The Taylor Smith letter that Taylor Smith’s parents found after their 12-year-old daughter died is a reminder that even though life ends with death, words live on. Taylor died last Sunday from complications with pneumonia. She left behind her mom, dad, her older brother – and a letter, wrote News Channel 11 in an updated report on Jan. 10, 2014.
After Taylor’s death, her parents did what most parents would choose to do; spend time in the room that once filled the laughter, the smell, and the precious memories of their little girl. Twelve-year-old Taylor apparently loved to write and among her many poems, journals, and letters (to people who never received them), Taylor’s parents found a letter that she had written to herself.
"To be opened by Taylor Smith on April 13, 2023 only unless said otherwise.”
When the 12-year-old girl wrote the letter to herself, she didn’t know that her time would be limited and that she would not be able to read it again when she was 22.
However, for her parents, having found the letter is like having received some words of wisdom from the grave.
Taylor's letter to herself begins with the following words:
"Dear Taylor, how's life? Life is pretty simple 10 years in your past, I know I'm late for you, but I'm writing this early, so 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."
The last lines of Taylor Smith’s letter read:
"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."
Even though not all of Taylor Smith’s letter to herself has been published, the few lines that her parents have shared are a reminder of some of the important things that matter in life; not just for a 12-year-old girl, but for many others: At some age, having a “simple” life, to be able to feel proud of one’s accomplishments (like graduating), to always “keep trying,” to strive for one’s “own place,” to be able to dream, and that “stuff” in life happens, “good and bad.”
For Taylor’s dad, having lost his daughter is one of those “bad” things that equate to a nightmare from which one just wants to wake up. “Initially it's shock, and waves of depression, and hoping that it's not real, and hoping that every time you take a nap or go to sleep you find out it wasn't real.”
As reality sinks in that his daughter won’t ever be coming back, Taylor Smith’s dad has the one thing that will continue to live on -- Taylor Smith’s letter.