After 12-year-old Athena Orchard lost her battle with cancer just last week, her family thought they would never hear from her again. Until they found this secret message she left behind for them on the back of her mirror in her bedroom.

Dean Orchard, Athena's father, said he was moving some of her belongings in her room when he found the heartfelt message. "It was a stand up mirror in her room, and it was always lent up against the wall so we never saw behind it," Dean said. "She never mentioned it, but it’s the kind of thing she’d do.”

Here is the message Athena left for her family:

Dean continues, "When I moved the mirror after she died I couldn't believe it, I saw all this writing – it must have been about 3,000 words. It's so touching. When I first saw it, it just blew me away."

The words of wisdom written on the mirror by Athena include the following:

“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.”

Words of comfort from a beloved daughter, sister, friend.

Rest in peace Athena Orchard.

[Leicester Mercury, Hot 107.9]