For many families, the dreaded C-word brought them the worst moments of their lives. Because as heartbreaking as it is, cancer does not discriminate. And while many are able to beat it, we all know someone who fought long and hard, but whose time had sadly run out.
However, sometimes light shines through the cracks in our hearts as love helps soothe the pain. Bailey Sellers, who just celebrated her 21st birthday, has felt such a beam of light for the past five years on November 24.
When she was just 16 years old, Bailey’s father Michael passed away from cancer. Yet one of his last acts of love for his daughter was to pre-order flowers, which were to be delivered to her every year on her birthday until she turned 21. And so, for the past five years, Bailey has been able to “celebrate” with her dad, feeling like he’s there with her, as she receives each bouquet of flowers.
But this year was the last, and the Knoxville resident recently shared an image of her dad’s final gift to her on Twitter in a tweet which has since gone viral.
Sellers also shared the note he had written, asking her to no longer shed tears for him because he is in a better place.
“You are and always will be the most precious jewel I was given,” the note reads. He also offers her some fatherly advice such as, “Respect your momma and stay true to yourself” and “Be happy and live life to the fullest.”
And if his daughter ever worried that this might be her dad’s final goodbye, he assures her, “I’ll still be with you through every milestone. Just look around and there I will be.” He closes his heartfelt note by telling his daughter that he loves her and wishes her a happy birthday.
Along with the image of the flowers and Michael’s letter, Sellers added a beautiful photo of her as a child, sitting on her dad’s shoulder at the beach — both them smiling from ear to ear — with the caption, “Miss you so much daddy.”
In a follow up tweet, Bailey expresses her grief that she’ll no longer receive flowers from her dad, writing:
“Every year I looked forward to my birthday because I felt like he was still here with me but this is the last year I get them so it’s so heart breaking.”
She is, however, grateful that her story has touched so many, expressing in several tweets that she’s overwhelmed by the response.
While Bailey may still grieve the loss of her dad and feel heartache that there will be no more letters or flowers on future birthdays, maybe she can find comfort in knowing that her dad planned it that way. He probably knew how strong his daughter was, and that it might be time for her to create new birthday memories as an adult. Plus, he will still be there at each new chapter in her life, just like he promised.