When she wrote a letter to her future self last spring, Taylor Smith intended it to remain sealed until April of 2023 when she would be 22 years-old and hopefully the proud holder of a college degree. She wanted to be a lawyer.
Marked “confidential” and “for Taylor’s eyes only,” she expected that it would remain sealed until 4/13/23 when she would read the advice from her past self. Tragically, it was opened in less than a year — by her parents who were reading it after she died suddenly only weeks later of pneumonia.
After reading it her parents Tim and Mary Ellen Smith posted the letter to Facebook, in the hope that her words would inspire others.
Their hopes were realized, because Taylor’s letter has inspired many across the country. “[We’ve gotten] letters from lots of parents who’ve said it’s encouraged them to love their kids and love each other,” said Mary Ellen.
In her letter she asks her future self about the things that she was thinking about at 12 congratulating herself for having graduated from high school and asking, “Are you in college?”
She also wondered if she had ridden an airplane yet and if her favorite TV show, Doctor Who, was still on the air.
She asked if she had any children of her own yet and reminded her future self to tell them that, “We’re older than the tablet!” She even included a drawing of her iPad and mused about selling it to buy an iPad mini.
She speaks about her faith and advises her future self that if she has drifted away from her church she should return to it and build a strong relationship with her religion.
She left behind an older brother in addition to her parents with her sudden and unexpected death.
“I just want people to know just what an awesome, awesome person she was,” her father, Tim Smith, told Mike Taibbi on NBC’s Today Show.
Her father read the last line of her letter to Taibbi, “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.”
Watch the segment in the video below.