Most people would do anything to hear one last comforting word from a lost family member after the death of a loved one. Dean Orchard and his wife, Caroline, had the opportunity to do just that. Athena, their 13-year-old daughter, died of bone cancer osteosarcoma, leaving behind three brothers and six sisters. She died in the arms of her father. Athena discovered a small lump on her head when she was 12 years old and was diagnosed. She was given one year to live her young life to the fullest—which she did.
Her father was going through some of his daughter’s old things one day after she died when he came across a secret 3,000-word message scrawled on the back of a full-length mirror in her bedroom. The backside of the mirror was covered from top to bottom with the passionate last words of a brave teen whose wisdom shines far beyond her years. “She never mentioned it, but it’s something she’d do,” Dean explained. “She was a very spiritual person, and she’d go on about things I’d never understand—she was so clever.”
“We’re keeping the mirror forever because it’s a part of her that we can keep in the house, and it’ll always be in her room,” her mother Caroline added. “It felt like she was still here with us just reading her words; she had such an incredible spirit.” Happiness is entirely dependent on ourselves. Maybe it’s not so much about the happy ending as it is about the story. A life with a purpose is a life with a purpose. That little extra is what distinguishes the ordinary from the extraordinary.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Thank you for being here. Be happy, be free, believe, and stay young forever. You only know my name, not my backstory. You’ve heard about what I’ve done, but not about what I’ve been through. Love is like glass; it appears beautiful but is easily broken. Love is difficult to find, life is strange, nothing lasts, and people change. Every day is unique, so make the most of it. You could be diagnosed with a terminal illness tomorrow, so make the most of every day.
Life is only as bad as you make it. If someone loves you, they will not let you go, no matter how difficult the situation. Keep in mind that life is full of ups and downs. Never give up on something you can’t stop thinking about. I want to be that girl who brightens your day and makes you say, “My life has changed since I met her!” Love isn’t about how much you say you love someone; it’s about how much you can prove it. Love is like the wind in that you can feel it but not see it.
I’m hoping to fall in love with someone to whom I can open my heart. Love isn’t about who you’d like to spend your future with; it’s about who you wouldn’t want to spend your life without. … Everyone’s life is a game, but love is the prize. Only I am capable of judging myself. Sometimes love is painful. Now I’m fighting against myself. I feel your anguish, baby. My dreams have become my reality. It hurts, but that’s okay because I’m used to it.
Don’t be too quick to pass judgment on me; you only see what I choose to show you… You are not aware of the truth. I just want to be happy and have fun without being judged. Don’t worry about what I do because this is my life, not yours. People will hate you, rate you, and break you, but how strong you stand will define you! There’s no need for me to cry because I know you’ll be there for me.