When you read the story of young Athena Orchard, one thing is for certain – she was an old soul in a young body, who understood certain things about life that some people never fully grasp…even after 100 years.
One Christmas, Orchard found a bump on her head and blacked out unexpectedly. After some thorough testing, doctors told Athena and her family that she had bone cancer. Her only chances of surviving would be to undergo aggressive chemotherapy treatment.
Unfortunately, her battle with cancer was short lived, as she died on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014.
But after realizing she did not have much time left to spread her wisdom, she decided to do something that would give her message a chance to live on, even in the wake of her own death.
Shortly after Orchard passed away, her parents found something of interest behind her mirror, left behind in her bedroom. Upon closer inspection, they realized it was a bunch of handwritten notes – from Athena.
Her parents were speechless, as they read the notes their daughter had left behind. They realized that even though she passed away, her time on earth wasn’t limited by cancer. Her words made it quite clear that her spirit was always alive and well, and that her legacy will continue to live on for quite some time.
Here are some excerpts from the back of her mirror:
“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.”
Despite her illness, Orchard never let that damage her perspective on life and the beauty it has to offer. And her positive outlook is something all of us should strive for, while we still have the chance to live.
R.I.P. Athena. Rest assured you have left behind an amazing legacy that will inspire the current and future generations of your family.