Parents find 12-year-old Taylor Smith's letter to her future self after her death

Poignant letter is filled with words of encouragement for her 22-year-old self

A poignant letter written by a 12-year-old girl to her 22-year-old self has been published online by her parents, after she died suddenly of complications relating to pneumonia.

Taylor Smith, from Johnson City, Tennessee passed away on 5 January, leaving behind her mother, father and older brother.

Mary Ellen and Tim Smith discovered the letter when sorting through their daughter’s boxes in her rooms. On the front of the envelope it read: "To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023 only unless said otherwise."

Mr Smith said he decided to share the letter on Facebook to inspire the same hope evident in the letter in others.

In it, Taylor encourages her 22-year-old self to continue to work hard to achieve her goals, and congratulates herself on graduating.

The letter begins: “Dear Taylor, How’s life? Life is pretty simple 10 years in your past.

"Congratulations on graduating high school, if you didn’t, go back and keep trying, get that degree…Do you have your own place yet? If we’re in college what are we majoring in? Right now I want to be a lawyer.”

"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!

"Have you been to Dollywood recently? Right now, their newest attraction is the Wild Eagle. It's so fun!

The letter 12-year-old Taylor penned to her 22-year-old self “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.”

The letter also includes a diagram of an iPad to show her children in case it no longer exists.

"Don't forget to tell your kids that we're older than the tablet", she writes. "I also have a drawing of an iPad so you can show them."

Mr Smith told NBC: "I just want people to know just what an awesome, awesome person she was." Taylor's mother added: "[We've got] letters from lots of parents who've said it's encouraged them to love their kids and love each other.

“I can’t physically resurrect her, I can’t bring her back, but I’m so grateful people have been inspired by her story."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Broker / Purchaser

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'