When 12-year-old Taylor Smith died suddenly from complications with pneumonia, she left behind a devastating hole in her family. Her grieving parents, Tim and Mary Ellen, describe her as quirky, creative, and intelligent. She was full of life and passion.

After a time, Tim and Mary Ellen began the heartbreaking task of going through Taylor’s things. That’s when they found something that left them stunned, and reminded them of what an incredible person their daughter truly was.

Amongst her possessions was a letter Taylor had written to her future self. The letter was sealed and there were strict instructions for her not to open it until April 13, 2023.

Curious to see what kinds of things Taylor had wanted her future self to know, her parents opened the letter. In it, Taylor asked her future self some questions and encouraged her to go to college and to keep doing missions work and stay involved in her church.

She ended the letter with a touching reminder that ended up being just what her parents needed to hear. “Stuff has happened, good and bad,” she wrote. “That’s just how life works, and you have to go with it.”

“It was definitely a reminder of who she was and who she had become,” Tim said.

Tim and Mary Ellen posted the letter on Facebook where it has gone on to touch and impact thousands of lives. They have received letters from parents who have told them the letter encouraged them to love their kids and love each other better.

While nothing can bring Taylor back, her family can find comfort in the fact that this special young girl has truly made her mark on the world.

You can read the letter in its entirety below.

Dear Taylor,

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, 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

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