Bailey Sellers was 17 years old when her father died of pancreatic cancer in 2013. But for the past five years, she has been receiving a gift from him on her birthday.
Before he died, Michael Sellers arranged for flowers to be delivered to Bailey on her 18th birthday, as The New York Times reports. “You’ll receive these until you’re 21,” read a note attached to the bouquet. “Love, Dad.” After Bailey turned 21 on November 26, she posted a photo on Twitter showing the purple floral arrangement she received this year.
“My dad passed away when I was 16 from cancer and before he died he pre-payed [sic] flowers so I could receive them every year on my birthday,” she wrote. “Well this is my 21st birthday flowers and the last. Miss you so much daddy.
Bailey’s post, which has been liked more than a million times, also included a photo of the emotional, handwritten note that was delivered with the flowers.
“This is my last love letter to you until we meet again,” it reads. “I do not want you to shed another tear for me my baby girl for I am in a better place. You are and will always be the most precious jewel I was given. It is your 21st birthday and I want you to always respect your momma and stay true to yourself. Be happy and live life to the fullest. I will still be with you through every milestone, just look around and there I will be. I love you Boo Boo and Happy Birthday!!!! Daddy.”
Sellers, now a junior at East Tennessee State University, told the Times that she “lost it” when she saw the letter. Birthdays have been hard for her since her father died. “It’s just a reminder he’s not there anymore,” she said. Anticipating her 21st birthday was particularly difficult, since she new she would no longer receive messages from her dead.
But the response to her Twitter post has helped her through a difficult time. “It’s overwhelming,” she said, “and also exciting that everyone knows who Mike Sellers is.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.