The Short of It
Grieving parents find a letter their 12-year-old daughter wrote to her future self after she passes away.
Taylor Smith was just 12 years old when she died from complications linked to pneumonia in 2013. But the young girl is having a big impact on people around the world who never even knew her, and it's all thanks to a letter she wrote to her future self before her death.
The missive was marked "Do not open until 2023," but Smith's parents Tim and Mary Ellen found it as they were going through her belongings after her passing. She wrote it after she had just returned from a missionary trip.
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Here is what their daughter's letter said:
How's life? Life is pretty simple right now (10 years in your past). I know I'm late for you, but as I'm writing, this is early, so; congratulations on graduating high school! If you didn't go back and keep trying. Get that degree! Are you (we) in college? If not, I understand. We do have pretty good reasoning, after all.
Don't forget, it's Allana's 11th birthday today! Sheesh, 11 already? In my time, she just turned 1! I didn't get to go to that party though, because I was in Cranks, Kentucky for my first mission trip. I've only been back for 6 days!
Speaking of, how's your relationship with GOD? Have you prayed, worshipped [SIC], read the bible, or gone to serve the lord recently? If not, get up and do so NOW! I don't care what point in our life we're in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and crucified for you! A sinless man, who never did you or any other person any wrong!
Now, have you gone on any more mission trips? Have you been out of the country yet? How about on a plane?
Is Doctor Who still on the air? If not, what regeneration did they end it with? You should go watch some Doctor Who! Later though, you gotta finish reading your own words of wisdom!
Do you have your own place yet? If we're in college, what are we majoring in? Right now, I wanna be a lawyer.
Have you been to Dollywood recently? Right now, their newest attraction is the Wild Eagle. It's so fun!
Also I think I'm going to sell my iPad and buy an iPad mini, Don't forget to tell your kids that we're older than the tablet! Attached I also have a drawing of an iPad, so you can show them.
Well, I think that's all. But remember, it's been 10 years since I wrote this. Stuff has happened, good and bad. That's just how life works, and you have to go with it.
Sincerely, Taylor Smith
When the Smiths posted the letter to Facebook in 2014, it went viral. And now, incredibly, Taylor's uncle Jeff Oakes told ABC News Chicago, "Her letter has been translated into at least 16 languages, and it has been reported in over 30 countries. God has really used her story to touch many lives. When Taylor was alive, she wanted to travel around the world and share Jesus. In her death, she has truly done it!"
The part of the letter that really resonates with me is when she says, "Stuff has happened, good and bad. That's just how life works, and you have to go with it." That's an impressive life observation coming from a 12-year-old. I'm guessing those words have helped Smith's parents immensely as they grieve the sudden loss of their daughter.
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What part of the letter resonates most with you?