Photo: The Leicester Mercury

There are some messages in life that make you stop, think and take stock of what you have.

This is one of them.

After losing her battle to cancer earlier this week, Athena Orchard’s family have been gifted with a secret message.

Hidden on the back of her mirror was an inspirational note that blew away her grieving parents.

According to The Leicester Mercury, Athena was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at Christmas after blacking out and collapsing in her family home.

Athena’s father, Dean Orchard said the 12 year old never mentioned the hidden message, but it was the kind of thing she would do.


“It’s so touching.  When I first saw it, it just blew me away.  I started reading it but before long I had to stop because it was too much – it was heartbreaking.”

Her parents have since shared excerpts from Athena’s notes, which they estimate is around 3,000 words long.

Some of the inspirational messages include:

“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.”

Rest in peace Athena.

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