Athena Orchard was diagnosed with bone cancer at the young age of 12 years old. She awoke one morning and found a bump on her head, which to any 12 year-old girl, didn’t seem like it should be anything to worry about until that Christmas she blacked out. Shortly after, doctors told her with a heavy heart 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 and she died on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 but she left something that uplifted her parent’s spirits, even in the wake of her death.
Found behind Athena’s full-length bedroom mirror, was a bunch of handwritten notes.
“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.”
Regardless of her illness, Athena never let that damage her perspective on life and the beauty it has to offer. Her outlook and positivity is something to thrive for while we still are here. This is the most raw, beautiful look into the life of a girl who had everything to be upset about, but chose to remind herself of all the positives. RIP.
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