13-Year-Old Cancer Victim Leaves a Secret and Heartbreaking Message

Who knew the back could give more insight than the reflection?

Many kids don’t always get a lot of credit for being earnestly compassionate, highly intelligent, and seriously philosophical simply because they’re kids. We often think they’re immature, unsophisticated, and not as capable of seeing and caring as clearly and deeply as adults are.

However, Athena Orchard will change how you think of kids and their capacity for empathy and intelligence. The 13-year-old girl from England died on May 28, according to People magazine. She discovered a tiny lump on her head in December and since her diagnosis a short time later, battled a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma that plagued her spine, left shoulder, and head. After her passing, her parents went through her belongings and found a 3,000-word message on the back of her mirror.

“She never mentioned [the message on the mirror], but it’s the kind of thing she’d do,” Athena’s dad told one news agency. “I started reading it, but before long I had to stop because it was too much. It was heartbreaking.”

It’s painful enough to think about a girl of only 13 knowing that she’s fighting a disease that she had little chance of beating. But reading her words and knowing that her thoughts were so much more profound — and profoundly lovely and sad — than you credit a teen for being capable of experiencing is enough to cause a permanent crack in your soul.

Reading Athena’s message on the mirror will make you look at the kids in your life with new eyes — and perhaps a more open heart.

Some of the messages from Athena’s mirror included gems such as these:

“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; 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.”

“Life is a game for everyone, but love is the only prize.”

Image credit: Overstock.com

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