heartfelt missive just days after his daughter succumbed to the disease.
Another message found penned on the light-colored cardboard:
“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.”